Headshot Photography: Kim Kuhn (kimkuhn.com)
I love the process of creating my art. I love working with my hands and feeling the paper between my fingertips. It is very meditative as I repetitively cut, rip and glue pieces of acid-free paper to the canvas. I love transcending a simple piece of paper into a 3-D piece of art.
Color excites me, but I also honor the sleek simplicity of black and white. Even more, I’m enthusiastic about texture and dimension. I’ve created different ways to make texture with paper using ripping and cutting techniques. I love the playful, unexpected and dimensional element that textured paper brings to canvas.
The intention of my art is to evoke a sense of wonderment through the patterns of thousands of pieces of paper used to create one of my pieces, each of which may take sometimes more than 100-200 hours to complete. I hope viewers take time to lose themselves in my work and become inspired by the intricacies they find there.
Self-taught paper artist Kelly Joy Ladd grew up in Orlando, Florida. It wasn’t until she was 20 years old did, Kelly pick up a paintbrush for the first time with the intention of learning how to paint. Throughout her life, however, she was always creating art in one form or another.
Kelly’s first job, at the age of 16, was a Disney World entertainer and parade performer. Here is where she allowed herself to truly be creative for the first time. The colors, textures and fabrics of the costumes excited her. She often found herself sitting backstage among the costumes fascinated with how they were constructed. While onstage, she loved to see the joy each guest felt as she interacted and connected with them.
Kelly graduated with a Liberal Studies degree at the University of Central Florida, where she studied a variety of subjects that intrigued her, such as Astronomy/Physics, Environmental Sciences and Anthropology. Her minor was Creative Writing. Upon graduation, she began a writing career as HardRock.com’s music writer, where she interviewed rock stars and bands, and wrote about the company’s famed memorabilia. She then moved into the magazine publishing field and was an editor for 10 years for publications such as, Garden Design, Florida Travel + Life and Parenting magazines.
During this time period, her husband became ill and became severely allergic to chemical smells, including paint. This was the catalyst for Kelly to figure out how to satisfy her art craving without paint. It was then, she played with ripping, cutting, folding and gluing paper. Overtime, she developed a number of techniques to manipulate the paper into texture and glue it onto the canvas.
Kelly spent hours every night after work perfecting her techniques. In 2014, after her first solo art show, Parenting magazine closed, and she has been working as a freelance DIY designer and perfecting her art form.
Today, Kelly is often surrounded by tiny scraps of paper while she carefully constructions them into intricate patterns on large canvas. She is inspired by rhythmic repetition, texture and pops of color. Creating art is a joy for her and hopes to share that feeling with others.
December 2014 The Gallery at Avalon Island Celebrations and Resolutions
March 2017 Snap! Orlando Le Salon 2017
June 2017 Snap! Orlando Name TBD
Sept/Oct 2017 Snap! Orlando Structures and Perspectives II
PBS Orlando “Artisodes” to air in June 2017