Kelly Schott is a writer, a dancer, a traveler, and a Rabbitville artist who collaborated with one of the Gaslamp Quarter’s jewel properties, the Pendry Hotel San Diego. Right now “Isadora” is exhibiting with the rest of the warren at the Gaslamp Hilton. Read below to hear more about the creation of this unique sculpture and the artist that brought The Pendry’s rabbit to life!
How did you hear about the Rabbitville program?
Kelly: My good friend Kristen actually told me about it. She saw the article online for the project and thought it would be something that would interest me, so she sent the article my way. I’m very grateful for that.
Are you classically trained?
Kelly: Well, it wasn’t until I was in college that I decided to pursue art as a career seriously. When I started studying for my degree in Media Arts and Animation is really when I got my first ever rounds of traditional art classes in the form of life drawing, perspective, and color theory. Traditional art classes like that were only a very small portion of my studies through college, though, as the bulk of my degree was actually focused more on digital art – media arts of all sorts, 3D modeling, animation, etc. I worked in the field for awhile, but ultimately decided it wasn’t for me. I find that I still pull a lot of inspiration from that path of my life – it certainly has had an integral impact on my life and how I go about creating.
Where have you exhibited?
2017 – “Rabbitville” (Exhibition/Moving Public Arts Project) Traveling Downtown San Diego
2017 – Hyde Art Gallery Art Show (Exhibition/Handmade Silver Jewelry) El Cajon, CA 92020, May 28th
2017 – Desert Hearts (Exhibition/Live Painting) Los Coyotes Indian Reservation, March 31st –April 3rd
2017 – “Think In Ink” Art Show (Exhibition) TPG2 at Bar Basic 410 Tenth Ave, SD, CA 92101, Jan. 31st
2015 – “Deck the Walls” Holiday Art Show (Exhibition) TPG2 at Bar Basic 410 Tenth Ave, SD, CA 92101, Dec. 24th
2015 – Burning Man (Exhibition/Live Painting) Black Rock City, Nevada, Aug. 28th-Sep. 5th
2015 – “2Sweet” A Lover’s Art Show (Exhibition) Nomad Donuts 4504 30th Street, SD, CA, 92116, Feb. 13th
2015 – “Smitten” Valentine’s Art Show (Exhibition) TPG2 at Brick Bar 1475 University Ave., SD, CA, Feb. 6th
2014 – “Awesome 80’s” Art Show (Exhibition) TPG2 at Bar Basic 410 Tenth Ave, SD, CA 92101, Dec. 30th
2014 – “5X7” Art Show (Exhibition) Disclosed Unlocation 1925 30th Street, SD, CA, 92102, Dec. 6th
What type of medium is your favorite?
Kelly: My favorite mediums to use are inks and paint. Most of my work is done in three stages – I will begin with watercolor to paint the main subject of my piece, then use acrylic paints to decorate with pretty details (like golden accents), and finish with black and white ink outlines to pop and separate the layers. When brainstorming for ideas, I will use colored pencils and sharpies when sketching in my notebook to switch things up and play with color and line thickness.
What was it like collaborating with a sponsor like The Pendry?
Kelly: Collaborating with Pendry was a whole lot of fun! When I went in to meet with their marketing team and get a tour of the place, it was interesting because I really resonated with so much of their art and interior design! What was nice, too, was that the project was really left pretty open to interpretation for me – which made the brainstorming part lots of fun to do.
Tell us about your design?
Kelly: The design itself was really neat to play with. Pendry had given me the design packet they use to decorate their hotels, and that was really helpful. Utilizing the packet and the photos I took during my tour I was able to pull inspiration from patterns that really resonated with me, stayed true to representing Pendry, and then continued to build off of that with my own personal flair. It was loads of fun!
Have you ever painted a 3 dimensional sculpture before?
Kelly: No. I have never painted a 3D sculpture before, so the process of painting Isadora gave me a wonderful opportunity to work through a lot of challenges.
What challenges did you face?
Kelly: The designs for Isadora included very intricate line-work and small details that were tedious and required a lot of focus to look even and level. Keeping the lines uniform and smooth over a 3D object with an uneven surface proved to be very difficult for me – I found that I had to paint the lines multiple times over. This part was really what took me the longest to do. Prepping the sculpture was an easier process.
How was prepping the sculpture?
Kelly: Prepping the sculpture was fun because it got me excited to move forward and onto drawing and painting! Using Bondo, I filled in major divets in the form and then sanded it smooth. Then, using charcoal pencil I drew the initial sketch of the design to prep the form for paint. I had chosen that pencil in particular because it was easy to use and see, but found it was too soft for this project. My hands kept smudging the pencil and smearing the lines, so I then spent more time erasing and cleaning. When I was finished, I spray sealed it and let it dry before painting. Lesson learned!
Did this project inspire you to do other 3 dimensional work?
Kelly: Yes! This project did inspire me to do other 3-dimensional work, although in different mediums. Next, I want to learn to weld so I may explore metals for large sculpture
Did you name your rabbit? Other than the Pendry Rabbit?
Kelly: Isadora actually named herself. I worked with her for a very long time before finding a name that suited her and our relationship. At the same time that I was working on this project, I was also in school studying movement in dance. As an artist, I identified a lot with some things I found during my studies. I was actually in the midst of writing a paper exploring the history of Isadora Duncan, the mother of Modern Dance, while working on Isadora the rabbit, and fell in love with the way Isadora Duncan perceived dance and movement. She saw dance as an art form and pulled her inspiration from the art and architecture around her that moved her. It really changed how I perceived dance. As an artist, it made so much sense to move into dance not just athletically, but artistically. This all translated over to my relationship with my rabbit, as she pushed and challenged me to learn new things about myself as an artist as well – and as I decorated her, too, with the art and architecture I saw around me. The Universe seemed to put me in these situations simultaneously for a very good reason, I do believe. Thank you, Isadoras, for the valuable life lessons.
What was the most challenging aspect of the project?
Kelly: The biggest challenge for me was learning how to apply a 2-dimensional design onto a 3-dimensional form.
What are you working on now?
Kelly: Right now, I am working on a series of portrait watercolor paintings, exploring the use of different dynamic color combinations, shapes, textures, and subjects. I want to have a stronger focus of animals, so I’ll be incorporating more of them into my work.