ARTIST INTERVIEW: Steven Kenny
MEET ARTREPRENEUR: STEVEN KENNY
Meet Artist, Steven Kenny.
Steven Kenny was born in Peekskill, New York in 1962. He attended the Rhode Island School of Design, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1984. His final year of art school was spent studying independently in Rome. This direct exposure to European art (especially the Baroque works of the Italian, Dutch and Flemish schools) had a significant effect on his painting style.
First settling in New York City, he gained notoriety as a freelance commercial illustrator. Clients included Sony Music, Time Magazine, AT&T, United Airlines, Celestial Seasonings, Microsoft and many others. His illustrations repeatedly received awards from the Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts Magazine and the Art Directors’ Club of New York.
In 1997 Steven turned away from illustration in order to devote his full attention to the fine arts. Since that time he has lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and his home state of New York before settling in St Petersburg, Florida in 2011. His award-winning paintings are exhibited in galleries across the United States and Europe. Honors include grants from the Virginia and Franz Bader Fund, the Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation, and fellowships from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Creative Pinellas. His paintings can be found in the permanent collections of the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, Museo Arte Contemporanea Sicilia, and many private collections around the world.
From an early age the beauty and mystery of nature have deeply influenced his chosen subject matter: surreal compositions that most often combine the human figure with elements from nature to comment on our interactions with the environment while symbolically alluding to the multi-facetted dynamics of human nature in general. Stylistically, Steven employs Old Master oil painting techniques to create images that are visually reminiscent of the Renaissance and Northern Baroque periods while being firmly rooted in the realm of Contemporary Art.
CA: What does the word ARTREPRENEUR mean to you?
SK: To me, an artrepreneur is any creative person overseeing and guiding the development of their own career.
CA: When did you first realize that you wanted to pursue your passion to the fullest?
SK: I didn’t fully commit to being an artist until my junior year in high school. It was then that an influential art teacher convinced me that I had what it would take to pursue a career as an artist.
CA: What is some of the best business advice you have been given in this creative industry?
SK: At the very beginning of my art career, someone I respected very much said, “Find your own way of doing things.” That made a huge difference because it gave me permission to be creative with my business and not simply follow someone else’s formula.
CA: How do you seek out opportunities and stay motivated?
SK: I seek opportunities at all times no matter what I’m doing. My eyes and ears are always open. I stay motivated by knowing that every small or large effort I make is never wasted. It all adds up and successes are born out of trial and error.
CA: What advice would you share with aspiring Artrepreneur’s?
SK: Do what works for you and feels good. Try to find the FUN in whatever you do. Don’t be afraid to take risks.