After graduating from Cornell University with a BS in Nutritional Sciences, I spent most of my career working in information technology, specifically in the health care systems industry. In 2009, I accepted a job offer in Seattle, WA and relocated there from upstate NY. And, in 2010, that company folded, and I found myself at a crossroads.
I had always loved being creative, whether cooking or scrapbooking or whatever else I tried my hand at. But I could only do those things in my spare time, and my jobs hadn’t allowed for much of that. I decided this was a chance to live my life more creatively and deliberately. Plus, I wanted to work for myself. While I was trying to figure out how to make this change, I stumbled across a small piece of software that could be used to create kaleidoscopic designs from photos. My creativity kicked in and I started playing with some of my travel photos. I realized that the depth from the original photo translated to the design, and I decided to cut and layer the design to create the actual dimension that I saw. The rest, as they say, is history!
I have learned many things since embarking on this amazing adventure. Here are a few things I have learned about myself, and why I instantly felt at home with my first designs.
I love to travel
I love seeing and experiencing new places. I love the history, the people, the languages, the culture, the food and the artwork! I love wandering down small side streets just to see what's there. You find the most amazing things when you get "lost". Traveling makes you appreciate what you have, and also makes you realize that while each location is unique, in the in the end, we are really all the same.
I love architecture
To me, buildings are the heart and soul of a place. I loved climbing the stone steps of the Roman Theater in Orange, France, which were worn in the middle from the millions of footsteps over the centuries. I loved imagining who might have stood there before me. Architecture can also give you an idea about the the people and cultures of the time. A Soviet-era building paints a very different picture than Versailles!
I am by no means a student of architecture, and I would be hard pressed to tell you the difference between an ionic and a doric column. For me, architecture is more about the feelings it evokes, and the memories associated with it. It also defines a place for many of us - what is more French than the Eiffel Tower, or more Roman than the Colosseum?
I love pattern, especially geometric pattern, and symmetry
I see pattern and design in everything - in brick and stonework, in the arrangement of the petals in a flower, in paint splatters, and even in manhole covers! But what really gets my heart racing, and strangely, calms me at the same time, is geometric pattern and symmetry. Somehow the order and predictability of it makes me feel safe. Most people who know me would not consider me an orderly and regimented person! Maybe the order in my artwork is just my way of trying to bring control to my often chaotic world!
I hope that knowing a bit about me and how KaleidEscapes came into being will let you see even more dimension in my pieces. If the artwork speaks to you, I would love to hear about it. Please reach out with any questions or comments. And if you want to know more, check out my FAQ page and please sign up for my periodic emails.
~ Dawn LaGrave