March 20, 2020 4 min read


The Basics

Name:  Kelly Marie (@messyeverafter)

Nickname:  'Messy' or 'Mea' online. To family, I'm Kellbear

Residence:  I grew up in North Branch, Minnesota and just recently made the move to Oceanside, California

Occupation:  Artist


Kelly Marie is inspired by the ever-changing, organic lines that make each of her pieces one of a kind. Through sharing her process and techniques openly, her goal is to inspire others to make messes and unleash their creativity. After watching her artwork come to life, we have to say we're feeling pretty inspired.


How did you get your name “Messy Ever After”? It actually started as a blog in 2014. I had recently finished my Bachelor's degree, bought a house, and quit one of many jobs that made me feel restless and dissatisfied. All I knew for certain at that point in my life was that I had far too many creative projects and dreams, but absolutely no idea what my life was supposed to look like. I felt a bit like a mess—but I wanted to discover my authentic self and start a community around a creative life. I was a bundle of imperfections and it was time to embrace it. So, why not be messy ever after?

How did you get into painting? I'm pretty sure art is in my DNA. Painting, drawing, doodling and all things creative have been a part of my life since I can remember. I got into it professionally when I was in my sophomore year of college when I realized it just might be possible to make money off of the things I love doing.

What’s your process for creating art? A lot of my pieces start the same way. I create chaos and then find the order and flow within. I am usually inspired by colors and emotion. I have an idea for the general composition of a piece, but I never really know what I'm creating until it all comes together at the end. 

What was the inspiration for this particular piece? Winter. The seasons were starting to shift in Minnesota and I could feel the cold seeping into my old house every morning. Though, I don't think I realized what inspired me until after the piece was finished.

If you had to name the art on the blanket, what would you call it? How would you describe it to a blind person?I've been watching too much Game of Thrones, so I'm tempted to say “Winter is Coming.” Maybe “Winter Energy” or “Winter Storm”. Haha, or “Goodbye, Minnesota”. (I really don't like Minnesota winters and I'm terrible at naming my work.)

I would describe this piece as a chill force of energy. A dark chasm splits through a cool blue scene. It It feels icy, but welcoming.

Do you listen to music when creating? If so, who? Yes. So much music. Here are some of the bands I've been listening to the last couple of months: Twenty One Pilots, Zella Day, Alt-J, Glass Animals, Kaleo, AJR, Nathaniel Rateliff, Mute Math, K.Flay, Elle King, Sia, Good Morning Bedlam, Fall Out Boy, Bishop Briggs, Meg and Dia.

"I'm pretty sure art is in my DNA. Painting, drawing, doodling and all things creative have been a part of my life since I can remember."


Outside art what are your hobbies and interests? Food is life. I love cooking and eating new foods. I also strangely love spreadsheets and tracking finances. I got really into home improvement and DIY projects for a few years. Now, I spend a lot of time with creative writing and hanging out with my nerdy other half.

What's your dream project to work on? Oh gosh, I don't even know! I mean—a few of my goals for the next year or two are to get into gallery spaces in California, do something more with my YouTube channel, and hopefully continue to grow my business. But I don't really have a dream project at the moment. If something sounds fun and challenging, I'll probably try to do it.

What excites you most when you first start a project? Honestly, the line and detail work during the last 30% of a project is what I love most with my recent work. I get so excited to start organizing the messes I make with my fine line applicators.

Who are your favorite artists? To name a few: Emma Lindstrom, Arthur Brouthers, Gabriel Moreno

What projects are you most proud of?I feel like I'm proud of every piece I create for a short time. Then each new piece I create takes the lead until the next. But, I don't think I have a single project or piece that I'm most proud of consistently. Most of the time, I'm just proud of the fact that I keep challenging myself to push my creative and professional boundaries every day.

What's next for you in life and your career? I think I'm in the beginning of the best chapter of my life so far. I'm going to keep following this path and hopefully carve out a place within the art world.

I've never really been the type of person that holds onto quotes or sayings, but one that has stuck with me for years and is most meaningful to me in social situations is from the movie Ever After:

“I'm only here for the food.”


Original Shammy Towel
Fractal Down Blanket
Original Puffy Poncho

Aaron Detrick
Aaron Detrick

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