Crystal Vielula - 10 Artists 10th Anniversary

Our 10 Artists for our 10th Anniversary celebration continues! Over the next 10 months our newsletter will feature 10 of our 'amaeyzing' Kids & Art artists who have been with us on our journey from 2008 to now.

We will compile all 10 artists' stories into a small book ready for our 10th Anniversary gala in San Francisco on December 1, 2018. Each of the 10 artists will also be given one word on which they will create a piece of art. These 10 pieces will be displayed together at our gala and will encompass the mission of Kids & Art. We thank these artists for taking part and inspiring us with their artwork and insightful words.

For September please meet artist Crystal Hermann.

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1. Name, website
Crystal Vielula,

2. What inspired you to begin your journey as an artist?
Since childhood I have always loved to create things and I never stopped.

3. What do you do to keep yourself motivated and interested in your work? What do you do to get into your creative zone?Creating often feels like a compulsion for me, and I feel like something is very wrong in my life if I don't have time to work on my art.  If I'm tired or stumped while working on a particular series or with a specific medium, I will start experimenting in another medium or style for fun, which always turns into another series.

4. What are you working on now?
I'm working on a series of large collages that I call "visual utopias" and a series of neon gouache paintings that are queer versions of iconic movie scenes.

5. What does your art mean to you?Art is an integral part of my life and it allows me to feel happy and fulfilled.

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6. What has been the most difficult challenge as an artist and who are your biggest influences?
The biggest challenge I have faced as an artist is discovering ways to feel validated.  I am influenced by artists that make their work regardless of its potential for mass appeal.  I love learning about artists that continued making art because it was a necessary part of their existence like Hilma Af Kint, Frida Kahlo, Sonia Delaunay, Yayoi Kusama, Alma Thomas, and local San Franciscans Ms. Vera and Michael Johnstone.

7. What has been your favorite accomplishment as an artist?
My queer pride mural in Clarion Alley has brought me the most validation because so many people see and respond positively to it.  Because it's in a public place people from all over the world appreciate and share pictures of it with their friends and family.  It's exciting to see a positive message I brought into existence reach so many people.

8. What advice would you give to someone starting out as an artist?
Keep working and sharing your work with others. 

9. If you could live in a different artistic period, which one would you chose?
Although the political climate was very fraught, I love the art from the late 60's early 70's.  I love the colors, and the integration of visual and performance art.  I also love the idea at that time that art should be free and available to the masses.  In San Francisco the Cockettes and Angles of Light were doing really wild interesting performances with gorgeous aesthetics, and I would have been overjoyed to work on projects with Yayoi Kusama in New York, transforming spaces to create magical experiences.

10. Do you have a favorite art gallery? Do you have a favorite color? And why? In San Francisco my favorite gallery is the Chandran Gallery, they work with incredible artists and create innovative instillations.  My favorite color is teal because it's both soothing and uplifting. But honestly I love all bright colors, especially like my kindergarten students prefer, in rainbow order.

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Creating often feels like a compulsion for me, and I feel like something is very wrong in my life if I don't have time to work on my art.

I believe art has the power to heal because…

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Art is an integral part of my life and it allows me to feel happy and fulfilled.

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Keep working and sharing your work with others. 

About the artist:

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Crystal Vielula is a San Francisco based artist and art educator.  She is the maker of cheeky coloring books, paintings, collages and the celebrated queer pride mural in Clarion Alley. 
Her Drawn from the City series of interviews and Illustrations of local San Franciscans was featured regularly on the Bold Italic and in the SF Weekly.  Her Queer Movie Stills series was featured by KQED Arts and at Artist Television Access.  She strives to create joy and celebratory acceptance of the LGBTQ community through her art.
You can see more of her work on her website: or on instagram @crystalvielula

Kids & Art Foundation is thankful to have a vast community of artists who create with us. Our artists share their passion for art and their commitment to make the world a better place. Without them we cannot heal pediatric cancer through art.

If you believe in the healing power of artists then please support our artist stipends with your donations and corporate matching. All donations are 100% tax deductible and our EIN is 27-1415727