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Artist Of The Month: Kayla Haubenschild

Buffalo Exchange Blog | Colorado Vintage Clothing & Sustainable Fashion Ideas

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Artist Of The Month: Kayla Haubenschild

Gregory Maronde

LESS THAN the name of the fantastic and good looking art show by Kayla Haubenschild. Based in Denver, Colorado, this unusual artist and fashionista takes us on a fabulously weird ride.


Q: Where does the name of your art show come from?
KH: I’ve endured a severe artist block for six years now and for six years I’ve been speculating as to why. I determined that the logical, rational and analytical side of my brain has, overtime, suppressed the intuitive, imaginative and creative side. This, I believe, is the source of my handicap. My “left” and “right” ways of thinking are in constant contest. As of now, the latter is less than the former. The title also stems from my struggle with hyper perfectionism; I will not settle for anything less than perfect (a left brain attribute). To side note, the number of pieces in my show equate to the number of letters in my title. I’m not sure which chunk of my brain thought of that one, but that is certainly my subconscious working at it’s finest.

Q: What inspired you to do these colorful portraits/ Are they actual women you know?
KH: Tumblr is a resource for collecting images to serve as references for my drawings. These images consist of high fashion models (runway, editorial, etc.) that represent my own personal ideal of physical beauty. Although these women are clearly beautiful, I’m attracted to those with unusual and atypical features. Oftentimes, there’s continuity within the traits between the girls I collect. They might have angular and upturned eyes, abnormal and creepy teeth, or sharp and sunken cheekbones, to name a few. But no matter how many different women I draw, they somehow begin to look similar, if not the same, in every drawing. My “ugly girls are my alter ego, which is an idea I’ve been exploring more deeply. Less Than is simply an extension of this ideation.

Q: Although I love all ten paintings, which one did you have the most fun with?
KH: Generally, I used the same process for each in order to keep the cohesion. Some drawings took longer than others and some paintings took less time than the rest. I’d say I enjoyed the ones I didn’t agonize over the most. It’s easier for me to dwell than to let go.


Q: Was the process stressful or did it come easy to you?
KH: Somewhere along the way, the creative process became more of a painful burden than a therapeutic release in my life. Once upon a time, I made art for the joy and relaxation it gave me. I set myself up for a solo show to, hopefully, feel those feelings again. I thought maybe my right brain would win this time around. Yet again, my left brain triumphed. I spent more time on the minor details and planning that the actual creation itself. Less Than has been utterly exhausting, but the most rewarding in it’s completion.

Q: Any particular music you were listening to while you were coming up with ideas?
KH: My creative process has more selective music taste than I do. I’d rather not describe music as “chill,” but I guess I listened to “chill” N stuff to keep me relaxed. Artists like Tamaryn, Belong, Heavenly Beat, Beach Fossils, and Wild Nothing got me through long nights. I’m also a huge dork and put on a lil’ classical too.


Q: I know working at Buffalo Exchange, fashion tends to inspire everything we do outside of work. Was this case any different?
KH: My obsession and fascination with high fashion is only growing through Buffalo Exchange. Learning about designers from different eras is encouraging me to incorporate fashion (drawing or textiles) into future works. Even though I wasn’t able to use such newfound knowledge to the fullest this time around, I still found useful reference photos (for my “ugly girls”) through the process of my research. From inception, these photos played a huge part in my vision.

Q: Last but not least, do you have plans on doing more art shows this year?
KH: Whitney Stephens, a fellow friend, coworker, and cool girl, asked me to be a part of a fashion zine she’s working on. I’m delighted to be a part of this and I’ve never done a collaboration before. Unfortunately, I don’t have any upcoming shows lined up. But I’m excited for the future and I hope this brings new opportunities my way! Holla at me!

More from the artist.
KH: I want to take the time to thank some people that made Less Than a success. Thanks to Christopher Sheets, Molly Bounds, and my mom (of course) for their love and support. Thanks to Shawna Slavinski for helping me with the nitty gritty. Thanks to Jeromie Dorrance for doing such a beautiful job with the vinyl. Thanks to Todd Colletti for understanding my vision in transforming the gallery. Thanks to Whitney Stephens for taking time out of her day to prep and paint the space with us. Thanks to Carlos Garcia for featuring me on the Buffalo Exchange blog. And thanks to everyone who came out to see all my hard work. You all mean more to me than you could know!

Paintings from the art show   Less Than.

Paintings from the art show Less Than.

Kayla Haubenschild's art show Less Than will be up for the month of March at the Buffalo Exchange Denver gallery, Gallery 51, located on Broadway and Irvington.

Article written by Carlos Garcia
Photo's taken by Carlos Garcia
Photo shoot styled by Kayla Haubenschild