A child of the 70s, Shelley Kommers remembers when pencils, scissors and paper were the tools of his creative pleasure, before the internet took over much of that role for many children.
Shelley remembers her artist mother encouraging her to get involved in art projects from the age of 3.
“We created our own fun,” says the now 52-year-old Agoura Hills resident, who describes herself as “multi-creative”.
Over the years she has worked as a beautiful artist, illustrator, craftswoman and art educator, and now she can add an author to her list of accomplishments. Her first book, “Make Cute Stuff with Polymer Clay”, was released on November 16th.
So why would the handsome artist end up writing on polymer clay? It’s a story, like many, that begins in distant times.
Once Kommers decided she was going to dedicate her life to art, that is exactly what she pursued. After attending UC Irvine and UCLA from 1987 to 1989, she majored in advertising design at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena from 1989 to 1991. There, she said, the extensive program design has given it “an excellent foundation for elementary design and visual communications.” . “
She became a graphic designer in the entertainment industry and then created collage-based works of art, many of which are based on the wake of her youth, such as paper, paint, and scissors.
Layered pieces often have a cheerful and whimsical quality, appealing to adults and children alike.
At one point, she started what she calls the Mandala Project as a way to be “more present” and “zen”.
In 2009, his works were appreciated by a gallery in Nashville, Tennessee.
“They contacted me out of the blue,” she says. “The piece they were interested in was for their show called ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’. “
Her multimedia piece “The Swarm,” which she calls “cheeky,” fit the show perfectly – “a cute collage of a boy running away from a swarm of scissors in charge,” Kommers said.
Not only was it the first piece of art she sold, but she was also launching her works in many galleries and online marketplaces. Lendrum Fine Art, an art and design consultancy in Los Angeles, has linked Kommers’ works to the Kimpton Gray Hotels chain. Reproductions of her art have been sold by Pottery Barn Teen, Minted, Wheatpaste Art Collective, and Oopsy Daisy.
Her work has been published in Spirituality & Health, Ma Vie and Somerset Studio magazines, as well as in exhibitions at the Rochester Contemporary Art Center and the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art in Santa Ana.
Now married and a mother of two, Kommers is thriving as an arts educator, offering classes at schools from Malibu to Pasadena for 4-year-olds to middle school students.
When the pandemic hit, like many others, she started offering her classes online.
“I teach drawing, comics and anime a lot,” she said.
But it was sculpture that became the basis of his foray into polymer clay.
“I was asked to teach a sculpture class at Webster Elementary School in Malibu and was given a big box of supplies. I didn’t know anything about polymers, but I loved coming up with really fun projects.
She discovered that polymer clay is a versatile medium “that you can bake and keep forever,” she said.
“I got addicted to the ‘screech factor’,” as she calls it: the students’ cries of joy when she unveiled another project for them. “Sometimes I would stay awake all night working on a new one. I’m so geeky that I love to invent things that brighten up your day.
One of her projects is a flying pig-shaped topper, inspired by a sculpture she saw in Topanga Canyon, where a pink winged pig on a stick has been a staple for as long as many residents. remember. (Heading to the Pacific Coast Highway from Hwy 101, the pig is on the left side about 4 miles from the canyon.)
Her designs were so popular that she came up with 12 other items that she features in her book.
Two of her favorites are a bear trinket box and a mushroom night light. Once you’ve made a happy rainbow and an elephant finger puppet, there’s a groovy picnic scene to look forward to that includes tiny fruits and veggies.
“I’m always on the lookout for beauty, and I find it everywhere: in run down and imperfect places, and in little hidden places that no one else is looking at,” Kommers wrote on her website.
“My work is inspired by the natural world and my own inner stories. My work is about the poetry that lives beneath the surface of things.