Meet the Maker: Liv & Lux Design Co.
Liv & Lux Design Co. is an art and design company specializing in one-of-a-kind folky, custom, hand painted portraits and ready to frame artwork. Kayla is the girl behind Liv & Lux Design Co. Kayla is a lover of all things art.. From typography to watercolor to digital media.
She believes that life is too short to not do what you love; designing and creating is her passion.
We are so happy to have Liv & Lux with us La Quaintrelle.
We had a chance to get to know Kayla a little better. Check out her Q&A below!
Where are you from?
I was born and raised here in Cape Breton. I went to school and lived in Sydney before heading off to Antigonish for university. After that, I eventually found my way to Glace Bay and purchased my grandparents former home. That's where I now reside - with my husband, our little boy and our pup, as well as running Liv & Lux from there!
When and why did "Liv & Lux Design Co." start?
I’ve always been a creative - even while studying Business, I minored in Studio Art and after that, completed my graphic design diploma. A few years ago one of my best friends asked me to paint a portrait for her growing family. From there, another friend asked, then another, and then one for a gift... I realized that maybe it was a direction worth pursuing as a business. "Liv & Lux Design Co" as a brand & company began in 2015, a name change from my previous business and following this new direction entirely. Instead of my previous focus on building other brands and business logos, I shifted toward my first love; painting!
Where did the name "Liv and Lux" come from?
I've always strived in my personal life to be as positive as I can (this isn't saying there aren't times where I'm a total negative Nancy...because my husband can attest, I absolutely can be!) But, in general, I try to look on the lighter side.
"Living in light" -- i.e. living in happiness, in understanding, compassion, empathy is something that I try to apply to my everyday life.
"Light" translated into latin is "Lux" - Live in Lux became Liv & Lux.. and here we are!
What does your creation process look like?
Depending on the item I have at hand, my process differs greatly... but in general, for a portrait for instance, I study the subjects. What color hair do they have? Do they have highlights or any distinguishing feature I should include? An adorable little girl in pigtails? Details on a shirt, or in a dogs coloring. This is where I begin (that and a cup of tea). From there, I map out my canvas and pencil in the basic shapes - like VERY basic. Blobs really.. haha. Everything from that point forward is done with paint and adjusted as I go; I’m a sort of improv artist in that I don’t plan too much!
Where is your favorite place to create? What is your favorite thing to paint?
My absolute favourite place to create is in my little nook at home, but I have a notepad with me everywhere I go to jot down shapes that catch my attention or color combinations that inspire me.
My favourite thing that I get to paint is anything custom. Whether it’s a portrait or a quote for someone, it usually has such meaning to the recipient. I've been lucky enough to be involved in wedding announcements, new baby arrivals, adoptions, celebrating loved ones who have passed on.. any and all of those are my most prized and most sacred. You're allowing me into your world to recreate a moment in time that was special to you, and for that, I'm forever grateful.
What does painting mean to you?
I've been fortunate enough to have been able to take many classes from some pretty amazing artists throughout my lifetime and I'd like to think bits from each one influenced my artistic path and gave me a new perspective. I've taken oil painting classes from one of Cape Breton's most well known artists but also have taken charcoal classes in an after-hours showroom and watercolour classes at the Lyceum (and had been the youngest there by a good 30 years). Painting has continuously been an extension of my thoughts and is my comfort zone, it's the place where I can be myself, and the place I experiment and try new things. Where I can let go of the 'what-ifs'.
What has been your greatest challenge and success?
I would have to say my greatest challenge AND my greatest success has been finding a balance between my day job, my family & friends, and my business.
Between being both a wife and mom, working full time and running a successful business, I have very few hours left in the run of a day. A challenge I've faced is taking on more than I can comfortably fit in the time that I do have. After a few months of stressing because I had taken on WAY too much, I've slowly realized that to keep loving what I do, I need to make rules for myself!
If I was working for someone else I wouldn't put up with it, so why should I working for myself?
Thankfully, I have a great support system that understands my crazy determination to keep it all afloat and I'm learning to make more time to just "be"...that’s still a challenge!
When you think of the future of Liv and Lux, what do you see? What's in store?
When I think of the future of this little business of mine, I see a lot of possibilities. I've seen some significant growth over the last year - and I'm so grateful for it all!
I've recently shipped some portraits out of the country and I'd love to continue on a global stage to reach even more people. I want to expand the lettering side of my business. I'd love to do more wedding signage this year and maybe take on a few sets of place cards!
Lastly, I'd also like to offer a line of "ready made" portraits to appeal to people who are shopping in a store or online and want something more instant & ready to go (like at La Quaintrelle!)