Kristin Texeira is a painter who uses color to creatively capture, document, and preserve memories. She is a personal pal of ours and an absolute joy to be around. The way she sees the world and reimagines her surroundings and perspectives into visual stories is nothing short of magical.
We hopped on the horn with Kristin for Low Impact Life No. 5 to chat about how a young artist thinks about the things that make up her day.
How does your day start?
I usually wake up with the sun and think about all the great places I can go get coffee. When I get a coffee I open up my sketchbook and make my list of things to do for the day. I’m always really excited to have coffee in my body and a list of things to do.
What are some things you always carry on you?
Mechanical pencils, chapstick. And I have this little baby pouch of trinkets. It’s got things like some stones, seashells, some string… It’s just a little collection of treasures I’ve picked up over the years. It has to be something from a far away land or a special person or a moment that I’ll treasure forever. It’s just a bundle of little sentimental reminders.
What’s the most durable thing you own?
I have a chair in my studio that I’ve had since college. I sit in it when I paint. I’ve painted the chair itself. I’ve slept in it a little bit too. It’s yellow and almost looks velvety and it’s old and round. There’s a ton of paint on it and the springs are falling out of the bottom; I’ve shoved it in my car a lot moving place to place. My sister tried to take it to fix it so she could keep it but then I took it back and she was pissed. It’s still mine and you can still sit on it if you push the springs in a particular way. It’s holding on.
What’s your worst personal environmental bad habit, something you’d like to work harder on?
I did it this morning and my boyfriend was really disappointed in me.
Sometimes there’s leftover food in the fridge; if I cook something and we just don’t finish it.. sometimes that happens and it goes bad and when it does I just throw the whole container away because the mold weirds me out. I know, it’s really bad.
Whats your biggest concern about the environment?
Two things come to mind:
In terms of small scale everyday stuff it’s just when trash explodes on the street and all of a sudden there’s like a pant leg and bottles and Crown Fried Chicken bags with rust on them scattered all over the street! My neighborhood is so beautiful but sometimes when you’re walking all of a sudden you’re dodging an apple core or a rat tail and that stinks.
On the grander more general side of things – I just think about how much stuff everybody is making all the time. We’re just going to continue to get more random and more stuff will be made because there will always be more people. There are more inventions and then theres more things that people want. And then we just have all this stuff and keep wanting more and if we don’t want the old stuff we throw it out and get even more. So that’s my general concern - there’s just too much stuff.
What do you hate to forget?
My special pencil - It’s a mechanical pencil that looks like a regular pencil. The kind you fill from the top. My grandfather used to do crosswords with them and I got hooked on them. I get bummed out if I don’t have one on me. I have packs of ‘em at home, in my studio, in the car, and all my jacket pockets.
Say you Freaky Friday style changed bodies with someone for a day…
Well, wait.. That’s not the question.
Oh ok. Sorry.
If you changed bodies with someone for a day; If you could give one pro-tip to the person in your body responsible for your day, what would it be?
I know what they need to watch out for. It’s making sure that you eat snacks. Because I have really bad ‘hangry’ cases. I’ve been learning that a lot of girls do. I’d tell them to make sure you’re keeping some fuel in your body or you’ll get sad or mad or you’ll wanna run away or break up with your boyfriend.
What’s one thing that goes over peoples’ heads in terms of painting?
I’m an abstract painter and that usually comes with a lot of explaining. If you’re not looking at art every day, people think ‘painter’ means Norman Rockwell and representational work.
I painted in front of my grandmother this one time and I was just mixing up colors for a long time. I like to mix a million colors into one and try to make something no one has seen before. My grandmother was surprised how much time passed before I hadn’t even put paint on a surface yet. So, time.
Also, with paint – it’s super expensive. There’s different series of paints. There’s earth colors and they’re easy to make because you can get sepia and there’s an abundance of it. And then there’s some that are almost going extinct because we cant just get the raw materials from the earth anymore. One of my favorites is cobalt teal light and someone told me this summer that they’re going to stop making it, and I felt as if I was being told someone was dying. That’s my color.
Just like a little baby tube of some paints can be close to $60 and it’s a color you squeeze out and you’re like theres $5 of paint on that little dot I just put on that surface; people don’t realize how expensive the actual paint is. And the time you’re spending creating something with the material.
What is young artist life like since Instagram became a thing?
It’s definitely been really helpful. I have a heavy duty love-hate relationship with it. I grew up Catholic and this Lent I gave it up; it was my Lent-giver-upper. I get funny emails from strangers or I meet other artists in Brooklyn from Instagram and that’s fun. And I can know about these shows that I didn’t know about if I hadn’t have that little scroll.
But I feel like I don’t let my mind wander as much and it sucks. That’s how you stay creative and dream. And I find myself in line for coffee when I could be looking at people or having an accidental conversation and it just isn’t.
It’s hard because it’s addicting in a way. Did anybody like this? Did somebody wanna buy this? Something that really freaked me out is that I would finish a painting and I wanted to put it on Instagram and I was like - that sucks. It needs to be a separate thing, it’s supposed to help you a little bit and not be a driving force but I was letting that happen for a minute until I checked myself.
Is there a photo, online or offline, that you go back to often? One you could just look at forever. If so, could you describe it?
I feel guilty cause theres like a ton but can I tell you two of them.
Theres one that isn’t of me or my family but it’s this one that Henri Cartier-Bresson took – it’s a couple sitting on a train and they had fallen asleep and his arm is wrapped around her head. And when I first saw it I was like, whoa this photographer was this close to them and captured that moment and maybe they don’t even know about the picture.
A more personal one though – my grandparents’ house is all Polaroids and I love them. The sound is embedded in my mind and waiting for it to develop is so magical and there’s one from when I was about three. I used to watch the movie ET a lot and theres a scene where he’s in the closet hidden with all the stuffed animals around him - so I used to get all my stuffed animals and my grandmother would be on the couch and I would line all my stuffed animals until her head was poking out and I didn’t make that connection until I looked at the old Polaroid. Why would she let me do that? I don’t know why it’s just such a great photo.
From Of Note’s Etsy: “Each card was first letterpress printed with these words: “Take care of all memories…for you cannot relive them.” – Bob Dylan. Then Kristin hand-painted every card, while drawing inspiration from colors of memories collected over time, making each a unique art piece.”
Thanks for checking out LIL No. 5! If you know someone notable who loves living lightly or doing more with less don’t hesitate to send ‘em our way!