By Josh Rivera, Lifestyles Editor
Kameryn Boggess is a graduating art major at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. She crafts art prints on stationery note cards. The designs are usually striking, composing her thinly-stroked line work alongside the texture of watercolor swaths. The inked lines are clean, sterile, and the resolve of a commanding hand, but the watercolor looks alive and sentimental.
“My process includes creating watercolor images followed by scanning them into both Photoshop and Illustrator and digitally modifying them,” Boggess said, in her artist statement. “A combination of handmade art with the ability to modify with digital elements, to me, brings the best of both worlds together.”
Boggess was one of three candidates for the Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree featured at a UMHB exhibit titled “Things Remembered.” The show ran from Nov. 13-22. She studies graphic design, initially concentrating on digital compositions before probing other techniques to make delicate artwork.
“Whenever I first started doing this, which was last year, my work looked completely different,” Boggess said. “It was all digital, very geometric, and just not good. People have helped me evolve from that and told me to search a little bit deeper.”
Boggess eventually found an identity within the constraints of the watercolor medium.
“I definitely took a risk with watercolor and I think that was the best advice,” Boggess said. “I wasn’t necessarily sure what colors (to use), or how to make those textures, so I just played around with it until I got to the look I found was the best. There were a lot of things I had to scrap because they were too muddy looking. I wanted to explore that avenue and I really like the way you have to go with the flow. It’s hard to be very precise. It’s a really organic feel, with no hard edges.”
Combining her watercolor work with her digital design sensibilities allowed Boggess to bring disparate ideas together, resulting in her intimate-feeling note cards.
“I think collage is definitely a cool inspiration to draw from because with things like these, it’s kind of like collaging in a painting. There are different elements and they work very cohesively together.”
Boggess spent a decade attending summer camp, as both camper and counselor. This proved to be formative.
“There’s no opportunity for communication other than letter writing and I’ve become very appreciative of how important letters are,” said Boggess. “I love being outside. I just think that being outside is very important for our mental state of mind. Being at camp has taught me about the importance of the outdoors. I love hiking. It’s hard, but I love exploring new places. Being outside is really refreshing. I tried doing some watercolor outside; I had a hammock out one time. I think it’s very hard to draw inspiration being inside, but when you’re outside, there are so many things around you it’s overstimulating.”
Boggess’s work is also informed by contemporary stationery lifestyle brands, which also pair handcrafted art with mass production.
“I love Paper Source and May Designs, which is in Austin,” Boggess said. “I think that they have some really cool things in their stores. I also draw inspiration from them in some of my designs. As for mine, I really like these doors. The doors are definitely one of my favorites.”
Boggess is already looking past her stint at UMHB at enterprises beyond.
“My dream project is to graduate!” said Boggess. “But ultimately (it would be) owning my own company. And having my designs evolve from this, because I know there’s evolving to do. Maybe with someone or on my own.”
Boggess started branding her work. A logo that says “Go & Do Paper Goods Co.” is placed on the back of her postcards.
“The ‘Go & Do’ is from the Good Samaritan story in the Bible, where it says, ‘go and do likewise,’” said Boggess. “I think it’s a good reminder to ‘go out and do things,’ and ‘be productive.’”
Boggess has one last piece of advice for others, which has also served her well.
“Don’t be afraid to push the limits,” Boggess said. “If it doesn’t work, then it doesn’t work. You just learn from your mistakes.”