K-O.ME's Kjaer Neletia Pedersen - How Can I Explain the JOY of Creating?

                    Image by Kerri-Jo Stewart
Less than a year ago I was introduced to the colourful, silk, one-of-a-kind fashions created by Kjaer Neletia Pedersen of K-O.ME. Since that time she has literally exploded on the scene with numerous fashion shows and articles.

In November she stepped onto the stage at Vancouver Alternative Fashion Week (VALT), where she added several edgier prints that took her designs to new level. I now own one of these new looks.

Pedersen didn't begin in fashion. An artist all her life, she has explored a wide variety of mediums such as photography, charcoal, ceramics and paint. Teaching was another career embraced for 30 years which she only recently walked away from. Now most of her artistic talent is focused on working with cloth and the results are stunning.

Some of Pedersen's artwork

Awhile ago I asked her to write me an article and she responded with this beautiful piece.  BUT - in the craziness of writing a book, it was misplaced. Mea Culpa. Although a bit late, I am delighted to share her article which is a great look into the life of an artist. Enjoy!

Image of the beautiful Jihan Amer of Wilhelmina Vancouver wearing K-O.ME by Ehsan Mahdizadeh

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How Can I Explain The JOY of Creating?
by Kjaer Neletia Pedersen

How can I explain the JOY of creating. This is such a part of me. I have been an artist all of my life and have PLAYED with so many art forms. I was lucky enough to be a teacher and to teach Art at the Elementary, Secondary, and University level… ART… 2D, 3D, and Drawing. 

  Image by Kerri-Jo Stewart

I cannot imagine existing without playing with something creative…. something pliable.. something to express ME. Something that brings me such JOY! 

Other than charcoals, pastels, paints, etc. … I fell totally in love with hand creating free form clay masks, murals, and table wear. I would ROLL it out and then press all forms of stamps into the soft fragrant clay. It was with such pleasure and seemingly total abandonment that I would express 
myself. I was living in a log house in the forests of Mission, in my own studio, up the mountain side, and with no one around to look, judge, or even hear me… I would turn up the music and dance as I worked. I would take a break in my swing that was high in the mountains and feel the rush of exhilaration as I relaxed breathing deeply from the earth itself… the aromatic rain forest that I called home.

Left -Lady Gaga Afterparty, image by Kerri-Jo Stewart // Right - Snagged this great look for myself! Image by Ed Ng
A few years ago, I gave up teaching, I left creating with clay… and they are both true passions of mine. I left my forested home. I find myself now living and creating in a new environment with a new art form. I now smell the ocean breeze every day. I hear the seagulls, the river flowing against the rocks. I have a different solitude now… still peaceful, still living in what feels like a vacation home, however, I now live in West Vancouver, and only a whisper away from the seawall of Ambleside and not much further to Stanley Park. I choose well in life for where I live… and continue having the thrill of creating every day.

I take my fabrics, almost as I did my clay… I don’t roll it obviously, but I fold it this way… that way… I have it flow… straight… angled… and when I am satisfied I throw it on my table, as I did my clay. I free hand cut my fabric to exactly what I want…. as I did my clay. I then sew it with a confidence and speed that I have come to learn, in the couple of years that I have been sewing, few seem to do. I KNOW it will all be perfect… and, in the rare times, that it is not… it just creates another artistic challenge.. and then my work just becomes … even better.

Image by Kerri-Jo Stewart

My pleasures in creating have been so dear to my very soul. From my youth and how I would thrill others with my portraits of them and their children, to then teaching Grades 1 to 12, and knowing my students saw significant improvements and pride from their work, and then to opening the kiln after a glaze firing and just feeling such intense joy!... and now… not just the thrill of creating, and then admiring my own work… but, imagine how joyous it is to have women look and FEEL better than ever. To have new customers hug me in glee, to have soon to be friends email me to share their pleasure in the number of compliments that THEY receive…the gratitude that I feel as a human being in how very many ways I have connected with people to give them joy… and now… oh the pleasure in assisting a woman to feel comfortable and attractive every day.

Valt 2014, image by See it LIVE Canada
How can I explain? Lucky lucky ME!

 For more information - or to contact Kjaer Neletia Pederson - please visit her website at http://www.k-o.me/. You can also visit her teaching site at http://www.artforschools.ca/