21 SECRETS Spotlight :: Kelli May-Krenz


Every Wednesday at Dirty Footprints Studio Tonia Jenny, the 21 SECRETS Creative Director & Course Manager,  is interviewing one of the talented teachers in our program.  Be sure to sign up for blog notifications below to never miss a spotlight — and CLICK HERE to check out past interviews. 

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Tonia Jenny, 21 SECRETS Creative Director & Course Manager

Hi there, Creative-Change Maker!

The release date of 21 SECRETS Paper, Glue, Scissors is getting closer—12 more days!

Meanwhile, I’m here today to share with you Spotlight Artist Kelli May-Krenz; a loving soul full of so much enthusiasm for life that I know you’re going to love her way of encouraging others to do the same.

Kelli’s workshop, Vintage Pages and Custom Envelopes will give you the perfect opportunity to see what I’m talking about! For now, enjoy this little glimpse inside the heart of Kelli and enjoy soaking in these twinkling tidbits she shares here.

Who or what has made the largest impact on the artist you are today?

The knowing that for me creating art, designing, illustration is like breathing for me. I have always been wildly creative and as an only child I would escape into my world of art. I have always known that I would make my life as an artist. I just knew it. I have never thought of anything else to do in my life. I just show up and make it work. I am very blessed. There is no decision for me it is simply what I must do.

How are the things you value most in life reflected in what you create?

I have a huge passion for being grateful to be alive. This reflects in my art with all of the layers I use in every form of art I create. I love authenticity ~ being real to what comes naturally to me. I love sitting down with a few materials and dreaming up art. I have a great respect for details and cherish the difference of paying attention to how a piece feels. Passion for living. Living my life in layers while creating in the moment. Being grateful every single day!

In what do you find inspiration that it seems few others find inspiring?

I find inspiration is creating simply. By using less mainstream supplies I tend to love my art more. I do not find craft stores inspirational at all. I am most happy sitting down with paper, thread a few colors of paint and me. Ideas come more freely to me when I have less supplies. Simple. I love simple. Creating something beautiful with just a few things. That to me is always inspiring.

What is the one thing you hope we remember from your workshop?

Giving yourself permission to not judge your art. The freedom to create with me and know that what you make is wonderful, it is a part of you and that is more then enough. I wish to share my passion, my love for giving, my need for sharing ideas and new ways of getting yourself out of being stuck and self judgement. I am blessed with a gift of being able to help others create in new ways they never ever imagined. Gratefully.

Share something very few people know about you.

When I was 39 years old I was told that I had a 50/50 chance of surviving a renal artery aneurysm. I went through a very invasive surgery and truly am a miracle to be alive. My living and loving life has changed in the way that I treat my days and moments here on earth. I am very appreciative of everything I get to experience and live. I have a new found love for noticing, listening and seeing details that fill my life up more richly.

Kelli’s love for the artists’ life is contagious, isn’t it? Enjoy her workshop and if you’d like to get to know even more about her, check her out here:

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Kelli-MayKrenz_headshotAbout Kelli

I see the world in layers of textures, colors, details and stories; hope, cheerfulness and wonder.
I find meaning and discovery in the littlest of moments.

Sitting down with simple supplies, I move pieces around, taking time to notice the details. Noticing helps me know when a piece is complete. This exploration shows me my own authenticity again and again.

Art is my soul-filling place and I go to it each day. I teach by exploring techniques that are mindfully healing. Expressing feelings, using papers, paints, threads and words, I have the gift of showing others how to put away self-judgment and create from a spirit-filled, peaceful place.


Kelli is teaching Journal Pages & Custom Envelopes

Starting with simple supplies, we will create a full spread of a journal and a handmade envelope that houses your journal. This could also be thought
of as handmade card. Using tons of techniques I love, we will layer and build beautiful art that feels like an heirloom piece to pass down. I love the feel of vintage and starting with new and vintage papers we will create a very layered vintage piece of art.

Some of the supplies are brown paper grocery bags, acrylic paints, glue stick, thread & needle, sewing machine (only if you have one) not necessary you can stitch by hand. A few random beads, ribbons or cloth and the desire to create with wild abandon.

The steps I guide you through can be used in all of your mixed media, paper journals, cards and so much more. I love layering bits and creating magic with lots of pieces ~ I know that you will too.

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