• About A Girl: Kenesha Sneed

    Kenesha Sneed, we want to be your best friend. Get to know this LA illustrator, ceramicist, and animator whose creativity knows no bounds (and who makes it all look so easy!) We spent the day with her at home and in her studio to discuss fall uniforms, a love of all things denim, and how to do things your own way. 
    Photos by Emily Knecht

    Above: BDG Denim Button-Down, High-Rise Girlfriend Jeans

    Who is Kenesha Sneed?
    I’m a…designer, illustrator, ceramic maker, nerd, friend, foodie, plant enthusiast

    Describe your path to doing what you’re doing now — were you constantly creating growing up or did you come into it later? Can you share more about your background?
    I grew up an hour north of Los Angeles and as a kid I was always interested in artsy projects, either painting, sewing clothes, or taking photos of any and everything. My mother, even though she never pursued an artistic field herself, was the most creative person I knew. I’ve always looked to her unique style as inspiration for developing my own.

    Before attending Otis College of Art, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to focus on but became interested in motion design during my second year. After graduating and spending years creating on the computer, I took a few ceramics classes and was soon obsessed with using clay in between working full time. When I purchased my first wheel, I was working out of my tiny kitchen getting clay everywhere! After a few months of carefully trying to transport my pieces down to a community studio for firing, a friend of mine Ria Leigh asked if I was interested in jointing her ceramic studio. Of course I took that opportunity and though she has since moved, I couldn’t be more grateful to be left with this workspace I now call my own.After recently leaving my position as Art Director at one of my favorite design studios, Buck...I now work independently as an illustrator / ceramicist here in Los Angeles!

    You do a lot of different things! From animation/digital design to ceramics, can you share more about the value that comes from having your hands (literally) in a lot of different projects?
    Both pixels and clay are two of the main ways I choose to express myself creatively so I don’t feel the unnecessary pressure to choose one or the other, which is a refreshing feeling. I like the balancing act, I’ve always lived my life with new projects on my mind and the thought of not having that freedom is always a scary one. I feel I’m at my best and learning the most when I’ve got a full plate.

    What projects are you working on right now?
    I’m currently working on commissions both in illustration and ceramics. Today I spent half the day working from home on the computer and the other half in my ceramic studio finishing orders.

    Tell us something we don’t know about animation.
    here’s so many artistic thinkers that go into developing and creating an animation whether it be the story boarders, designers, animators, directors, producers. It takes a diverse team to bring to life a finished spot.

    Tell us something we don’t know about ceramics.
    Working with a natural material requires patience and sensitivity. As for my process, the handmade nature of each item is not always consistent and the smallest detail can make all the difference. 

    List 5 things that have been inspiring to you lately…
    1. The “Vision” neon sign that hangs in my studio, given to me by my former studiomate Ria Leigh. It’s mesmerizing and full of her energy.
    2. Learning to make DIY wood furniture 
    3. Hiking / taking in mountain views
    4. Neighborhood landscaping and gardens full of cactuses 
    5. Good conversations with friends 

    Above: High-rise white jeans, denim shell tank

    Do you have a daily routine? 
    I try not to take my routine too seriously, especially since each day might present a new task, so my approach is to work hard while enjoying my time throughout the day. Usually I start with a cup of coffee while reading through emails, then I’ll prep or send off order shipments. Before morning’s over, I’m either at my ceramic studio or deep into my computer. Throughout the day you’ll find me listening to music and taking a few moments to sketch out ideas but it usually always finishes with good food and conversation.

    What’s your daily uniform, if you have one?
    It’s going to be so obvious but I basically live in denim. I don’t know if I consciously try to wear it all the time more than it’s just the easiest and comfortable things I own. I’ve lately been trying to wear more color and prints but denim will always be my go-to.

    Describe your style in four words.
    Carefree. Minimal. Comfy. Mixed bag.

    The best advice I’ve been given is…
    The only thing that prevents you from doing something for yourself, is yourself. -mom

    Something few people know about me is…
    Some of my favorite moments are spent after a long day shamelessly relaxing in comfortable sweats on the couch while watching Netflix. 

    Who are some of your favorite artists?
    This is always a tough one for me since I’m a fan of a lot of creative people who I draw inspiration from in one way or another. So I’ll just name friends, who are creatives / all around inspiring women: Aiesha Mannle, Sarah Blank, Ann Friedman, Aminatou Sow, Allison Kaylor, Georgia Tribuiani, Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs, Ria Leigh, Lauren Machen. 

    The last great book I read was…
    “Natural Fashion: Tribal Decoration from Africa.” A quick read yet an abundant amount of visual inspiration from the beautiful textures to cultural creativity found in Africa.  

    The last great film I saw was…
    I recently watched a documentary called “Crafted” which follows the lives of five artisans from around the world. It’s always inspiring listening to stories about people doing what they feel passionate about and just doing you.

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