Friday, November 15, 2013

Sirena...Part Deux

This image was created last year for a special letterpress edition which was a popular hit. Always looking for ways to make my work tactile and organic, I re-worked this image to include in this year's "Driftwood" Exhibit. Check out the finished piece below!

Dual Show with Christie Shinn @ Greenroom Hawaii

I just laid down the finishing touches on five new pieces for my upcoming show at Greenroom Hawaii. This new series, inspired by the ocean and beach living, is a special one for me as it is the first time I'm featuring prints on wood.

As with last year's Internacional Show, I will only be releasing a one-of-a-kind print of each image. Each print is created on sustainable wood with a unique organic grain. All pieces are UV cured and embellished for some interesting 3D effects. What can I say, I love tactile art!

In addition, I'm excited to be showing alongside one of my personal favorites Christie Shinn. I consider Shinn to be among the most graphically talented and bold painters on the island and one of the first artists to encourage me when I arrived on Oahu in '09. We are so stoked for this dual exhibit.

Finally, this will be my last show before the new baby arrives. Yes, you heard right...Madame Kat is having a wee lil' one! I'll be ready to pop but super excited to be among friends and of course, the fans whom I love so much.

A special thanks to my friends at Greenroom Hawaii for their constant support and loyalty.

Hope to see you all there Saturday, Nov. 23rd from 6-9pm!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Loco Boutique Exclusive!

This Fall/Winter season I'm featuring a limited release with Loco Boutique. This specialty store, carrying contemporary swimmwear, features sexy pieces, printed right here in Hawaii. I created this image "Joyride" as a custom design for Hawaii-based Surfer Girl Academy back in 2011. Ever since, it's become part of the official Surfer Girl Academy uniform--which I find totally awesome!

After many requests from fans, I decided to partner up with Loco Boutique for a limited release of exclusive swimmwear featuring "Joyride", now available at your local Loco Boutique stores for purchase.

The styles range from sexy bikinis to beach bags and even rompers! Whatever your style, they gotcha covered.

If you're lucky, you can still snag an item with the official "Kat Reeder for Loco Boutique" tag, which includes a special discount code for purchases through my online store...just in time for the holidays!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Why Dove's "Real Beauty" campaign is B.S.

Dove recently embarked on an experiment to find out how women truly see themselves. The company recruited a group of women of different backgrounds and asked Gil Zamora, an FBI-trained forensic artist, to create sketches based on descriptions of the women's own facial features. In the above video, produced by Dove, the company attempts to highlight how most women don't see themselves as beautiful. It is by all accounts, an eye-opening experiment brought to us by Dove, a company whose "Real Beauty" campaigns have aimed to uplift women in recent years. It is a brilliant marketing strategy, one with an earnest social message perhaps. But, this is why I'm calling bullshit.

The big problem with this experiment is fails to point out that a possible reason for the disparities in both sketches is not that women see themselves as ugly, but rather more accurately. If you listen closely, the "stranger" who was asked to describe the person had only spent a few minutes with them. You can see they are being polite and careful in their description, using flattering phrases such as "she had nice eyes". This is typical for anyone trying to describe a friend or new acquaintance. If these same folks had been asked to describe this person for forensic reasons (i.e. to solve a crime), their depictions would be more practical and realistic.

On the other hand, the women describing themselves are doing so honestly. We know our faces better than anyone. We know every freckle, wrinkle and bump on our face. Therefore it is natural to describe ourselves in more specific terms than a total stranger. For Dove to ascribe self-hatred to the person is to claim they can somehow read their minds and hearts, which they cannot. This is a subjective assessment devoid of any real psychology or science.

The saddest part of the segment is the moment the women see their sketches for the first time. Some are brought to tears, and Dove quickly concludes this is due to the women's sudden realization that they see themselves as unattractive when compared to everyone else. In reality, they are reacting the way any person would react upon seeing an unflattering sketch of themselves. 

If these women did not see themselves as ugly, they sure did after Dove told them so --and that's the ironic twist. Dove convinced them they were weak, self-loathing women with no grasp of reality. Dove, therefore, becomes the vehicle for self-awareness and female empowerment, forging a very powerful link between the brand and feeling good about ourselves. Saying you need the brand because you're emotionally insecure is a brilliant strategy employed by the beauty industry quite effectively. 

As an artist depicting women of all ethnic backgrounds, I've learned to deconstruct my subject's description of themselves to find their true essence. A "true to life" sketch isn't about drawing every physical detail but rather about capturing the spirit of that person. For me, I don't listen for what's said, but rather how it is said. I believe a third sketch, one created by a graphic artist, would better reflect how these women truly see themselves. 

This was a daring experiment by Dove but sadly it missed the mark. What a shame.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

My visit to Ronald McDonald House of Hawaii

I had the pleasure of visiting the Ronald McDonald House Hawaii last week. It was a visit I looked forward to after my Internacional Art Show in December where I pledged a portion of sales to this great organization.

I was greeted by the incredibly warm staff who kindly gave me a personal tour of this beautiful home in Manoa. As expected, the house is a warm and inviting place. Upon entering you are greeted by a great family room, spacious kitchen and fully-equiped children's playroom. The house is bright and spacious but more than that, there is a real feeling of happiness all around.

RMHH has created a nurturing haven for families going through one of the most emotional challenges in life---caring for ailing child. A traumatic experience becomes a loving and positive one for families in this wonderful home-away-from-home.

There are many ways to contribute to RMHH. You may donate funds or donate items from their wish list (available at You may also volunteer as extra-hands around the house, property maintenance/beautification teamwork or to cook for the families at Judd House (Sundays are especially needed).

I want to send a big mahalo to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Hawaii for taking the time to meet with me and for showing around the property. It was great to meet you all.

For more info please visit

Newest Private Commission-David & Marta

I'm often asked why I don't draw more boys. My work tends to be female-centered because local girls are just so beautiful. I've wanted to include more kanes in my work so I was excited when this newest commission came in (and just in time for Valentine's Day!)

David and Marta, a young couple from Jersey, asked me to create a romantic image based on their travels to the Hawaii. I often ask clients for personal photographs and anecdotes that might inspire a beautiful piece. David and Marta did not disappoint. One photo stood out to me immediately and it was the one of Rainbow Falls. 

Rainbow Falls is a waterfall located in Hilo, Hawaii. This beautiful spot boasts an 80 ft. water drop into a circular pool, where rainbows can be often be seen in the midst. It is nestled in lush foliage, reminiscent of a Jurassic era. It seems undisturbed, untouched and exotic.

I chose this spot as the backdrop for my couple. I envisioned a young kane serenating his lovely wahine as her hula hands sway in the morning breeze. Romantic, no?
The image above is a sample screen cap of the line work. I like to document the various stages of my work to create a visual timeline. In this initial stage the line work is cleaned up and solid colors are being laid out.

I take inspiration from things around me. Her flower was inspired by a photo my brother shared with me of the most beautiful hibis. I just had to work it into my painting!

I guess this image marks my first depiction of a local boy. Yay! This was a fun image to create not only for the subject matter but because my Jersey couple was so great to work with. Below is a photo they sent me this week of the finished piece in their home.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Maryknoll School Student Meet-and-Greet

So much has happened since my last post in December. I'm still getting a hang of this blog thang so please excuse me for the delayed posts.

Before my "Internacional" show closed in January, I had the chance to meet a group of students from Maryknoll School in Honolulu. Mr. Cramer, the spanish instructor from this school, asked if he could bring his spanish-class students to meet me, see the artwork, and hopefully practice their spanish. I thought this was such a cool idea!

It was a fun chat with the students. They asked me great questions in spanish! They learned a little about my show, my work, and where I come from in Peru. It was great to see students from such diverse ethnic backgrounds learning and taking an interest in latin culture.

I want to give kudos again to Mr. Cramer from Maryknoll School for taking such a hands-on approach to teaching and for allowing me to connect with his students in such a special way!