We had the good fortune of connecting with Kayla Gilbert and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kayla, what matters most to you?
When it comes to my art, it’s most important to me that it’s genuine. I dabble in a lot of different styles and content because I really just enjoy creating – it’s part of who I am. That said, as a commission artist my most satisfying component is that my client loves their product and is proud to show it off. Whether a pet portrait or a business logo, I want to create art that people can really connect to.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a vegan artist, primarily making digital artwork inspired by plants, foods, animals, and nature. I’ve also been an avid community organizer in the Denver area for over a decade, putting on vegan events like Chomp!, Neat Market, and Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale. Over the past several years, I’ve had the opportunity to co-create intersection murals in several locations in Denver with other local artists, community partners, and amazing volunteers of all ages. Getting involved in my community at a young age really helped shape who I am and how I approach my art and business on a collaborative level. I enjoy working with others to accomplish larger goals. My experience with volunteering and leading community events has also taught me to be responsive, adaptable, and always eager to learn new skills. It hasn’t always been easy, but I really enjoy expanding my portfolio in new and unique ways. You never know what you can do until you really try, and even most failures are at least learning opportunities.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is a tough question to answer since the pandemic hit. A year ago I was promoting some of my favorite local businesses that have since closed, like Alternation Brewing and Beet Box Bakery. Over the past year, I’ve been cooking at home way more; sourdough bread, chocolate chip cookies, indian food, and vegan quesadillas have been some of my favorite recipes lately. Once it’s safe to get out and about again, I’d definitely take my friends out to Nooch Vegan Market for vegan snacks and grocery items, visit Vegan Van for delicious food, try out the new Green Bus Cafe, hit up all the local breweries, grab coffee at Roostercat, and see some local hip hop or metal shows.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I originally co-founded Blackheart Creations, LLC, in 2013 with my friend Melanie, who was an inspirational partner in cooking delicious vegan food, making contacts, and learning how to run a little side business. While I primarily focus on art today, I still love the craft of vegan baking and often incorporate food and recipes into my art projects. My partner (aka Just Emcee) has always supported my incessant art, crafting, and baking habits. He’s also become a major creative collaborator on video and animation, as we take on larger projects together. Not to mention, his own artistic endeavors in music consistently inspire me! Last but not least, a huge thanks to my family and friends who always encouraged my creativity, particularly my parents who spent countless dollars on art supplies, musical instruments, lessons, and everything else in between.

Website: https://www.blackheartcreations.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blackheartcreations/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/blackheartden

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlackheartCreations/

Other: Redbubble Shop: http://redbubbleus.sjv.io/zL1eW Society6 Shop: https://society6.com/blackheartcreations?curator=blackheartcreations Giphy: https://giphy.com/blackheartcreations

Image Credits
1. Sticker Sheet by Blackheart Creations 2. Green Bus Cafe – logo design by Blackheart Creations. Photo by Green Bus Cafe 3. Sticker Sheets by Blackheart Creations 4. Blackheart Creations art booth at Roostercat Coffee House, Nov 2020 5. Intersection mural at Munroe Elementary, art by Blackheart Creations, Santiago Jaramillo. and Ratha Sok – Photo by Travis Conklin, F4D Studio, Sep 2020 6. Original artwork by Blackheart Creations 7. Original artwork by Blackheart Creations 8. Original artwork by Blackheart Creations

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.