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

Hi Krista, Let’s talk about principles and values – what matters to you most?
The highest value, I think, is within the deepest good. Value is in truth.  I started to get this very odd feeling of being homesick sometime during childhood.  It was excruciating.  Like a void, dense as the ocean floor.  I speak not of an earth “home”, but a place from which I am deeply connected.  It was an overwhelming sense of alienation that would knock me out like a ton of bricks.  I was so far disconnected from the origin of my true being.  I was a little different as a kid.  I think my sensitivities made socializing very difficult.  I picked up on underlying currents within situations and I was very much scared of my position in this finely tuned matrix.  I suppose the cruel introduction to politics within humanity was the beginning of my discontent.  They say that you are the smartest you will ever be, on the day you are born.  I was a very perceptive child.  I loved to color, draw, and play outside.  “The unexamined life is not worth living”- Socrates. I find that I identify with a vast and sometimes contradictory menagerie of theories and concepts. Life is not static, and I do not subscribe to any one concrete belief. Beliefs are preconceived notions based upon what is known. If new information is presented that may contradict those beliefs, there is a process of cognitive dissonance that occurs. Denial is an extreme emotional state that is highly powerful. Denial stands in the way of truth. As a seeker of the truth, discarding belief is to consciously avoid cognitive dissonance. I choose to allow myself a fluid existence, and a fighting chance of reaching full psychological “individuation”. It is the autonomous process of accomplishing individual wholeness experienced as a psychological completeness. In C.G. Jung’s terms, the individuation means the realization of the Self, which is the conjunction of the conscious and the unconscious. Today I think that individuation is my highest priority as a human being. To honor the deepest good, one must know one’s self. What I know as truth at this very moment, will change and I am humbly prepared to adapt to new philosophies, theories, and concepts.  In essence, I am committed to finding my home.  The closer I get, the closer I find myself to the day I was born.  The waves of “home sickness” start to fade as I find myself gravitating back toward the affinities of my childhood, like drawing and playing. I am living my own hero’s journey.  I connect to the ideas/theories presented by Alan Watts, C.G. Jung, Joseph Campbell, Jesus of Nazareth, Nikola Tesla, Einstein, Socrates, and Siddhatta Gotama to name a few.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
artby13 is a visual exploratory project that is ever evolving, branching out and revisiting new territories as the happening unfolds. Although we are each unique individuals, we are all tied to the collective, and as such share a collective understanding. The visual images are meant to be a fluid and uncontrolled channeling of consciousness converted to a tangible art form. Each piece reflects a dynamic human artist with a mental, physical, and emotional perspective located in non-static space time. Despite our undeniable individuality, we are one. There is no target audience or specific style. I myself am however, drawn to illustration, word play, and both free ranging substrates and mediums. Currently, I am primarily working in acrylic paint concentrated on small scale canvas, metal, recycled trash, and wood panels. I find delight in play/experimentation, and ongoing studies of my favorite visual artists. This project inspired by divinity and necessity, was birthed on Friday the 13th, 1987, my birthday. My interests include music, philosophy, iconography, history, literature, science, religion, mythology, art, culture, sociology, Jungian psychology, and the great unknown. These works exist between tragedy and humor, truth and fiction, boundaries and full absorption, insecurity and self-validation, love and hatred; all driven by non-censored free thinking. The artistic endeavor seeks to both verbally and non-verbally question the audience and myself simultaneously. Do we speak the same language? I utilize artwork to allow empty space within myself to practice control in a chaotic reality. A blend of intentional and subconscious desires is released in a therapeutic display of concepts, emotions, and statements imperative to the heart and soul. Each piece pays tribute to evolution with a basis in the mathematical concept of infinity. I suppose I am most proud of the work I put into my art. Even working a full time up until March, I have been able to fit in hours upon hours after work. I have yet to throw in the towel despite constant rejection and exhaustion. I want people to know that I started playing around with a childhood passion (drawing), dropped it for almost 20 years, and picked it up again. It has been an invaluable therapy and lightened up my future seeing the power that I possess to create. I want to encourage other people to seek out what painting has done for me. Everything is tough in the beginning! Give painting or drawing a shot! Don’t tell me you can’t draw… you just haven’t practiced enough!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My favorite spot is Golden, CO. I moved here in 2015 from Steamboat, CO and I love it. I do miss living in a resort town but the front range has some great benefits. Downtown Golden is so chill and the river is beautiful. It is also pretty exhilarating on an innertube! I typically take people over to Red Rocks for a hike since it’s right down the road from my house. Once shows are back on, best believe I will be going to see as much live music as I can afford! If someone were to visit during ski season you could find us at Loveland Ski Resort. Who knows what pass I will end up with next season, but Loveland this year has been relatively low key and no reservation nonsense. I love this secret lake that I will never disclose of publicly! I only take the coolest people there!! Woody’s Pizza and D Deli down in Golden have great food. Over Yonder Brewery sits right off the Morrison exit on 70. They have great beer, a sweet location next to Red rocks, and support local artists such as myself.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout feature to my family, friends, my dogs, and supporters. My parents and sisters offer nothing but support and encouragement. I am very fortunate to have such tight knit relationships with my immediate family. I feel a deep responsibility to be an ethical and moral person for them as well as my ancestors. I also feel a deep desire to carry on where my deceased ancestors left off. A majority of my family were artists who never took the leap. My great grandmother applied to art school and was not accepted. Her husband dropped out of school in sixth grade because the middle school required he participate in a theatre production. He was incredibly shy and fearful. My uncle and grandmother also painted. I push myself to improve for them and take the family love of art to places they could only imagine. My youngest sister recently started pursuing film production and we push/support one another’s endeavors. Having an artistic sibling is such a joy. Despite a masters degree in accounting, I know that my art is where time is lost. When I create art, I feel a purpose. I feel God working through my hands, heart, and mind. I decided to put my faith and energy into my artistic journey once covid hit and I feel so much peace. I want to thank my dear friends for putting up with me, buying my art, and supporting all of my shows. Bill Thomason at Bitfactory gave me my first exhibit and several since. Krysta Abesamis is a gem who has been carrying my work at Kowen Gallery. Asher Brewery, and Over Yonder Brewery are currently carrying a bit of my work so I am incredibly grateful to have these opportunities.

Website: www.artby13.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/art.by.13/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/artby13/

Other: My personal IG account @13_fridaythe

Image Credits
Peter Massee

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.