INTERVIEW: Mikayla Gierut Talks About Her Brand “KaylaRae Resin Designs” and more

So from my understanding, your company started by using art as a form of therapy – can you walk us through this?

Of course! Resin really taught me to lose control over being “perfect… 

This medium flows like honey when first mixed, and takes several days for my art pieces to fully cure. During this span of time, the resin stretches and moves across my canvas. Once cured, the result can look far different than when it was first poured and there is no going back. 

When I graduated college in 2017 with a degree in Environmental Science from a top ranked climate change research University, I had this enormous passion for sustainability and plant science. However, I had no desire to end up working in a lab for the rest of my life… I felt like I lost control of what I wanted from a career and forgot who I really was deep down.

So, what did I do? I went back to my roots. Art had always come natural to me. not that I was some crazy prodigy as a kid, but when I came across resin art, I just had this patience with the learning process and sudden fascination with challenge that I hadn’t found towards anything else in my life. I would just dive into my artwork for hours on end, sunrise to sunset, then sit up for the rest of the night excited walk into the studio the next morning and see how the pieces turned out.

 It was then that I had this gut feeling and thought to myself, THIS IS IT… this is what I am supposed to be doing right now! Let’s see how this pans out… 

Were you any hesitant at first of going into the project?

At first, no. I had nothing to lose. I had the luxury of living at home with my parents at the time, and I was just trying to take care of my mental health by putting my heart first. However, I remember thinking to myself time and time again, all fun must eventually come to an end… how long do you think you will get away doing this without income?

What was it that finally convinced you to give the leap of faith?

My friends were all getting salaried jobs, and as I had predicted, I was running out of time. To add to the growing cloud over my head, my parents had suddenly divorced. I was torn emotionally in so many directions.

 At this point, I still had no job leads so I kind of said “screw it” and signed up for my very first pop up market on Black Friday in a little boutique at the mall.

Long story Short, I sold out, so I signed up again on a whim, and I sold out again… it was so unexpected!  I then decided to just go with the flow and see where it would take me while staying persistent!  

From all the art forms out there, why did you choose to go with Resin?

I was fascinated with Surfboard art. If you didn’t already know, Resin is the same material that is used to give surfboards their glassy and solid finish. I don’t personally surf but my boyfriend of 9 years does, so I guess you could say I was forced into the surf culture haha. 

After investigating further into the medium, I loved the way resin moved across the surface and discovered its ability to be layered to create multidimensional effects. It really set it apart from other artworks I’ve ever seen. The only problem about pursuing resin art is there was little to no tutorials online how to use it at the time. I was attracted to this challenge (which led to LOTS of trial and error), but I eventually discovered my core technique and style!

With the intention of making eco-friendly products and resin being not
precisely that – did you think about going with something else?

Actually, the resin I primarily use is bio based (derived from plants) and its entire production is run on renewable resources! Also, my studio produces almost no waste… I collect and recycle all of my resin scraps to create new art. Some popular products I have created in the past with these resin scraps would be Jewelry, gift tags, and even new artworks all together! 

What made you eventually go with Resin?

Well, when I entered the world of Resin art, I knew that the typical epoxy resin was known for releasing high amounts of VOC’s and is commonly petroleum based. After some research, I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon these small businesses at the time whose sustainability values closely aligned with mine! It was a no brainer. 

Where do you typically draw inspiration for your work?

Coastal environments 1000%! I have learned resin techniques over the years to emulate the ocean, as well as geographic formations such as marble, sandstone, and quartz. The beach has always been a huge part of my life considering where I live, and I am lucky enough to just take a quick drive down to the ocean for some color studies and a breath of fresh air.

What would you say is the most challenging aspect of working on the
grazing boards?

I would say the demand! Over the past month, I have found it almost impossible to build my grazing board inventory as they keep flying off the shelves! That’s a good problem to have, I guess. 

My grazing boards are an art in themselves. Each one takes me about 3 days to make plus the time it takes for my woodworker to shape each board by hand! There is A LOT of love and hard work being poured into each work, and my hope is that people who purchase a grazing board can appreciate all the little details while knowing that each piece is one-of-a-kind. 

What else is happening next in your world? Any new collections we
should stay tuned for?

Yes! The Summer Collection VOL. II is set to be dropped on my website June 30th at 10am and I will be announcing the official theme of the collection this coming Monday on June 8th. I have been planning this theme for months now, so I am super excited to finally get it off the ground and present it to the world!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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