Who are you, where are you located, what do you do? What art forms do you most identify with? How and when did you start making art?
My name is Kennedy Marley and I’m the owner & artist behind Wild Soul Magic Heart, a lifestyle & embroidery blog. I create hand embroidery art, inspired by nature, magic, and most times Beyonce. I started embroidery nearly a 2 years ago as a way to de-stress and escape my oh-so busy brain for a short period of time. Everyone loved my pieces so much, I started posting them to social media and eventually turning it into the small business that it is today!
What inspires you?
As previously mentioned I am inspired by nature, magic, and Beyonce. Nature has always been a part of me, ever since I was able to walk. I remember hiking through the forest with my grandmother. As a young child I was always outside investigating caterpillar nests, picking flowers, and anything else to do with the outdoors. Since those are my most vivid childhood memories, I felt it was important to incorporate that into my art. And of course Beyonce, an inspiration in my current stage of life. I know it’s pretty basic & I feel like everyone says that but it’s true. I am greatly inspired by all women of colour changing the whole game! It makes me feel a whole new kind of fierce.
How do you avoid self isolation as an artist? Are there places you tend to visit or people you tend to turn to as a way of taking a break or staying inspired?
Self isolation is definitely something I struggle with when it comes to creating. Especially in an art form that involves concentration. I find myself quite often checking my phone to only find that 4 hours have past of me sitting in one spot, it’s great for productivity but one can only handle so much. As a solution I will pack up my current embroidery project and go to a friends, or even just moving to a different spot of my house can make all the difference. In the summers its all the more relaxing to sit outside whilst stitching.
Professionally, what is your ultimate goal as an artist? Do you feel that this goal is attainable in your local area? If NO, how do you plan to make this goal a reality?
I think like many artists my ultimate goal is to live sustainably off of my art. I would absolutely love to stitch all day with my cat and bring in enough money doing so. BUT if we’re going to daydream for a minute here, thinking about how I like to see myself in a few years… I’m travelling the world, stitching, and blogging all about it! I DO think this Is achievable but will in bring in a steady income? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Shopping local is a great movement, sweeping cities worldwide. Do you feel that this movement is being well implemented in your local area and Canada as a whole?
Shopping local amazes me. I love the rewarding feeling you get when you purchase something crafted with love, and determination. The movement has done so much for makers who are unable to work, their mental health, and overall lifestyle. I find that with shopping local also comes with the complaint of prices, which personally doesn’t bother me but I can understand how it may turn people away. Just know that when you are paying for something like that, you’re not contributing to large companies, you are helping a maker live their best life! In my town (Niagara Falls) the shopping local movement is most definitely implemented in a positive way. We have so many amazing small business, and handmade markets monthly! It’s such an amazing way to bring communities together!
Instagram is an incredible tool for exposing your work and meeting new people. Do you feel that Instagram has taken your creative business in a positive direction?
I have such a love/hate relationship with Instagram (like most social media) but its such an amazing tool to get your work out there & seen by so many people! If the whole ‘who has most followers/likes’ was taken out of it, I think it would be so much MORE enjoyable for makers. I feel that they often get discouraged and think that they’re work isn’t good enough because so and so has 17k followers and they only have 300. So I think with social media of any type comes personal reminders… that your work isn’t defined by like and follows. But I am ever so grateful for the love + support shown daily towards my work, and I try to do the same to others as much as I can!
Are you open to collaborations and meeting new artists? What do you look for in an ‘art friend’?
YES! I am most definitely down to collaborate with artists & small business’s! One of my favourite things is sharing ideas, creations, and so much more with my fellow mutuals on social media. I love seeing how all embroidery artists have their little tips and different ways of doing things. In an art friend, I look for someone who is not afraid to showcase who they are and someone who has fierce-ness embedded into their heart.
From your experience as a maker, do you have any advice, suggestions or recommendations for SoulSpot readers?
As a fellow maker I think it’s CRUCIAL to not compare yourself to others. Doing so will result in not being as motivated to create, which is the exact opposite of what we’re trying to do here! So always make, make what comes from your heart, and do it courageously. As long as you are smiling, all is good in the world. Keep ya head up.
Note from the Editor:
Thank you so much to Kennedy from Wild Soul Magic Heart for participating in SoulSpot’s Meet the Makers! If you would like to see more of Kennedy’s work or to get in contact with her, find her on Instagram @wildsoulmagicheart.
Also reach her at:
If you wish to be featured, we are in search of artists from the Local GTA or surrounding area. Send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire (it’s free!).
Myiah from SoulSpot