Kristen Margiotta is a painter and a freelance illustrator based in Delaware. If you’re interested in contacting Kristen to help with your illustration project, or in regards to gallery representation, please use the Contact Page, or email directly (Kristenmargiotta@aol.com) and she will respond in a timely manner.
Kristen Margiotta received a BFA from the University of Delaware in 2005 where she majored in Visual Communications/ Illustration. Since then, she’s been exhibiting, illustrating books, and been involved in some pretty cool projects and events.
Kristen’s love for the old world, the Old Masters as Caravaggio, Bernini, Michelangelo, history, music, and childhood interests have shaped and inspired her works today. She is inspired by the past and imagery that is timeless combined with the beauty she finds in the macabre and bizarre.
Her characters are very expressive, even when lacking normal features as noses, and fingers. Dripping candles, glistening chandeliers, dramatic lighting, and lush drapery establish the mood. You can feel the drama unfolding as you look deeper into each image.
My paintings first begin as rough sketches, building the ideas through drawing first. I’ve created an imaginary world, the Other World, filled with nemeses, dark shadows, and sweet, large eyes characters. All of my works come from the same place, and the story keeps expanding. Many times people ask me if my character Cherry is me. And she is. Don’t take it all so literally though, I just use my own visual language to tell the tale. Themes such as fear and loneliness pervade my work. I think we can all relate to that.
My hope is that people will feel something, being drawn into this different world. Maybe its escapism or it helps them in some way. A collector had said it brings them joy seeing my work everyday. That’s a special thing. People’s reactions are always intriguing, it means something different to everyone. ” That’s how I feel, or did during a very specific time”…”thats ME.” Or they get very excited, that childlike response of seeing something new. That’s the best. I like watching people react, especially when they don’t know it’s me.
Shadows…they’re empty and nothing but somehow play on our fears. I am constantly exploring shadows in my work. Are they real, imagined, or something tangible? They are fun and challenging to paint and something I’ve explored since college, and possibly prior.
Being a painter and an illustrator is synonymous for me.
Both explore problem solving, but the problems are either my own or derive from a client. Stylistically they are similar, but I can expand on my own personal imagery in my fine art work. I think my paintings are visual stories that ignite that childhood spark in all of us. I have always expressed an interest for Halloween and spooky visuals. I wonder if I am trying to experience the same feelings I had as a child when enjoying my favourite creepy animation or picture book. I don’t think we ever know why we create, or have the need to. We just do. Whatever the cause may be behind why I make the images I do, I want to take the viewer to an imaginary place where they can dream, fear, and laugh.
Margiotta has exhibited her work regionally and throughout the U.S. for over 13 years, and has been represented by the notable Pop Gallery in Santa Fe, NM since 2009, home to artists as Daniel Martin Diaz, Miss Mindy, Chris Peters, as well as renown artists and cartoonists as Dr. Seuss and Charles M. Schultz. In 2012, Margiotta displayed her work at AFA Gallery in NYC, the exhibit also featuring work by Dr. Seuss, Charles Schulz, and modern visionaries as Travis Louie, Nicoletta Ceccoli, and Kathie Olivas. Margiotta’s work is found in the homes of private collectors all over the country. She continues to exhibit her work, and especially enjoys participating in music/art events as the Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market, NJ, where she has the opportunity to meet and talk with people of all ages and backgrounds who have a passion for music and art.
Margiotta has illustrated several picture books, including Better Haunted Homes and Gardens, with Imaginary Books / Raw Dog Screaming Press. She is currently illustrating a series of 6 books in the Gustav Gloom book series through Grosset & Dunlap of Penguin Random House. The books are found nationally and in many foreign countries. Additional international licensing is currently underway.
Margiotta has also been an instructor of art since 2004. She currently teaches private art
lessons and classes at Center for the Creative Arts, Yorklyn, DE.
Kristen also hosts The Oddball Art Hall (Fb: @oddballarthall) with her friend and colleague Pat Higgins every 3rd Friday at Oddity Bar, Wilmington DE. This unique event combines artists selling original work, live drawing from a model, and DJ spinning vinyl records. Free event ages 21+.