Artist Feature: Chris Kemp

Artist Feature: Chris Kemp

Posted by Nicole Lennox on

For our brand new, heavily requested apparel line, we partnered with the talented artist, Chris Kemp, to create the Envision and Balance designs. Learn more about Chris and his inspiration for these graphics!


When and where did your artistic journey begin?

I’ve been drawing since I was a kid and throughout my college years (mostly just for fun).  Shortly after college, I moved to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  I would say I was on more of a journey of figuring out myself and what I wanted to with my life, looking back all that seems artistic now. I fell into more of a freelance career by painting surfboards for a local shaper there, designing merch and murals for his surf/skate shop.  Since then, I’ve had a regularly published comic for over 13 years, I’ve been doing all the art for a brewery in Charleston for 9 years, Cover art for the local Folly paper, and taken various roles in other creative projects for brands, events, and companies. Much of my work is by repeat clients.  I try to mostly work in markets that also interest me.  



What is your artistic style?  

I try not to stick to one thing in general.  Lately, I enjoy everything from painting on old surf fins to mixed medium pieces with spray paints, acrylics, and inks.  The best creativity really comes from me using what’s around and not overthinking anything too much.  My go-to for freelance work is usually illustration and branding projects.  


Where do you draw inspiration from?

Mostly, just from the world around me.  It’s usually pretty random, and I try not to dwell too long on anything before just jumping in.  I have an ongoing list of short thoughts, interesting animal encounters, or funny conversations that often spark an idea later.  Sometimes it depends on my mood or emotion that dictates the style and subject matter. When working on freelance projects, the general feel and aesthetic of that client is a good starting point for inspiration of an idea.       


Who do you look up to in your industry?

My industry really includes so many talented people.  I look up a lot to the designers, artists, and creatives who are staying focused on making work that includes hand-crafted techniques.  As much as technology has been amazing for designers, I often feel like we’re losing some of the original “hand-done” touches that originally inspired me.    I look up to anyone who is making cool things and having fun doing it.  


What training/certifications do you have?

As far as art and design goes, I’m self-taught.  Over the years, I’ve managed to be involved in various projects for over 15 years now spanning from murals, brand packaging, signage, product design, brand identity, marketing campaigns, and more.  I’ve figured out a lot along the way, and much of the time that was the best way to learn.   


How did you hear about Yoloha Yoga and why do you identify with us?

I’ve been around the Yoloha world since the very beginning, when it started from cork materials used to make surfboards.  Chris (the owner) and I were college friends and have remained close since.  I did some of the early Yoloha tee graphics as well as other design projects in the past.   



What inspired the Envision and Balance graphics?

Envision was a redux of an old design (almost ten years ago!)  Chris (the owner) had worn that tank top in some of the marketing videos and there were a lot of requests for it.  I’ve grown since then (as well as Yoloha) so it felt fitting for a refresh. 

Balance, aside from the classic icon commonly referred to as a Yin-Yang, shows a great juxtaposition and balance within it.  The characters stretching to form that shape just seemed like a great way to show how Yoga can be a push and pull, both mentally and physically. 


What role does yoga play in your life?

Yoga is part of my routine at home several times a week.  A good flow to start  the day helps keep me flexible and mentally prepared for the busy-ness of life in general.  I also enjoy a Power Yoga or Align and Flow Class across the street at the Yoloha Factory Studio.  Yoga keeps me strong, aware, and centered in my life. 


What is a mantra that you live by?

“The present is the present”  It’s very easy to be distracted in a world full of them.  I strive to be present, live everyday to the fullest, and surround myself with love and laughter-filled humans.  




You can keep up with Chris on social @sea_kemp

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