As an artist, I often take on every creative project I can get my hands on. I’ve frequently mentioned how this can be a multitasking (as well as a marketing) nightmare for me. Thanks to this brilliant aspect of overburdening myself, I am fortunately able to get quite a few things accomplished. This includes self-publishing my writing, photography and art as well as the growing collections of some of my grandiose projects that will forever be labeled as “works in progress.” So to help you people burn the candle at both ends, I created a self-publishing and marketing workshop. So let me ask you - Do you love to write? Do you want to publish your own novel, art or photography book? Do you want to learn how to better market yourself and your artwork? You can learn the ins and outs of self-publishing on May 18 and 19, 2013 at Sedona Arts Center, where I’ll be offering up tasty little bits of information in my two-day intensive workshop. Agreed – this particular blog is a little self-serving. But we’re artists! We need to be self-serving in order to serve others our creative talents. What comes around goes around? I’ve heard time and time again from artists, writers and photographers that they wish they could be published. For some the projects they have in mind are part of their souls, for others – just a creative coffee table book they always wanted to come to fruition. Whether you’ve been writing for years or just weeks – self-publishing is easier than ever in today’s do-it-yourself world. The first thing you need to do in every situation is to let go of fear. Without fear, your possibilities are endless. In my two-day workshop, I cover an overview of the publishing industry, publishing choices, print on demand, e-books and more. I show you all you need to know about self-publishing: the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’ll show you how to use Internet sources, i.e.,, and others to print your publication for little to no money down. You will learn how to format e-Books and get them sold at Amazon, the iBookstore,, and other online book retailers. I also will teach you how to effectively market your self-published book or art and how to make the best use of social networks to market yourself. This intensive two-day workshop will cover the publishing industry (including print on demand) on day one and then marketing, social media and promoting your work on day two. So if you’re available on May 18-19, in Sedona – join me for my workshop. It’s always a great time, with interesting people and stories. Sign up at Thanks for reading and stay-tuned next week as we delve into the world of art across the globe as we explore what’s trending in art. Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind. About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, teacher, marketing director and free thinker experiencing life in one of the most inspiring and picturesque places on earth with his fabulous wife and children.

immersion1In spite of school budget cuts and slimming programs, the Sedona Arts Center’s School of the Arts just wrapped up a three-day Arts Immersion with middle-school students at West Sedona School. This year Vince Fazio, the director of the School of the Arts at the arts center partnered with the new Sedona YMCA (at Posse Grounds Teen Center) and the City of Sedona’s Artists. In the “Classroom Project,” students were able to approach aspect of their curriculum through the arts by engaging in five different art projects designed to be both educational and fun!


These amazing projects are built around the Character Counts program originally created by the Josephson Institute and the YMCA. The pillars of character are trustworthiness, responsibility, caring, respect, fairness and citizenship. The program itself is used nationwide to reinforce character traits that help to enrich individual lives and build a sense of community. For example, students made six mosaic tile banners with Delfina and Franco Valentini portraying the six character traits in one particular project. Those banners will be mounted of the pillars of the school cafeteria. Students also did a collage project where they identified the character traits in magazine images and collaged the images into their own cast shadow.


They didn’t stop there!


Each student also worked with Libby Caldwell to create a unique handmade book that included a short story on one of the character traits as the first entry in their book. They also creatively interpreted the traits through a dance project led by Eric Aglia. The fifth project is a film about the overall immersion project. Students will study the filmmaking process, take raw footage and conduct interviews. This footage will then be edited during the following week in the new Afterschool Film Club sponsored by a grant from the Sedona Community Foundation. The Afterschool Film Club at the YMCA Teen Center will meet to edit versions of the film on the theme of Art-making the week after the immersion. The sessions will be overseen by YMCA staff and taught by Ron Melmon and they will take place at the West Sedona School Digital Media Lab. Participants in the project will learn about using iMovie to edit film, creating a story with imagery, voice, text, graphics and music. The After School Film Club will continue after spring break at the YMCA with at least two other film projects on the themes of Nature and Imagination.


The arts are alive in Sedona and with our children thanks to the efforts of resourceful groups and your tax credits and donations. Sedona Arts Center continues the outreach programs at the local level to enrich the lives of our creative children. I look forward to working to help expand the programs and do my part at the arts center to nurturing creative discovery, learning and sharing through arts education and artistic development.


Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.

About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, teacher, marketing director and free thinker experiencing life in one of the most inspiring and picturesque places on earth with his fabulous wife and children.

art_blogIt’s time to kick off the New Year with new inspiration! Every year, millions of people resolve to do something new or unique. They decide it’s time to shed some pounds, eat healthier, exercise more, create more or find more time to relax. Instead of creating resolutions that are broken within the first few hours of making them – let’s just be great examples to everyone we meet. Share, care, love, laugh, live, inspire, create and educate. We have the ability to make the world a fantastic work of art, so let’s come together and make it so.


Not long ago I posted a beautiful picture of red rocks, roots and desert brush on Instagram. One of my friends was inspired enough to want to paint the picture…. So immediately I exclaimed, “Go for it!” This brought into the question of rights and usage and she pondered, “Are you sure?” - which got me thinking. We live in a world of copyrights, laws and owners rights claims that stifle even the inspiration of our friends. My answer was (of course) that she should paint it immediately and don’t bother with ‘credits’ because inspiration comes from all around us. I’m sure that response could begin a heated debate of copyright law and questions like, “What if she makes a million dollars off that image?” or “Who owns the original rights?” But that’s not the topic I’m covering in this blog.


I want to talk about inspiration. I am fortunate enough to be influenced at work daily by artists using different mediums – everything from paint to clay to metal. The inspiration doesn’t stop there though, because as I flip through social media each day I see creative words and works that influence me even more. Then I proceed to be inspired by my wife, my children, my neighbors, friends, Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart. The world around me helps to shape my creative flow that culminates in the creation of words, images or a new thought process that will undoubtedly influence those around me as well. We inspire each other with every action we take and with every painting we paint. Are these creations solely ours, or a part of a collective universe of all the matter we see, feel, hear and touch around us? Or is this all simply a part of the human ego?


I’m sure I can easily be challenged for asking this question. I dare not delve into the world of ego too deeply within this blog (especially since I mentioned Stephen Colbert – You’re welcome Stephen, for the Klymenko *bump*). I will, however lightly brush the surface of this subject ever so gently for the sake of completing this thought I started...


I am most definitely aware of any reason we would carefully ask for permission before using images, words, etc. As the marketing director of the arts center here – I know how important it is to artists, copyright-holders and corporations to carefully monitor their works. Again, I’m not going to jump into that world today. What I am talking about in this blog is the simple parting of the ego for the purpose of creativity.


I often give things away for free. Even this is a freebie to you: “Share your creativity in whatever way you can with at least one individual.” That’s right – give someone something for free and let it be something good. Inspire others to create thanks to your creations, ideas or dreams. Let someone paint your photograph or sculpt your dog. Expect nothing in return. Ask for nothing in return. Freely allow yourself, your work and your words to be an inspiration for others so that the creativity continues to flow through the veins of everyone around you.  You don’t have to sell yourself short to be a part of the collective creative world around you.


So everyone go ahead and paint my photo – I would love to see what you come up with.


Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.

About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, teacher, marketing director and free thinker experiencing life in one of the most inspiring and picturesque places on earth with his fabulous wife and children.

Alas! I’ve returned from my fantastic voyage across the country and it’s good to be home. Nothing compares to the awesome beauty of Sedona. Don’t get me wrong, Hilton Head Island was a spectacular get-away that was inspiring and relaxing all in one. But there’s something about this desert home that keeps me going and makes me want more. Enough about me, though… let’s talk about me.


Have art, will travel.


I spent the last week representing Sedona Arts Center on a field expedition to South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island. Karin Jurick taught a truly inspiring painting class to 19 incredible artists in the Disney Studio at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina. Karin’s paintings capture brilliant moments of every-day natural scenes. I loved the way she would take a simple photograph of people relaxing on the beach and turn it into a 6x6 masterpiece in practically no time. I also loved the fact that she was able to inspire so many artists from around the globe. From Switzerland to Calgary to the island itself – these artists were able to express themselves using Karin’s unique style and technique over the course of the week. It truly was an awe-inspiring week.


Now that the workshop is over, it has me thinking about travel and art (of course). I often try to convince Vince, the Director of the School of Arts at the Center to send me off to Hawaii to teach my December Self Publishing workshop. He tells me that I can, “teach that anywhere…” to which I respond, “EXACTLY!”


The best way to experience the new and fresh is to travel to a different locale. That’s exactly why Karin teaches at Hilton Head Island, San Francisco, and New York City. We know that it’s always best to paint what we know and see – but that should never stop us from exploring the great outdoors, the vast beyond and paths less traveled. This doesn’t mean that you have to travel across the country as I was lucky enough to do. You can simple take a hike to a different part of the creek. Walk ten feet further than you did yesterday then stop, observe, listen and absorb. The world is different from the tops of tables to the bottoms of steps and as artists we should explore every perspective and view that we can contort our bodies into.


So pack your bags, pencils, brushes and supplies. The world awaits your visionary eye.


Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.

About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, teacher, marketing director and free thinker experiencing life in one of the most inspiring and picturesque places on earth with his fabulous wife and children.

Greetings, everyone! I have to admit that I’ve missed you. Now that I have returned from my sabbatical, it’s time once again for me to get into gear and get busy with the Sedona Plein Air Festival. This is year eight for the Sedona Arts Center‘s event and year number two for me as the Marketing Director at the Center. But that’s not all… This month is a busy month for me, for I’ll be taking a trek to Hilton Head Island right after the Festival is over – but we can talk more about that in two weeks.


It’s that fantastic time of year again, when the colors change and the air is crisp and cooler and 30 artists converge on Sedona to express themselves in Red Rock Country. I’ll be extra social this year, posting updates on where our artists are painting during the next seven days and pictures of their works in progress. This year’s a little different with a Plein Air Gallery showing the artist’s work all week long, with newly added works every day! So not only do you get to see them work on the spot opening day, you can experience the landscape through their eyes every day!


Artists have been painting outdoors for centuries, but it was in the mid-19th century that painting en plein air became increasingly popular. This was credited in part to the invention of the French Box Easel and the introduction of paints in tubes, allowing artists to take their work outdoors with ease. Today, artists trek into the wild to capture the brilliance of the landscape as they see it with their own eyes.  What better place to capture a moment in time than the beautiful red rocks of Sedona?

This year promises many free events starting with the Main Street Paint Out on Saturday, October 20 from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m. This event always promises some excitement as crowds follow the artists as they work and then come down to the Center where they can buy those finished pieces at 4:30! The Main Street Paint out is immediately followed by the opening reception of the Plein Air Gallery where you can enjoy some wine and food provided by Sedona Arts Center’s Board of Directors as a special welcome to the artists.


The buck doesn’t stop there! All week long the artists can be found painting throughout the countryside.  On Tuesday they’ll be painting in Jerome, where you can check in at the tent in Middlepark to see where particular artists are located. Wednesday evening’s Keynote speaker is Kathryn Stats, whose free presentation “It’s Only Paint!” takes place at 7 p.m. at the Center’s Theatre Studio. Thursday the artists will engage in a 2-hour “Centennial Quick Paint,” a timed event from 10 a.m. to noon at the Sedona Heritage Museum (735 Jordan Road in Uptown Sedona). There will be models in period costume, historic equipment and stunning landscapes for the artists to paint.


Last but not least – this year’s event ends with wine tasting from noon to 4 p.m., featuring wines from Alcantara, Grand Canyon Cellars and Javelina Leap wineries. Tickets for wine tasting include five pirs for $10. Cheese and crackers are provided by a sponsorship from New Frontiers. Then the artists will unveil their best works from the week-long event that will be auctioned off at 4 p.m. And don’t forget the awards! This year’s awards include Best of Show, the Poster Award and Artists’ Choice and People’s Choice awards to name a few. (Visit for more information)


So as you can see, I’m busier than even I can imagine at this time. I’ll keep you posted this coming week on the excitement of the Sedona Plein Air Festival and then in two weeks we’ll explore Hilton Head Island together at an artists’ field expedition!


Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.

About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, teacher, marketing director and free thinker experiencing life in one of the most inspiring and picturesque places on earth with his fabulous wife and children.

Imagine your world in monotone. Go ahead, close your eyes and see everything in varying shades of gray. Envision every flower and blade of grass, every red rock and sunset – without color. Now reverse that. When we think of the visual arts, we often drench ourselves in a fantastic rainbow of colors. There are times, however, when we can sketch our way into a monochrome world of inventiveness that lets our brilliant imaginations fill in the colorful details. These are the times I love best, when we dive in to art with all our senses: where, sometimes our world can be even more beautiful in black and white.


298733_278340202199637_1671035956_nAs an artist, I love to explore any technique, medium and style you can tempt me with. I look to great artists young and old, alive and long-since-departed to collect their drifting atoms from space and time to capture a small piece of their imaginative spirit and include it in my next work of art. I’ve systematically stolen their unique individual life forces and trapped them in my photography, sketches and paintings. I can almost convince myself that all our collective creative juices are flowing through the earth, simply waiting for us to tap into to quench our thirst. From this river I’ve forged countless pieces of colorless works of art that express my thoughts, my surroundings and even my feelings.


There’s no question that color brings works of art to life and I won’t argue that. The use of color in painting, glazing, sculpting and drawing is an art all unto itself – and so is using “no color” at all. We don’t have to look any further than fantastic films like “The Artist” or “Angel-A” to see the contemporary creative use of a world outside of kodachrome in film. Before 1936 the only choice in photography was black and white, but we often see our modern masters utilizing the deep contrast and textures in monochrome today. Let’s not limit ourselves to film and photography or even modern artists, though...


For instance, the entire reason I’m thinking about no-color today is Pablo Picasso. If you’re planning on being anywhere near that great Big Apple we cherish on the east coast this fall, be sure to make your way to the Guggenheim (or you can send my family and me there for ‘research’ purposes). From October 5, 2012 through January 23, 2013 Picasso Black and White examines some 110 paintings, sculptures and works on paper. As stated on their website, “Picasso’s deceptively simple use of isolated black, white, and gray hues belies the extraordinary complexity and power of these expressive works, which purge color in order to highlight their formal structure.”


Who wouldn’t want to see that?


169094_186400148060310_564378_nGetting back to the use of color (or no color for the purpose of this blog), we can easily imagine how the use of sepia or the concept of black and white anachronism can exemplify a mood or feeling. I’ve done it a thousand times and we see it often in so many art forms. I’m no Picasso, but I do love to explore different worlds, both in color and not. I would suggest that everyone give the world of gray a second glance, because you never know what you might find there.


Remember: grow; learn; conserve; preserve; create; question; educate; change; and free your mind.

About: Kelli Klymenko is an artist, teacher, marketing director and free thinker experiencing life in one of the most inspiring and picturesque places on earth with his fabulous wife and children.