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Meet Gillian Kennedy Wright of Kennedy Wright Designs in Lake Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gillian Kennedy Wright.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Gillian. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Life experience has influenced my versatile designs which include Jamaican, Caribbean, afro centric, multicultural and black themed art. As a graphic designer for a T-shirt company, I would sit at the end of my day and draw stick figures, funny enough I would toss my sketches in the garbage. One year later, I decided to move on to another job. My last day met me with surprise as a coworker presented me with a stack of my discarded sketch sheets and said, “one day these people are going to be AWESOME!” To this day, I still have those designs pasted with yellowing rubber cement in a black sketch book in my studio.

Fast forward… almost 30 years since Dafty Duds, Faces and my other one of kind designs have finally come to life! I enjoy playing/designing with bold lines and colors. I love the process of hunting through thrift shops for vintage jewelry and buttons. These become the essentials of what you see here at Kennedy Wright Designs. But most of all, I love to share my Jamaican and Caribbean heritage though the names and short bios of my work.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
There have been many stops and starts with my art. Mainly moving from one country to the next with my family and getting into the art social scene in different communities is challenging. Our move from Jamaica to Canada was a huge culture shock as well as the move here to Florida. The main thing is not being able to dedicate my creativity to be a full time artist, I work part time and I am often in my studio at 4:00 in the morning. Then after a day at work, I spend a little time with my family and then I am back in my studio by about 8pm to maybe mid night. Often, the long hours are counter productive. Acceptance into galleries and the appreciation of my art has been a struggle. Multiculturalism is not often accepted/embraced here in Florida.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Kennedy Wright Designs story. Tell us more about the business.
My company has two paths, my whimsical art and my fine art pieces. The more whimsical pieces are copyrighted and their names are trademarked. They are called Dafty Duds, Faces, Floral Treats, Patterns and Faces & Floral Treats by Gillian Kennedy Wright. With these designs, I create a line of handmade cards, mini posters, mixed media paper and fabric collage wall hangings, I also do a line of functional art in the form of bed and table linen accessories i.e. cushions and runners. And most recently, one of a kind, signed aprons. I have also produced a coloring book.

On the more “serious” side of things, I also do fine art mixed media pieces which focus on plants, multicultural faces, old buildings and abstract shapes. I like to use, vintage semi precious stones, jewelry and up-cycled materials. I am best known from my fabric collages and wide diverse use of fabrics from around the world.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Being in the right place at the right time… God has an awesome way of making things happen at the right time. I look on “bad experiences” as awesome opportunities to learn and there is some good in everything. Some times, we just have to look harder to find them.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Nakisha Wong-Chong

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