Jill Elliott helps walls talk
Words by Mallory Lehenbauer
Photos by Christina Childress and Color Kind Studio
Jill Elliott of Color Kind Studio is devoted to color, creativity, and kindness.
“Any creative project I do always starts with color,” Elliott says. “Color is really like this language to me that sets the mood. ‘Kind’ is really just about art and creativity and how it has this opportunity to make us kinder people. The intersection of those two combines and creates Color Kind Studio.”
Starting in 2014, between dinner and bedtime she and her daughter would paint with watercolors. She found herself staying up late after her daughter went to bed to continue working on her paintings.
“Watercolor didn't give me a lot of control over the medium or the outcome, and as an adult ‘type A’ person, doing something that I didn’t have a lot of control over was really freeing to me,” Elliott expressed. “Some of the experiments were horrible, but I found it to be freeing to do things that I know I am not going to be good at it.”
She loved the meditative break it gave her and started doing research into how art and creating can benefit mental health. She started an art therapy business for adults, but an Instagram post led to a pivot for her business and art.
In November of 2021, she says she accidentally created her studio and business.
She couldn’t find a wallpaper pattern that she liked for her bathroom, so she designed and created her own wallpaper for the powder room in her house and posted a photo of it on Instagram.
“I couldn't find a wallpaper I liked, so I created my own,” she said.
After about ten DMs about where she got the colorful wallpaper, she knew she had an opportunity to create something special and unique. Color Kind Studio was born as a small artist-run studio that Elliott hopes will inspire joy, connection, and creativity in any space.
“I want my pieces when they are in your home to have an energy, a curiosity, and a sense of movement that invites you to be a little still and a little calm,” Elliott says.
Color Kind Studio starts creating its wallpaper by prioritizing the color choices. Elliott explains that they “experiment with new color mixes and combinations until we find just the right palette for our latest project.”
After the colors are selected, then they make marks to create what the design will look like. Once the marks and colors are decided, then the pattern and design are created to what you see on their wallpaper.
Elliott says this process of creation is not always perfect and that failure is a part of the journey.
“Art is really great, whatever that art is. The curiosity journey that you go through, there is going to be a heavy dose of failure that comes with that,” she says. It is important to her and their team that they continually learn and experiment with failure.
Even though Elliott runs the business side of Color Kind Studio, she also spends a lot of her time in the actual studio as an artist.
“Being small means that you are wearing a ton of hats,” she says, “I am also trying to be in the studio and paint. I have to be really disciplined. The thing that I am learning about being an entrepreneur is that I have to stay grounded in going with the flow and in our purpose of sharing joy.”
Elliott says that even though her art started as a personal meditative process and has now transformed into a small successful business, she knows that the benefits of creating art and keeping that practice are still vital to her health, her success as an artist, and the success of Color Kind Studio.
“Because of the way I came back into art using it as a meditative practice, it is something that is still really prevalent in my work,” she explains. “I do other practices that I invite that stillness in. When I can get in the flow, what you are doing in that movement is expressing what you are trying to communicate. That is a pivotal piece for me.”
Elliott believes people are incredibly impacted by their environment and that we pick up on the energy of what’s happening around us.
“You can feel the emotion come through a piece,” she says. “But I do think that the great work of an artist is to give you a moment to pause and have a moment of stillness and calm in your day.” She hopes the work of Color Kind Studio gives people that sense of stillness and calm inside their homes despite the busy world around them.
Color Kind Studio is always launching new wallpapers for each season and is excited about a new partnership designing carpet. You can find Elliott and Color Kind Studio at colorkindstudio.com.