Week 15 // Artist Conversation: KD Maleki

Exhibit Information

Artist: KD Maleki

Exhibition: Annual Holiday Art Sale

Media: Screen-printing, button maker

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Werby Gallery

Instagram: @kdmaleki

Entering the gallery, I was greeted by Maleki’s welcoming smile and overall friendly attitude. As I looked around the beautiful art for sale, I overheard that she’s a graphic design major, prompting me to want to interview her.

She’s a second year student who currently studies Graphic Design as a result of encouragement from her parents. Not knowing what kind of art she wanted to study, Maleki chose Graphic Design because of its business aspect. However, she intends to switch majors and is going to take an animation class next semester to see if it’s something she wants to pursue. She currently designs the logos for Long Beach Creamery, an ice cream shop she works at.

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Maleki made button pins and art prints to sell at the CSULB Annual Holiday Art Sale. For the buttons pins, there was a pack of one for $1 and a pack of three for $5. I can’t think of other words to describe her designs except for cute and adorable. The 1-pack is a drawing a blue-colored baby blushing and on the top saying, “cuddle baby.” The first button pin in the 3-pack is a drawing of a face with closed-eyes and lips and says, “someone kiss me.” The second is a drawing of a yellow baby duck and the third is an orange popsicle with eyes and a smiling mouth. Maleki was selling two art prints; one was a drawing of legs in a bathtub titled “Down & Dirty.” The other was a colorful image of a naked woman and her reflection, dipping her leg into a lake, using the colors yellow, green, purple and blue.

I asked Maleki in general, what her works mean to her. According to her, it definitely depends on what she’s making, but usually, as a college student, it’s definitely about meeting a grade and showing what she can do. Her approach to art is very carefree because her intention is to make people happy and smile. When people see her work, she simply wants them to enjoy it because of its adorableness and because they can relate to it. Her work is a reflection of her own bubbly and animated personality.

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When I saw Maleki’s work, I immediately wanted to purchase them because of how cute they looked! The buttons were just very enjoyable to look at, and the style of her art prints would’ve definitely looked great in my apartment. I admire her approach to art because yes, she takes it seriously, but at the same time, she doesn’t. Her main objective is to create, and have a lot of fun creating. Her motivation to want to learn different styles is something I relate to.

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