Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Featured Exhibitor: Keener Creations


Who are you and what do you do?  
Dwight Keener. Dwight is a para educator working with special needs students in the Mounds View school system.
Have you always been passionate about art and design?
Throughout my life I have had many creative outlets that I expressed myself through. In middle school and high school, I enjoyed music in all forms from marching band to choir. In college I studied dance and became a performer about a decade. Later I became fascinated with acrylic paint pour videos that I saw on YouTube, until one day I decided to give it a try.
Where did your business name come from? Is there an interesting story behind it?
In 2023 I married and took the last name “Keener”. My husband, Jim Keener, has been instrumental in the creation of our business. Thus, Keener Creations was born.
Is this a full-time business for you? 
I hope one day that this will be a full-time job for me, but for now it is only part-time until we become successful enough.
Why did you start working in this field?
I started experimenting making paintings and I had so many friends and family tell me how much they loved my art and that I should start selling it. I was afraid of starting my own company from scratch, but my husband is great with handling the business side of things while I focus on creating art. Between the two of us we make a great team!
What made you take this leap into being your own boss?
Having the confidence that my partner can handle all the legal aspects of running a business gave me the faith to give this a shot.
What has been your favorite moment since creating your art/business?  
My favorite moment was when we made our first sale through our website. This encouraged me that this business could actually work!
What motivates you to create?
I love how the colors interact with each other and am constantly surprised by how amazing some of my pieces turn out. I want to constantly try new color combinations and techniques for application to see what I can create.
What are some inspirations for your work?
My family has been a huge support for everything that I have done, and it constantly encourages me to keep going.
How does the city you live in influence your work?
I live in the Twin Cities of Minnesota and here we have a large gay community. I have created many rainbow themed pieces of art to help celebrate gay pride.
What sets your designs apart from others?  
First, I use color shifting pigments that I hand mix in almost all my artwork. Secondly, I coat all my art in epoxy resin, this really brings the colors to life!
What are some tips or suggestions you would like to offer?
Some day you must get off your butt and try to do it! For years I watched videos of other people making the art I do today. It was not until my 12-year-old cousin posted a video of a piece of art he created using the methods I was interested in that I finally thought “If he can do it, so can I”!
What is the latest thing you have been working on?
Lately we have started doing art on vinyl records. We take old records that no one wants and paint over them. 
What do your customers love most about your product(s)?
Most of our customers rave about the color choices we use when creating our art.
What is your favorite item that you sell?
I really love the vinyl records we have started painting on, especially after my husband found a great vinyl record frame that can be hung on walls to display the art.
How do you usually prepare for the holiday season?
We are a new business and have only had one holiday season so far. But for the upcoming 2024 holiday season I am building inventory in hopes that we will have a very successful year.
Will you be featuring any special holiday items?
 Yes! We will be making tree ornaments for Christmas this year.
What will you be bringing to the Gift & Art Expo for attendees to purchase?
We will have birch wood canvases in multiple sizes, as well as 12-inch vinyl records that we have painted over. In addition, we will have jewelry that we created using paint skins that we created.
Keener Creations:

Instagram: @keenercreations


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