Hello! My name is Kellen, male (he/him), living in the United States – the Bay Area of California, to be more specific, born and raised in the area I live in now. My artistic journey goes back to when I was a kid – I can’t remember a time where I wasn’t drawing, honestly, and it’s been a life-long passion for me. With no formal training other than an art class in high school, pretty much everything I know has been self-taught with additional help from artistic friends and colleagues along the way. These various elements have combined to help me develop my own skills further, and allowed me to find my own artistic style that I’m pleased to continue developing.
About My Art
It’s fair to say my art represents a bit of myself and what I enjoy, as anyone’s art likely would. Over the years I’ve settled in to designs that are rather cute, sometimes a little sexy, and often about imagining just what lies beyond our own reality. You can see this heavily reflected in the comics I’m working on, such as Terraform, a story that plays with the idea of dimensions that lie just beyond our own. Most of my inspirations come from the media I grew up with as a kid – particularly video games and both Western and Japanese animation from the late 80’s through the late 90’s. You’ll see this reflected a fair bit in my art and character designs.
About Retro Heart
The name came, primarily, from the above – a love of the animation and vibrant visuals I grew up with that influenced my own art as it developed, as well as a deep love of Calvin and Hobbes that heavily influenced my interest in making comics. (I’m a 90’s kid, after all.) That nostalgia has been used as a guiding light for my artistic journey. Rather than trying to replicate the things that I grew up with, I wanted to make something new and distinct while paying some homage to what inspired me to begin with. That’s where my heart is, hence the name “Retro Heart.” Continuing with the theme, I’ll also occasionally use “Super Retro Heart” to lean into the 90’s aesthetic a bit more.
The easiest way to reach me is via hello(at)retroheart(dot)net.
What program do you use for your art?
I currently use Clip Studio Paint. Up until mid-2018, I used Manga Studio Debut, even though it was supplanted by Clip Studio Paint. (I was stubborn about upgrading.)
What tools do you use?
Currently, a Gaomon tablet with a built-in screen. Previously I used a Wacom drawing tablet, but upgraded to a tablet with a screen in 2019, which helped me improve my illustrations significantly. I’ll occasionally sketch out ideas with a pencil and paper, but most of my art is done digitally at this point.
Do you take commissions, requests, or art trades?
You can always contact me at hello(at)retroheart(dot)net with any questions or commissions, and I’d be happy to discuss and set expectations accordingly. Most weeks have me busy enough with a day job, working on comics, and other projects that I need to ensure that I can commit to a commission or art trade, so don’t take it personally if I turn something down. I will not respond to unsolicited requests to do unpaid art. If you would like something made, please be ready to offer payment or a trade of some kind in return. “Exposure” is not a form of payment.
Can I post your artwork elsewhere, or use it on my blog, in my video, on my stream, etc.?
I kindly request that you do not use my art without my written consent. I also realize that asking someone not to do something on the worldwide platform that is the Internet has never stopped anyone, ever, at any point, from reposting content. If you absolutely must use it and feel that you need to disregard the sentence before this one, please don’t remove my signatures, watermarks, or other credits from the image. Please credit any posts using my content back to me and this website. If you happen to see something of mine that’s been reposted without credit, please use the platform’s built-in tools to request it be taken down, and inform me so I can take action as well.
Can I make fan art of your characters?
Please let me know if you do, and let me know in advance! As with the above I can’t really stop people from utilizing my characters, but it would be great to know that people enjoy them enough to make fan art and in what way. And, of course, please provide proper credit for the origin of the characters. Do not use my art, designs, or characters to make money or to sell products via websites such as Redbubble, Society6, or any other platform. I put my time, money, and heart into making my creations, and it’s both hurtful and discouraging to see someone else profit off of it.
None of the Above?
Send me an email at hello(at)retroheart(dot)net, or check the “Links” tab above for where else to get at me.