Annya Kai was born and grew up in Moscow Russia, where she attended the State Academic Art Institute V.I. Surikov. After completing a degree in classical art, Annya immigrated to the United States. Pursuing her passion for animal conservation Annya also earned an M.A. in Environmental Science & Policy from Clark University. She now lives and works in sunny Berkeley, California.
Uniquely handmade, her creations are full of imaginative landscapes and whimsical creatures, woven together by vibrant color and fluid lines. Kai’s paintings can be found worldwide — both licensed commercially and sold to private collections — including Heaven & Earth Designs, Bradford Checks, Goldman Sachs (New York) and Zoos Victoria (Australia).
“Art is a way to express my obsessive love of color, fantasy, and precision. I’m still very much a classical painter so little of the creative process takes place digitally. My studio is filled with materials which I can deconstruct to extract their maximum color potential. Markers are taken apart and used at high concentrations as water-based paint. Minerals are ground for pigments. St. Petersburg watercolors are intertwined with pastels, gouache or ink. This mixed media approach allows me to create artwork that is deeply saturated and colorfully complex.
I’m continuously inspired by finding vintage fairytale illustrations, hikes through woods and along coastlines (and occasional globetrotting). More than anything else, I love making bright, beautiful things that other people will enjoy."
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