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Artist Spotlight: Franklin Kernes

Franklin Kernes is an up and coming modern artist with graphic design roots and a passion for his family and community. His love for his wife and daughter come first, and motivate him to keep creating. Because he is an essential member of the Cornelius Arts Scene, we set out to get to know him a bit better through an interview. Let’s see what he had to say!


“R.E.M. — Rapid Eye Movement” by Franklin Kernes

What is your background? What led you to become an artist?

“I am always saying that I have been practicing art forever. After high school, I did a little bit of art that led me to graphic design. I continued to pursue a career in graphic design and focused on music for a while, designing CD covers and other pieces. That process reopened my love for the art world to me, and brought me to where I am today. There is something about creating images from raw forms; letting them come organically, that just clicks from me.”


What does a day in your life look like?

“By day, I am a graphic designer. When I get off work, I usually pick up my daughter, take care of her, make our family dinner, play with her and put her to bed, and around nine or ten o’clock I switch to artist mode. Sometimes I lose track of time and am up creating new pieces until one o’clock in the morning!”


Two of things Kernes holds nearest and dearest to his heart, his daughter and his art!

How would you describe your style?

“I like to explain my style as ‘stain-glass meets optical illusion’. It is loosely inspired by graphic design. It compliments each individual in a different way. For instance, I like to use a lot of faces because this technique works with the human brain, as each individual can easily read a face and makes attempt to see if they may recognize the face. I really like how techniques like this let each person experience my art differently.”


“Night & Day” by Franklin Kernes

How do you stay motivated to finish a project once you’ve begun?

“For me, I use art as a way to get out the hustle and bustle of each day. It is way to slow down and take a moment to express myself. My wife also keeps me on track with my work and helps me find my motivation. The best advice I can give someone is to keep people around you that inspire you, hold you accountable, and remind you why you love to create!”


What is your favorite piece and why?

“The piece that I hold nearest to my heart is The Brain. It has inspired a lot of my other work, and is always one of the pieces I always look back to for motivation. I almost sold it once, but I am glad that I decided against it because it is much more valuable to me.”


Creating a masterpiece!

Be sure to join us at Brick Row on Saturday July 20, 2019 from 2-5pm for Paint & Sip: Create Your Own Character. Mr. Kernes will be leading the session and says that his aim is to prove the idea that everyone is an artist. In this workshop, he will give you the basic tools, and help you to channel your creativity into your very own masterpiece! Click here to access the Facebook event, and be sure to RSVP on Eventbrite for more details. See you there and happy painting!


Maddie Hannon
Maddie Hannon
I am a Cornelius local and student at UNC Chapel Hill pursuing a degree in Business. In my time at home in OTC, I love to explore the local flair of OTC art and music, enjoy some sun on LKN, and walk my pug, Holly, along the greenway.

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