Art News

Speak Out: Kelly Puissegur

“Being a mother in art, studio time is limited to naps and bedtime.”

– Kelly Puissegur

On the occasion of Women’s History Month, Saatchi Art’s curators spoke with artists about their process, inspiration, and the ways in which their identity as a woman is relevant to their art.

Kelly Puissegur lives in Los Angeles and was born in Louisiana where she studied fine art at the Southeastern Louisiana University. She has exhibited extensively in the US and UK, including the Affordable Art Fair. Her works have been featured by The Jealous Curator and Urban Outfitters.

What does it mean to you to be a woman in art?

I don’t really think about being a woman in art. I just think I’m going to make stuff and I hope someone can relate to and enjoy my work. Being a woman who is also a mother in art, like any other profession, is challenging because my time is dictated by a small person who has their own ideas of how to fill the days. Studio time is limited to naps and bedtime.

Which female artist inspires you most—past or present— and why?

Margaret Kilgallen is one of my favorite artists. I love her use of words, color, and pattern.

What is your advice to a young woman who aspires to be an artist?

Work really hard to develop your talent and also have fun!

What are the themes you pursue in your work?

Common themes in my work are human and animal relationships, observations about life, and outrageous and nonsensical scenarios

Can you walk us through your process? Do you begin with a sketch, or do you just jump in? How long do you spend on one work? How do you know when it is finished?

My sketchbooks consist mostly of words- phrases that pop in my head and horrible short stories and poems that I write. To start a painting, I usually pick ideas or phrases from my sketchbook and make a collage from photographs based on that idea. I use the collage as a reference while painting. Sometimes I finish a painting in one sitting and sometimes it can take a month. I usually work on three or four paintings at one time.

If you couldn’t be an artist, what would you do?

I would absolutely love to be a writer but I’m horrible at writing and I can’t spell.

About the Author

Monty Preston is the Assistant Curator at Saatchi Art. Need help finding art? Contact her via our free Art Advisory service at