Featured Artist: Kellyn Scheel

Kellyn Scheel has gone through trial and error to find the perfect creative outlets that allow her to express her diverse artistry

The stylus is an extension of her right hand, carefully articulating her thoughts. Slick pen lines and intentional colors fill those creative thoughts and pixels on her iPad. As the music on her speaker starts to pick up speed, so does her pen. It becomes a routine, her intricate, creative thoughts start to take shape on digital paper and her mastery starts to show. Within a few hours, the playlist comes to an end and she steps out of her creative realm to look at the piece that made itself. 

Because of the artistic influence of family members, Kellyn Scheel, a Paly sophomore, started her creative journey at a young age. Scheel’s father, brothers and cousins are all musicians. By observing and learning from them, Scheel developed a strong connection with music at a young age.

Seeing how [her brothers] could really put their feelings into music was really inspiring to me I found that same thing in art, and that’s where their influence came from. ”

— Kellyn Scheel

At first, her brothers wanted her to pursue music, but Scheel was inspired by a different part of the music industry, the posters. 

“I found [the posters] really interesting as a kid because I would sit in the music room with [her brothers], and I would listen and play their music. I could just see how the music would relate to the posters and how everyone is just expressing themselves,” Scheel said.

 Scheel found the same passion that her brothers had for music, in art. Scheel’s grandmother was a professional artist, mainly doing oil and acrylic paintings. Under her guidance, Scheel was able to develop her art.

 “From a very young age, she started just painting with me for fun because she used to do that with all my siblings,” Scheel said. “I started out learning the basics by doing the mini landscapes and little things that she would set up for me.”

 Scheel continued to have art lessons with her grandma, eager to learn the various elements of art. 

 “[My grandma] was super excited to have a kid who was interested in art because none of my siblings were really that into it,” Scheel said. “From then on, I fell in love with it, and I started taking art lessons outside of [my grandmother] and I’ve just continued ever since.”

“Crepuscular Light”

 Scheel and her grandma continued to have art lessons, but when it came to their respective styles, they were polar opposites.

 “[Her art] is mostly based on painting; she does oils and acrylics, landscapes, still lifes and sometimes portraits, and I have kind of gone abstract,” she said. “As I grew up, I started to become more interested in music-related art, like when people do album covers, and that are more surreal instead of realistic.” 

 Once she found her art style, Scheel needed to find a place to express her surreal and colorful visions. With the help of her grandma and teacher, Ms. Atkinson, an art teacher at Paly, she was able to experiment with several styles of art — collages, painting, drawing — until she landed on digital art. 

I just put on some music and drew, and I feel it [the music] represents my imagination, like everything coming out of it at once. ”

— Kellyn Scheel

 “I started talking to our teachers at Paly and they were starting to teach classes that kind of revolved around digital art as it’s evolving now,” Scheel said. 

 Last year, Atkinson noticed how Scheel enjoyed different mediums and thought digital art would be right for her. Ms. Atkinson suggested she get an iPad to practice her digital art skills and test out different applications, so Scheel did just that and fell in love with it. 

“I just put on some music and drew, and I feel it [the music] represents my imagination, like everything coming out of it at once,” Scheel said.

Scheel’s favorite digital piece is a drawing of a hand holding a lighter releasing a flame of doodles. “It’s a mix of realism and surrealism…I like how [the hand] contrasts with the background,” Scheel said. “But the most fun part…was drawing all the doodles coming out of it because I didn’t have a plan, I just kind of let all my thoughts flow.” 

“A Colorless Ease”

Scheel knows that there are many new ways to pursue digital art and hopes to find a job after college that has art integrated into it. Whether that be advertising or design, she just wants to be able to create art in her future. Scheel knows that art will constantly be in her life, either that be going to college or working, art will find its way into every aspect of Scheel’s life. 

“Art is just something that brings me joy in life and that’s all I really want in the future,” she said, “[doing] anything that just lets me be expressive and creative would resonate well with me.”

To commission art from Kellyn Scheel, contact her at:


  • digital art skills for graphic design
  • the purchase of existing art pieces or custom art pieces and designs