About the Artist

Keri Luiz

aka “Phoenyx”

What can I say? Everything I’ve done in my life has led me to where I am now, and what I do now will lead me elsewhere down the road. Artist, writer, Motorsports nerd, wife… just a few facets of who I am.

I think I’ve been drawing, coloring, crafting since I could hold a crayon in my grubby little paw as a toddler.

My creative tendencies got me into trouble a lot as a child, modifying things with scissors that should have been left alone, decorating things with nail polish. I caused my mother a lot of grief!

Through school I kept drawing, doodling, creating. High school was bearable because of Mr. Wong’s art class. He also challenged me to explore different mediums.

Since then, it’s been about exploring different mediums. Sometimes that desire to explore gets me into trouble… I find it hard to settle down on just one technique or medium. I want to learn them all!

I attended the then Academy of Art College (now University) to get my degree in graphic design and spent most of my professional career as a graphic designer in the publishing field. From there I also started exploring photography and photo retouching/manipulation in Photoshop. Computers were a big part of my existence for a long time. They still are, but not so much in the artistic realm.

I taught graphic design at a couple different vocational schools… an experience of which I have some fond memories, and some nightmarish ones.

Graphic design can be confining at times, especially when you want to be more ‘hands on’ with what you create, rather than relying on the computer for all of the output. I needed creative release that didn’t involve sitting in front of a monitor for hours on end. I started exploring metal sculpture, jewelry making, painting, and pinstriping.

I lost my job late 2008 and spent more than two years bouncing from temporary position to temporary position, with long periods of hunting in between. This was also a time I started getting more serious about my jewelry making, especially in the realms of wire work and metal fabrication. And pinstriping.

I never thought I would add “writer” to the mix, but then I landed a job as Assistant Editor for the Benicia Herald, a small newspaper for a city of less than 30,000 residents. I was hired for my experience in page layout and my experience in art. The writing part, learning how to write features and articles for a newspaper, has had its set of challenges. It also gave me the opportunity to meet some very interesting people.

Some of these interesting people are the artists in Benicia, which is, among other things, a fantastic artists’ community. They gave me the opportunity to show my art at the Open Studios in December of 2012, which was an awesome experience.

Now I am a freelance artist, working with clients in my passions: graphic design, jewelry and painting.

This site is a place for me to share my artistic interests, my work, links to artists’ stories I have written, and whatever else may strike my fancy.