Kristen Silva
Visual Artist

Cultural Artists Spotlight: June 27 – July 9, 2019

Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
I’m an artist who paints with coffee as a medium on watercolor paper. It started from my experience as a specialty barista and a mishap, in which I spilled coffee on a piece of paper I needed. Now I paint portraits that interact with the medium, where they are highlighted by the medium or use it in a capacity.

How did you first become interested in art?
I was first introduced to visual art, as a child, in the same way many people are. Mostly in classroom settings, but also at home. Coffee came into effect much later.

How can art enrich a community, and what are some ways people can become engaged with art in Burbank?

Art enriches community in so many ways, but my favorite way it manifests is in interaction. At first, much like with people, it can be hard to open ourselves up to others and sometimes even start a conversation. As visual art is a demonstrative form of expression, what it does is it acts as a catalyst for people to talk or discuss their perception of a thing based on many experiences over our lifetimes. Two people can look at the same thing and take different opinions on it or sometimes even the same opinion. It allows us to share what we either have in common or yet to learn about them or even events/perspectives we haven’t yet considered. It really is a good place to start getting a better understanding of ourselves and the world around us. It’s exciting when you find a piece that really invites you in, engages you with those sentiments, and allows you to explore these ideas. It inspires us to share those things with people. We enrich our community when we find common ground or identify the ways in which we can learn more about each other to make our community better.

Burbank is full of ways to interact with art (fairs, for one). There are so many inspiring things around town to really keep artists and creatives engaged in the process. With many studios only a few miles apart from each other, it’s easy to see how accessible creating art and thriving in a creative environment really is. Sometimes it can be overwhelming with a competitive market or even to hush any doubts all creative people have about themselves, but Burbank has really relieved many of them for me. Just to interact with so many people who have animation jobs or design jobs in a small area, that really is encouraging to see. Another thing I really enjoy is checking out local stores and galleries in Burbank. People carefully curate these beautiful things but still have a very inviting atmosphere that is sometimes hard to come by in a big city. Burbank has such a unique charm that it often feels like a small town with all the warmth you could hope for, especially in the art community.

If you could share with our community one thing about art, what would it be?

The one thing I wish I could share with the community about art is that we are all creative. Every single one of us. I often hear from people the phrase “I wish I was creative” but the happy truth is, you are! Just to make it to where you are right now in life has been a series of creative choices. There have been times where you have had to make do with limited resources and you’ve done it, and most likely pretty well! With that innate skill, you can also apply that to the things you might characterize to be more artistic. Picking up an instrument, a pen, a paintbrush is a great place to start if you haven’t already and just hush that little voice that says you’re not creative. You are creative. So take it as far as you can.


To find out more about Kristen’s work, visit
 Etsy shop: Instagram: (@kristensilva_)