As a child, former student Kenna Reid felt something was wrong with her. She did not fit in with others and often internalized her own insecurities. To escape these anxieties, she began to immerse herself in her own imaginary worlds.
Since then, these fictional lands have been frequent forms of escape and expression for Reid.
“Being able to actually create these worlds that I’ve always imagined is just so rewarding,” Reid said. “I feel like I put my self and my imagination into some kind of physical form.”
Years later, as an artist under his mark Dreams of sunshine, she is honored to transfer these areas of self to the sketch. The brand name was inspired by Reid’s solar urticaria, an allergic reaction to sun exposure that causes hives and rashes. Reid said that although the condition limits how much she can enjoy what she loves, she continues to dream of new futures and new possibilities in the face of such obstacles.
“In creating Sun Beam Dreams, I take both of those parts of me and combine them to show how it was all meant to be,” Reid said.
From an early age, Reid considered herself an artist and wanted to make a career out of it. As she got older, she felt that art was not a secure financial path and decided to major in psychology in college. It wasn’t until she met her boyfriend, musician Blake Hyman, during her freshman year of college that she considered returning to her artistic roots.
Reid said Hyman was a creative himself, he knew how to best encourage him to explore his artistic passions. With her support, Reid quickly regained confidence in her work and began creating for the first time since high school.
“I hadn’t touched art in years, but his influence and creative passions helped rekindle that love I’ve always felt for art,” Reid said. “That’s why I am where I am today.”
Hyman said he noticed Reid’s creative spirit when he first met and was amazed to watch her grow as an artist since joining Local Markets in 2018. helping to achieve her dreams, he believes he was able to bring Reid to the artistic level that she was. always wanted to achieve.
“It was more like I was a lens and all that shine, that energy was going through me in her,” Hyman said. “[Reid] just radiates his art.
Now, Reid sells her fantasy-inspired designs on products ranging from canvas prints to phone cases to Sun Beam Dreams.
Reid describes his escapist pieces as “soul-boosting” and believes the imagined worlds depicted act as extensions of his own spiritual thoughts and feelings.
“It’s a journey of exploring, wandering and inserting all those things that make me happy and inspired,” Reid said. “For me, these are all celebrations of life and I feel like I’m organizing everything to tell this story.”
Reid’s mother, Romai Durant-Reid, 51, described the artist as a being of pure and true love. In creating her celestial stories, Durant-Reid said her daughter was able to share that inner love with those around her.
“She knows what her truth is and she shows it in what she lets us see,” Durant-Reid said. “His heart, his hard work, his dedication to his craft – his love just expels from every pore of his body.”
Reid said many who bought his pieces told him that his work helped them through struggles with depression and anxiety. As a person with social anxiety herself, Reid said connecting with others was something special she learned through her art. In addition to seeing his inner being, others can also find themselves in his work.
“It feels like we’re sharing a moment of visibility,” Reid said. “We all resonate with each other and I can relate to them much more deeply.”
As she saw herself growing through her art, Reid said her development dates back to the empowerment she learned when she first created. Seeing her rewarding journey, she hopes others realize that once they learn they can do whatever they want in this world, they can impact not only others around them. , but themselves directly.
“That power continues so that we can create these ripples that may be small, but they’re very felt and very impactful,” Reid said. “When we see ourselves as capable and wonderful beings, we can live in a place of love, joy, and wonder.”
The featured image: Kenna Reid poses in front of her artwork April 29, 2022. Photo by Carlie Rutledge