Carly Kuhn gave visitors to the Beverly Hills beauty destination Striiike — where co-owners and sisters Jenn, Kristie and Ashley Streicher have hung up her drawings — a surprise Thursday by sketching them as they were prettied. The lighthearted portraiture session kicked off the illustrator’s web site cartorialist.com, housing her prints and profiles of creative people, and a series titled “The City as a Canvas” in which she explores cultural venues and spaces in Los Angeles.
Kuhn, whose fashion clients have included Prada, Dior and Alexis Bittar, ventured into art as a side project while working as a producer on the E! Entertainment Television Network’s show “Chelsea Lately.” Her pieces gained a following on Instagram, where a Parker repost gave Kuhn a career jolt, and she left television a year ago to focus on them full-time.
“When I started out, I just would draw every day. I became confident at the perfectly imperfect. It’s not capturing the runway necessarily, but maybe a backstage scene,” said Kuhn. Now she’s hoping to expand her horizons beyond fashion and Instagram. “I like fashion and clothes, but I’m not necessarily a fashion girl,” she reasoned.
Kuhn recently decorated the wall of the restaurant Sawyer in L.A.’s Silver Lake neighborhood with a floral mural and is considering becoming artist-in-residence at the upcoming downtown retail, residential and office complex Row DTLA. “I didn’t go to art school. This kind of happened by accident, so I’m open to everything. I don’t necessarily play in the quote-unquote art world,” said Kuhn. “I’m not doing the traditional thing of getting into a gallery. I’m more about getting into people’s homes and in places like restaurants or a beauty studio.”