Featured Artist Kristian Gallagher

Inspired by a love of all things tropical, artist Kristian Gallagher has created a body of work perfect for licensing. Learn more by visiting her website.


Digital image of abstract tropical foliage by Kristian Gallagher

“Abstract Tropical Foliage” Ink, Acrylic, Digital, Various Sizes


Choosing to become a licensing artist rather than taking a more traditional route is not something I could have imagined five years ago. Until recently, I didn’t know this world existed.


Digital image of a plant in a vase by Kristian Gallagher

“Beginnings” Ink, Acrylic, Digital, Various Sizes


After studying it from the sidelines for several months, I finally dove into the mix in 2018, releasing my work under the brand name Modern Tropical. I was living in Honolulu at the time. Talk about an inspiring environment! The natural beauty of Hawaii was the obvious inspiration for all my early work.


Digital image of an exotic garden at night by Kristian Gallagher

“Exotic Garden Nightscape” Ink, Acrylic, Watercolor, Digital, Various Sizes


Later, I noticed that I kept gravitating to imagery of Florida in my Instagram feed. So, in 2020, I relocated to Saint Petersburg, on the Gulf Coast. It’s a town that actively promotes all forms of art and especially the visual arts.


Digital image of a minimalist sunrise by Kristian Gallagher

“Minimalist Sunset III” Watercolor, Digital, Various Sizes


I treasure the diverse population and endless architectural inspiration available here. St. Pete, as we call it, is rife with gorgeous historical buildings full of intricate detail. That’s why more man-made structures have been showing up in my work lately.


Digital image of a seaside surf retreat by Kristian Gallagher

“Seaside Surf Retreat” Marker, Watercolor, Acrylic, Digital, Various Sizes


Most of my subjects are either still life scenes featuring plants, or whimsical tropical landscapes. I like to create worlds that people want to escape into.


Digital image of a sunset garden by Kristian Gallagher

“Retro Sunset Garden” Ink, Watercolor, Digital, Various Sizes


Being a licensing artist is a such good fit for me. The ability to retain my work while licensing the rights to it is an amazing opportunity that is fully fueled by the interconnectivity made possible by the internet.


Digital image of a tropical garden by Kristian Gallagher

“The Good Garden” Ink, Acrylic, Watercolor, Digital, Various Sizes


As this arena has evolved, it has also brought a level of respectability to art whose final form is digital. While my process is very much about handcrafting each individual piece, I eventually compose them digitally into a cohesive scene.


Digital image of ivy growing in the courtyard by Kristian Gallagher

“Ivy In The Courtyard” Acrylic, Digital, Various Sizes


The main benefit for me of working this way is that it’s really fun! It makes every day a “craft day” while also drawing on my background as a digital designer.


Digital image of a potted palm at night by Kristian Gallagher

“Night Palm Blues” Ink, Watercolor, Digital, Various Sizes


The benefit to my partners is that I can draw upon my huge library of individual plants, oceans, buildings and other bits to pull together work very quickly by mixing and matching existing assets. That’s how I have been able to create over seven hundred works in two years. And because the works end up as digital files, I can (and do) easily switch up color palettes to stay on trend.


Digital image of two tropical plants in vases by Kristian Gallagher

“Tropical Siblings” Ink, Watercolor, Acrylic, Digital, Various Sizes


Currently, I have sixteen licensing partners in four countries who are a mix of online sellers and in-store retailers. My current goal is to get my work into more large retail chains. I’ve got a few pieces with Urban Outfitters and HomeGoods, plus a few local boutiques in the Toronto area. I would love to see my work for sale in stores like World Market, Ikea and Crate&kids. The youthful vibe of my work is a good fit for their audiences.


Artist Kristian Gallagher invites you to follow her on Instagram.


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