Wednesday, December 16, 2015

minted print now available!

My award winning print, Meet You There, is now available for sale on Minted! Just in time for Christmas!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

loose floral

Working on a new floral print based on a technique I learned in Helen Dealtry's workshop. First, I wet my paper down & dropped in colorful ink washes. Once it dried, I spontaneously painted the black negative space to define the drawing. It was both liberating & intimidating to work without a preliminary pencil drawing. Lots of happy accidents & not so happy accidents!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

akela surf swimwear

I couldn't be more excited! I just received the first prototype bikini top from my Akela Surf Flamingo print collection! I had the pleasure of taking it for a spin on my last surf trip to Southern California! Many thanks to the awesome Akela Surf family!
Ali Kurzeja wearing the Marilyn top from her Akela Surf Flamingo collection after a surf in Cardiff.

Akela Surf Ali Kurzeja collection "Marilyn" top.

Checking out the waves at Ocean Beach.

Ali Kurzeja's Akela Surf Flamingo print

A peek from the Akela Surf catalog!

Akela Surf website artist page
Mere-Made surf shaper sporting the Society Short in my pattern collection.

floral textile painting workshop

I had the pleasure of traveling to Brooklyn, NY to take a floral painting workshop with lovely and talented artist Helen Dealtry! The class worked on experimenting with different ink painting techniques. It was fun to loosen up and paint intuitively, without laying in my pencil drawing first. My favorite piece of advice Helen offered was, "If you make a mistake just keep going! The more you try to to fix it the more attention will be drawn to it!" Below are some photos from the workshop.

Helen's beautiful ink and gouache paintings.

Helen's class demo.

Our pretty studio space with fresh flowers and mimosas!

My ink painting in process.

Close up of one of my ink paintings from the workshop.

Monday, October 26, 2015

american greetings

One of the best parts of being an illustrator is getting to play around with different styles and techniques and explore all of the different sides of my personality as an artist. Here is a little hot sheet of some of my favorite designs I have created and conceptualized for American Greetings.
 All images are copy righted by American Greetings.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

1st place minted winner!

I have some very exciting news to share! I received first place in the Minted For Art's Sake Design Challenge! Below my piece is pictured along with the other top contestants. Congratulations to all of the participating artists and thank you to everyone who rated my piece!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

garden party fine art show

This past Spring I had the pleasure of participating in a group show entitled Garden Party, with my two dear and very talented artist friends, Claire Mojher Delucca and Lisa Perrin (please see our poster at the bottom of the post)! Below are the pieces I created for our show!
hello love, 8"x10", mixed media, by Ali Kurzeja 

Bloom Where You Are Planted, 8" X 10", mixed media by Ali Kurzeja

Painting in progress close up!

Yellow Finch, 5" X 7", mixed media, by Ali Kurzeja

Birds and Blooms, watercolor, graphite and gouache by Ali Kurzeja

A Garden of Waves, 8" X 10", mixed media, by Ali Kurzeja

Sunday, July 19, 2015

"meet you there" seascape painting on

This is my new watercolor painting entitled, Meet you there. I have entered it in the For Art's Sake challenge, sponsored by Voting opens at 10 AM PST, July 20th. Please vote for me!

Vote for my
design on minted.
Meet you there
see more from Ali Kurzeja
vote for me!
Check out my competition in holiday photo cards and wedding invitations at Minted.

Monday, June 22, 2015

interview: ali kurzeja artist for akela surf

March 16, 2015

Ali Kurzeja Artist for Akela Surf

1- Tell us about yourself: Where are you from? Where do you currently live? Tell us about some of your hobbies and passions.
I grew up in the beautiful beach town of Sarasota, Florida where I became interested in art and surfing at a young age. My memories of turquoise waters and vivid green surroundings serve as great inspiration in my art. I enjoy painting nature and using colorful palettes that echo the feel of my coastal home. I studied illustration at Ringling College of Art & Design. Upon graduation I received the opportunity to work as a professional illustrator at a large studio in the Midwest. Having never seen snow, I was hesitant about the relocation. However, I decided to embrace the adventure and made the move to Cleveland, Ohio. I soon found myself amongst a small, but welcoming surf community on Lake Erie. I invested in a thick wetsuit and a snowboard for the off-season. I now spend my days creating colorful artwork, riding snowy hills, and catching chilly lake waves with wonderful newfound friends. I visit Florida often to recharge and soak up sunny days, and when I can't catch a flight home a hot yoga session will sometimes do the trick!
2 - Tell us how you found out about Akela Surf and what impact it has had on you thus far? 
I found out about Akela Surf through Instagram. I stumbled upon Victoria Jones' beautiful textile design, which then led me to the brand's homepage.

Akela Surf has made a huge impact on my life! I worked at a beach shop selling swimwear when I was a teenager. I always admired the textile designs I saw in the store and dreamed of one day creating my own. Akela Surf has made that dream a reality!
3 - What does art mean to you?

I believe art is an expression of one's self. Whether I'm creating art for myself or a client, my personality becomes interwoven with the project. In some ways, making commercial art is quite similar to making a sandwich. There are expected ingredients defining the structure, but the chef chooses particular spices, colors, and textures to add. In the same manner an artist interprets directions to create a design. My background and personal preferences have the opportunity to come into play and create something uniquely specific to me.
4 Can you describe the feeling of drawing to us? 

Beginning a drawing and staring at a blank page can often be the most intimidating part of the design process for me. I tend to create multiple sketches on tracing paper, then cut and reposition layouts several times. Once I establish a composition and begin adding color I start to flow into the blissful state of creating.

5 - What are your future plans and goals?

I plan to continue creating artwork, with a focus on fashion/textile design, as well as fine art. I would also like to travel! I have seen so little of the world and would love to broaden my horizons, particularly to warm surfy locations!

6- Who and what inspire you?

I've always been inspired by my environment. My mother was an interior designer and filled our home with fresh orchids, tropical botanical prints, and my father's watercolor paintings. All of these components have subconsciously snuck their way into my work. I am also influenced by an eclectic group of artists, including Gustav Klimt, Alphonse Mucha, Bernie Fuchs, David Downton, Helen Dealtry, Annie Everingham, Luli Sanchez, Luki O'Keefe, and all of my talented studio mates in Cleveland! I would be remiss if I didn't mention Pinterest also!
7 - What do you like the most about being an artist and surfer?

As for me, art and surfing go hand in hand. Sitting on my board, seeing the horizon blend into the sky makes me want to paint, and dipping my paintbrush into a palette of vibrant colors make me want to surf. I feel incredibly lucky to do both.

8- Anything you will like to share with us?
Yes! Please check out more of my art at: (and on my instagram account: @ali.kurzeja).

Interview conducted by Servio Anez. Photos by Audrey Tyler Jones.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

akela surf flamingo surf wear!

Here is my final design to be featured on Akela Surf 's 2015 summer line! I also included fashion designer Annie Gange's swim wear mock up. I can't wait to surf in it! Many thanks to Annie & Servio of Akela Surf! What a great team to work with!

akela surf flamingo print

I'm debuting my new flamingo and floral pattern for Akela Surf! It will be used on their 2015 summer line of surf wear and bikinis! I couldn't be more excited! These are my first color versions, soft and vintage inspired. More to come on the next post!

Mint Color version of my Akela Surf pattern.

Turquoise color version of my pattern featuring the Akela skull and surf fin logo amongst the flowers and flamingo.