ABOVE: Katarina with a framed art-piece; detail of the intricate shell-work

I create because I enjoy the process; I want my art to make people stop for a moment, stare, take a step closer, and evoke an urge to touch and feel the texture – to me, this is like speaking to people through the beauty of art…”

Katarina Tifft, shell artist

Katarina Tifft is an artist who creates sculptural artworks, ‘Shellscapes’, out of foraged and sourced natural seashells from her home studio in Lakeland, Florida, just forty minutes from the Gulf of Mexico; she totally reinvented her career from one in hospitality during the pandemic when her previous employers were closed during lockdown – since then her beautiful artworks have quickly become collectors pieces. Here Katarina discusses her inspiration:

NS: ”Katarina, I’m a huge fan of shell art – probably because I was brought up on the coast – where do you source your materials and what themes most inspire your creations?”

KT: ”Some of the seashells I use are collected from Florida beaches, where there’s an abundance of empty shells washed up by the tide… I also work with trusted suppliers and source seashells that are a by-product of the food industry and would otherwise would be considered a waste product and therefore thrown away. The inspiration behind my work is the organic patterns found in nature, the soft tones, and the clean aesthetics influenced by my love for symmetry… my collectors particularly love floral-inspired artworks”

ABOVE: Careful placement by Katarina of her shell art pieces. Photo credit: Amalie Orrange

I approach the creative process with a sense of exploration and enjoy immersing myself in the endless possibilities of inventing new ways to create. When starting on a new piece, I always ask myself: ‘How can I elevate this piece from the last one?’ This one question keeps me moving forward in my art practice…”

Katarina Tifft, shell artist

NS: “How long does it typically take you to design and produce a piece of your artwork?”

KT: ”It really depends on the size and the intricacy of the design; a small ‘Shellscape’ can be finished within a few days, while large projects take anywhere from two to four weeks…”

ABOVE: Photo credit: Amalie Orrange

My clients are interior designers, art advisors, art buyers, and collectors; most of them find me through social media…”

Katarina Tifft, shell artist

NS: ”What’s the typical price range for a bespoke piece of your work?”

KT: ”It really depends on the size of the artwork and the scope of the project… due to the custom nature of my work, I don’t have a specific price list therefore there are many ways I can adjust a design to fit both the client’s vision and budget. Currently, the minimum custom artwork requirement requires a budget of $1500…”

ABOVE: Katarina’s art installed in a coastal themed bedroom; shell-work details

Recently I created an artwork for THE COAST TAPESTRY COLLECTION BY HILTON; the request was to create something inspired by an already existing piece of mine – I loved the creative challenge of designing a piece similar yet completely different from the original…”

Katarina Tifft, shell artist

NS: ”How do you envision your career developing – would you consider using additional natural materials?”

KT: ”Yes, I plan to expand my medium to other natural materials such as sea glass and maybe bamboo, and I’ll continue to focus on quality instead of quantity…”

ABOVE: Large and small shell artworks by Katarina Tifft installed in the homes of her clients

CONTACT: http://www.katarinatifft.com

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