Kärlek Backpacks

Mountainside by Richelle Cripe

Mountainside by Richelle Cripe
Mountainside by Richelle Cripe


Kärlek: Hi Richelle! Tell us a bit about yourself!

RC:  Hi, I'm Richelle! 

I’m an artist and software engineer living in Boulder, Colorado- in the front range of the Rockies. I grew up in the Appalachian mountains in West Virginia. I’ve lived in the mountains my whole life- they’re a part of me. I spend a lot of time outdoors when I’m not working, and that’s where most of my inspiration for paintings comes from too.
Kärlek: What was the inspiration behind your art?

RC: I thought it would be cool to treat the karlek as a canvas instead of designing something specific to the bag itself. I created a landscape painting that, if it weren’t on a backpack, would 100% fit into one of my series. I also wanted to create a vague sense of place- something that looks familiar but isn’t an “Oh, I know exactly where that is!” kind of thing. I chose to continue the painting over and under the flap so you’d see the image regardless of whether or not the bag is open, and I painted the sky two different colors for a little “surprise” factor. I added the moonrise because I’m obsessed with moons- they’re one of my signature elements.


Kärlek: Love it! :-) So, which mediums did you use and what made you choose them?

RC: I used acrylic paint and craft paint mixed with a little glue. These are mediums I had on hand and am comfortable using. I wanted it to be almost just like one of my regular paintings except on a bag, so it made sense to stick with a medium I would normally use on a canvas or panel.


Kärlek: What did you enjoy most about using a Kärlek backpack as your canvas?

RC: It was challenging at first- I’m used to painting on a flat, pretty rigid surface! I had fun choosing the theme for my painting and how the colors would play off the brown karlek material.


Kärlek: Do you have any tips or thoughts to share about your experience?

RC: I stuffed the bag with newspaper to make it easier to paint on, and also used tape to help safeguard areas I didn’t want to paint (I’m really messy!). I would recommend doing this. I’m not sure if acrylic paint was the best medium for the bag because it did crack in a few areas. If I were going to do it again I might go with a fabric paint or markers, I’m just not as familiar with those mediums.


You can see more of Richelle's work on her Instagram: @richellecripeart