WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Imagine you could see a painted cityscape of Wichita or the Keeper of the Plains on the size of a penny. In the field of micro art, it’s possible.
Kyla Sturchio, 33, is a self-taught artist with a knack for creating all things small.
“Most people would actually consider my 3-inch stuff as small art, micro art, but I still think that’s too big,” laughed Sturchio.
Tiny Art Start
Sturchio got her tiny art start in 2018. She was working at a Subway on Wichita’s west side when she found a painted rock by the door.
“I went to open up, kicked the rock, and was like, ‘what is this?'”
After some research, she learned about ICT Area ROCKS!, a local Facebook group for painting, hiding, and finding rocks around the city.
“I owe everything to that group. Had I not found that one rock that one day this would not have happened,” she said. “Within that week, I bought some really cheap paint and started painting.”
Not long after that, Sturchio got even more inspiration from social media.
“In one of my art groups that I am in on Facebook, a lot of people started painting coins, and pennies were really popular. I thought, ‘well, that’s really cool. I want to try that. I want to challenge myself,’ so I did some pennies, and I found that I really liked it, and I was actually pretty good at it,” she said.
How good? Sturchio started posting some of her artwork, mostly landscapes painted on small rocks, online. She quickly sold out. The former owner of Joyland even commissioned some of her work.
“It brought up a lot of memories for a lot of people. They were like, ‘I used to work there, or I used to go there every summer.’ All of those memories come flooding back, so I really enjoy painting urban stuff too,” Sturchio explained.
Sturchio said she’s inspired by her surroundings.
“I see colors probably more than other people do. I will be looking at the landscape and be like, ‘oh, there’s all these colors in this landscape right now. I could paint that,” she said.
No magnifying glass, no problem
The 33-year-old said many people are astonished by her ability to create such detailed images in a tiny space.
“I get a lot of people ask me, ‘how do you paint so small? Don’t you use a magnifying glass?’ I hear that so often. I don’t,” she said.
Sturchio relies on her good eyes, a steady hand, and of course, some very small paint brushes to get the job done.
“I don’t even know how to describe it. You get a small enough brush, and you have enough patience you really can learn how to do it,” she said.
Sturchiso said she tries to paint a few hours each week in between her work and family schedule. Eventually, she’d like to turn the hobby into a full-time gig.
“There is something peaceful just about being able to go sit down and paint for a while, and the world can just go away, and you can just enjoy the process. Whether you are good or bad, it doesn’t matter. It’s creating is what is important,” she said.
Sturchio is not doing commission work right now. She does, however, sell some of her pieces on her Facebook page. Pricing ranges from $35 — $50.