100 Creatives 2013: Khrystyna Balushka, Paper Flower Child

Categories: 100 Creatives

What She Does: Do you like flowers? Sure, everyone does, but what if you're one of those people that just isn't content with what mother nature produces on her own? Gaia's best just isn't good enough for your wedding or front parlor.

That's where Khrystyna Balushka and her incredible paper flowers come in. Each one is a work of fragile sculpted beauty that tops most simple flora. Each creation is hand sketched by Balushka before being fed into her computer system. The flowers are then tested to perfection by repeated trials through her cutting machine until her vision becomes reality and she officially names the new flower she's crafted.

Balushka comes to us from the Ukraine, where she developed creative interest in fashion by sewing her own clothes since the age of 12. Since creative work is not considered a profession in the Ukraine, she earned a master's degree in math and economy from the Institute of Math, Economy and Technology in Odessa. Once completed, she took a boat to America to pursue a creative path. Now she's here, and you can see her work at the Annie Allbritton boutique, Now and Forever, on the corner of Kirby and Richmond and, Ivory Bridal Atelier.

Why She Likes It: "I love that my flowers bring love and happiness to people. One is never tired or bored to look at my flowers; it always has something new to tell or show you in its paper folds, and it lasts."

What Inspires Her: Obviously you're not going to get into making flowers without a healthy appreciation of nature, and a lot of Balushka's work finds its genesis in the flowers her paper crafts mimic. But her visions grow like flowers, too, being organically inspired by her travels, life, and her emotions. She also has a very healthy love of geometry, which is understandable considering her background.

If Not Here, Then Where: When she was growing up in the Ukraine Balushka lived on the coast of the black Sea, and has always felt a deep connection with the water. Luckily, Galveston is just a little ways away from us, but if she were to leave Houston she would still want to reside near the ocean. Couple that with a love of fresh food and you might one day find her plying her trade in the Caribbean.

If Not This, Then What:Despite her interest in fashion, Balushka would rather try something new if she had to. She's interested in something culinary, or perhaps interior design and architecture to match her visual style and mathematical training.

What's Next: "I am about to buy a real deal laser cutter by the end of the year, so I will be able to expand production and make metal flowers for outdoors (will learn welding skills as well!). Also I collaborate with other artists like my best friend, she refinishes furniture and it is available for rent and purchase at my studio. We are launching hand painted flowers in November (you will be able to order a flower with your portrait on a petal), we will cut out silhouettes on the petals and my other artist friend will perform abstract paintings on the flowers. Fun!"

More Creatives for 2013
(In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).

Christina Carfora, visual artist and world traveler
Sara Kumar, artistic director for Shunya Theatre
Kiki Maroon, burlesque clown
Gin Martini, fashion designer
Lacey Crawford, painter and sculptor
Homer Starkey, novelist
Jenn Fox, mixed media Shohei Iwahama, dancer
Erica DelGardo, metalsmith
Bob Clark, executive director Houston Family Arts Center
Kerrelyn Sparks, bestselling romance author

Lindsay Halpin, punk rock mad hatter
Drake Simpson, actor
Shelby Carter, Playboy model turned photographer
David Matranga, actor
Crystal Belcher, pole dancer
Daniel Kramer, photographer
Blue 130, pin-up explosion art

Nina Godiwalla, author and TED speaker
David Wilhem, light painter
Tom Abrahams, author and newscaster
Browncoat, pin-up pop artist
Kris Becker, Nu-Classical composer and pianist
Vincent Fink, science fashion
Stephanie Saint Sanchez, Senorita Cinema founder
Ned Gayle, thrift store painting defacer

Sameera Faridi, fashion designer
Greg Ruhe, The Human Puppet

Sophia L. Torres, founder and co-artistic director of Psophonia Dance Company
Maggie Lasher, dance professor and artistic director
Jordan Jaffe, founder of Black Lab Theatre
Outspoken Bean, performance poet
Barry Moore, architect
Josh Montoute, mobile gaming specialist
Ty Doran, young actor
Gwen Zepeda, Houston's first Poet Laureate
Joseph Walsh, principal dancer at Houston Ballet
Justin Garcia, artist
Buck Ross, dilettante and director of Moores Opera Center
Patrick Renner, sculptor of the abstract and the esoteric
Tomas Glass, abstract artist and True Blood musician
Ashley Stoker, painter, photographer and Tumblr muse
Amy Llanes, artistic airector of Rednerrus Feil Dance Company
Bevin Bering Dubrowski, executive director at the Houston Center for Photography

Lydia Hance, founder and director of Frame Dance Productions
Piyali Sen Dasgupta, mixed media artist and nature lover
Dean James, New York Times bestselling mystery novelist
Nicola Parente, abstract painter and photographer

Cheryl Schulke, handmade leather pursemaker
Anthony Rathbun, Alternative Lifestyle Photographer
David Salinas, computer-less analog photographer

Danielle Burns, art curator
Alicia DiRago, Whimseybox founder

Katia Zavistovski, contemporary art curator

Ashley Horn, choreographer, filmmaker
Amanda Stevens, scary book author
Peter Lucas, film and video curator, music lover and self-described culture-slinger

Ana María Otamendi, collaborative pianist and vocal coach

Billy D. Washington, comedian
Michele Brangwen, choreographer and dancer

Kristin Warren, actress and choreographer

Kelly Sears, animator and film maker
Colton Berry, Bayou City Theatrics' artistic director

jhon r. stronks,dance-maker
Joe Grisaffi, actor, director, writer, cinematographer
Jordan "Monster Mac" McMahon, artist, designer

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