Encinitas House of Art owner Janel wears a sustainable blue skirt and white tee for a Thread Spun interview

After Hours Disc 25: Celebrating the Funk with Janel Kaden

After Hours 8.29.23

Discussion 25: Celebrating the Funk with Janel Kaden

Meet Janel Kaden, creative director, fine artist, graphic designer, artist, teacher, and small business owner here in Encinitas. Yes, she really does do it all (have you seen our new shop logo?), and she does it all with such heart, one of the many reasons we love her. If you visit Janel's local art studio, Encinitas House of Art, you are stepping into a magical world of glitter and paint, an oasis from the stresses of every day life, a place to find your creative groove. And yes, the art being created is gorgeous, but the real purpose is the journey, not the destination. Janel is here to help you discover your inner artist, because she knows that art benefits one's mental and emotional health, fosters connections and builds community. To see her space and chat with her is to believe. We are so lucky to have Janel and a creative space for kids and adults alike in our community. Especially one that values sustainability and interconnections as much as we do. So, without further ado, our interview with the always sparkling Janel.

encinitas house of art studio - thread spun after hours blog on janelleJanel's studio at the Encinitas House of Art

You are a Leucadia native and such an integral cornerstone to our community here. Can you share some of your favorite parts of our little funky beach town? 
The residents that LOVE the FUNK. Unified by a harmonious bond with their native environment, they cultivate a culture of love and respect for the land, ocean, and each other... Their efforts are why Leucadia is still a funky beach town despite so much of our funkiness being developed. Leucadia is Greek for "Place of Refuge" and for creatives, a sanctuary, like Leucadia and Encinitas, is essential for our productivity.
Jungle Music Palms & Cycads because before Leucadia became built up this is what every street corner looked like! Awwww, local feels.
Laird PlumeighThe Wheel Stoneware because their work studios define the aspirational Leucadia vibe. These artisans make functional art you've seen/touched around town.
San Diguito Heritage Museum because it is important to keep an eye on history while making decisions for the bright future.
Valentina's because it feels "elevated funk," like OG Leucadia. (I go for the muscles and champagne, sitting at the bar.)
Indian Head Canyon Shaded Eucalyptus Grove - because it feel and smells like my childhood.
Janelle in her studio at encinitas house of art
Janel in the Leaves Shorts, paired with her trusty pair of Vans
encinitas house of art - thread spun after hours blog on janelleThe pallets seem like art in itself, no?
Can you share a little bit about your journey as an artist? 
The demanding travel/training schedule as a collegiate athlete didn't allow for the standard (pre 2020) job, so my art major friend (and native!) Kelsey Giusta and I would set up a booth at the Moonlight Market for summer and sell our art. After that, my journey to study law quickly got diverted by the creative avenues. The sheer power of art is undeniable. Like sports, it often transcends languages, economic stature, backgrounds, etc. The journey is intermingled with torture, chaos and massive sparkle. 
encinitas house of art - thread spun after hours blogJanel in the matching Leaves set by AMT
When did you know you were an artist?
I knew I was an artist when I surrendered to the human condition. 
encinitas house of art - thread spun after hours blogThe Encinitas House of Art studio
encinitas house of art - thread spun after hours blog
Rami Kim's Tiki Tumbler isn't just for drinking out of
Do you believe artists need a formal education? 
No, not at all.
encinitas house of art - thread spun after hours blog
Encinitas House of art offers art workshops for all ages
encinitas house of art - thread spun after hours blog
The studio in all its glory
You operate an amazing art studio in Encinitas that hosts people of all ages, backgrounds, and passions. What is something you've noticed that unites all people?
The human condition! The shared vulnerability of lacking confidence or fearing to engage in an unfamiliar experience of making art creates a bond of empathy and support; uniting guests. There is fascinating research coming out about how a majority of mental health issues are in direct relation to a lack of basic, authentic human connection... as simple as making eye contact at the grocery store! The connections guests are making at the Encinitas House of Art are rooted in the moment, immediately benefiting mental / emotional development as it triggers the release of oxytocin and other neurochemicals, elevating feelings of trust, belonging, and support; positively impacting neural pathways and emotional resilience...building a brighter future and community. Yah, it's rad.

encinitas house of art - thread spun after hours blogColor is ~everything~

What is your favorite medium as an artist? 

Pen and paper.

 Janel Kaden of Encinitas House of Art wearing sustainable clothes by Thread spun

encinitas house of art - thread spun after hours blogJanel wearing the Thinking Mu Olivia Skirt,
with a guest appearance by her hairless cat, Worm (catch her at the studio)

What does sustainability mean to you?

Common senseA deep respect and proactive, courteous form of honoring the environment we live in with convicted consideration and utmost gratitude of our post-modern impact.

encinitas house of art - thread spun after hours blogTo keep the paint off of your clothes, Encinitas House of Art
repurposes thrifted robes to be used as stylish aprons


How do you incorporate sustainability into your art and your studio space?
We reuse and repurpose everything we can. If you’ve been a guest at our studio, your masterpieces has materials we saved from entering the landfill. We incorporate micro-examples of limited resources for our participants. The studio instills a thought process we hope permeates within our guests far beyond their studio visit. For example, a guest shared that her daughter was in awe when we used a candy wrapper as an ingredient in one of our projects. This young art grom is now inspired, collecting discarded candy wrappers off our beaches for her art projects. Encouraging the development of this mindset is a large part of our mission.

encinitas house of art - thread spun after hours blog

What is your favorite thing in the shop right now?

Besides the helpful, stylish staff and the hanging ceramic light fixtures? The ceramic bookends for my comfort obsession and the Flower Pocket Press is a perfect way to make a neighborhood stroll with the minis adventurous & artsy. Nature is art.

encinitas house of art - thread spun after hours blogAn artist in her element

encinitas house of art - thread spun after hours blog
We love a personalized love note

Top 5 favorite songs at the moment?

Drive to work: Overdrive - Post Malone

Working at the studio: Roses - Genevra Munoa

An afternoon run: Alive, Rufus du Sol

Solo sunset sand stroll: Only - Live from Royal Albert Hall RY X, London Contemporary Orchestra 

Cocktails with friends: Give Me Honey, Dope Lemon

Learn More about Janel Kaden at Encinitas House of Art


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