Hi! I'm Kelley! 

Most days, you can find me working at our Minneapolis home with our two dogs, Gracie and Murphy. I'm a self-employed artist with three businesses. My work brings me so much joy. But it wasn't always that way. 

I spent 20 years of my life working in corporate retail. Twenty years. It was the best possible kind of corporate retail. I managed a Barnes & Noble bookstore. I love books and book people. But I’m a true introvert, and retail is not a great match for introverts. 


I started making jewelry as a creative outlet in 2005. In 2013 I summoned up all my courage to open my first Etsy shop, Gems by Kelley. Two years later, I made the biggest leap of my life - I quit my job at Barnes & Noble to be a full-time artist. 


By 2017, I had made over 5,000 pieces of jewelry. I was ready for a new creative outlet. I began dabbling in art. I discovered the Apple Pencil and the digital illustration app Procreate. I love creating art on my iPad. I began selling commissioned portraits of homes, buildings and pets. I have a second Etsy shop for custom portraits under my name, Kelley Bren Burke

In 2020 I started my third business. I'm a teacher on Skillshare, which is a online learning platform. Check out the trailer for my first class here. As a self-taught artist, I'm passionate about teaching and learning. 


I’m beaming out a huge heartfelt thank you to everyone who supports me as a self-employed artist. If you’ve purchased my work or cheered me along, thank you. I’m doing what I love, and my life is infinitely more joyful because of it. Thank you. 


Shop portraits