Artist Statement

Hi, I’m Kristian Gallagher.

Artist, illustrator, designer, award winning photographer, world traveler, runner, and
founder of Modern Tropical Studios.


sprout-400x700-wpThe artwork I create for Modern Tropical is inspired by my love of all things tropical, coastal, and generally summer-related. The result is usually mid century meets classic tropical/tiki with a modern twist. It’s colorful and playful. And as for mediums: anything goes. I have an affinity for blending them. A typical work may contain watercolor, acrylic, inked line art, original vector art, and photographed textures.


spring-leaf-multi2-400px-wpThere are much easier ways to create art than how I do it. After endlessly sketching and deciding on a composition, I handcraft each piece of that composition separately. Painting each leaf, drawing each building, creating each texture as its own art. All those assets are scanned, then composed digitally. Sometimes I wonder if I use such a long process because artmaking is so fun that I want to hold onto a piece as long as possible.

Stats: The Story So Far

Since 2018…

    • 14 licensing partners
    • 30,000+ total units sold to date, including wall art, home decor, and textiles
    • 500+ designs and illustrations currently available for licensing

Awards + Recognition

    • Pottery Barn x Minted, Walls That Wow 
    • Society6, Bestsellers of 2019
    • Homepage features on Americanflat,, and Society6

Personal statement

lemon-tree-lo-wpWhile I greatly admire artists who strive to influence society and bring awareness to a cause or movement, my only goal with my art is to make people happy. People buy my work because it puts a smile on their face. That’s good enough for me. Happy people have better judgement and are kinder to others. It’s a ripple effect. We could use more happy people in the world these days, yes?