Ken and Klem: A Collabogram with Zero Compromise

by Lex van den Berghe

posted on 09-08-2016

Nothing is more dangerous than playing it safe—when it comes to creativity, that is. More often than not, the best ideas are inspired by a new point of view. And being forced out of one’s comfort zone, forced to see through someone else’s eyes, can be the very thing that breaks down creative boundaries.

For more than 25 years, all of us on the Photoshop team have enjoyed watching artists use Photoshop to reinterpret the world we live in and redefine what’s creatively possible. But creativity is boundless, so we put our heads together and asked ourselves: how can we push a group of artists to the next level to create art that will inspire us all to occasionally jump into the deep end of the pool and test our creative limits?

Collaboration + Instagram = Collabogram

What better way to expand your creativity than to expose yourself to an art form completely different from your own?

To prove our point, we paired up three dynamic duos who specialize in (seemingly) incompatible art forms and challenged them to collaborate and create something awesome together. Welcome to our first installment of Collabograms – brought to you by an oddly matched pair named Ken and Klem…

Meet the Artists


Ken Davis (@coolhandken) is a traditional sign painter and gold-leaf artist who got his start honing his craft with trace paper on stucco walls. Now, he creates signs that are truly golden pieces of art.


Klem (@klem1891) is a stained glass and tattoo artist who gets to create his masterpieces from 9-5 as well as after hours. He is a master of both ink and glass, creating art that lasts a lifetime.

This unlikely duo share a common love: Motörhead. While brainstorming ideas for their collaborative creation, they decided they wanted to bring together their contrasting methods to create a common ground – in this case, a tribute of sorts to Motörhead’s lead singer, the late great Lemmy Kilmister.

But using Lemmy as the focal point in their piece has a meaning that goes beyond their love of the man and his music – it’s what he stood for: zero compromise. Like Lemmy, these artists are advocates for authenticity always, no exceptions. One’s art should never aim to fit the mold of what others want or expect – it’s all about boundless creativity and staying 100% true to what inspires you. This principle motivates Ken and Klem in their everyday work and they wanted to convey that through this tribute piece, while paying respect to a hero who inspires them.

Their Rockin’ Masterpiece

Ken’s cool hand went to work with the gold-leaf and paint while Klem cut glass and soldered away and, after working together for about a month, their masterpiece was complete.

This tribute to Lemmy is just the start. Ken and Klem are sharing more insider details about their backgrounds as well as this collaboration in an Instagram takeover at @photoshop, so be sure to check it out.


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