brian andreas (who changed his name to Kai Skye)
The artist Brian Andreas legally changed his name to Kai Skye.
For years he's been known around the world for his lyrical work celebrating the strength, beauty & boundless possibility of the human spirit. He's authored fifteen books - filled with colorful drawings & short stories that, through the years, have accompanied so many through the quiet moments of living.
Born in Iowa, raised in Chicago, Kai went to Luther College for a BA in Theater and English. Later on, after he figured out what he really wanted to do, he got an MFA in Fiber and Mixed Media from John F. Kennedy University in the Bay Area of California. He's the creator of the company & the artform that became known as StoryPeople*.
After 25 years of balancing artmaking with running a company, he's now going in a whole new direction. Working daily in the studio, side by side with Fia. Making beautiful things with their hands. Writing. Drawing. Painting. Listening to what people can create in the world together.
*After a contentious divorce finalized in 2019, Kai lost his old company & all of the copyrights of which he was sole author/artist prior to 2012 - an unprecedented decision in the courts to split the copyrights of a living artist with someone who had no part of the creation or authorship.
The adult sons, with whom he has no relationship, joined the company only after the divorce & choose to copy Brian's unique style, professing it's work they've done all along...
Due to their lies throughout the divorce process, questionable ethics & continued lack of integrity, Kai has no relationship to StoryPeople or his family.
Kai's words on why he changed his name...
After almost eighteen months, we got the news yesterday. We lost the appeal to get back my copyrights. The old company gets to use them however they want. It also seems they get to use my name however they want. It still makes no sense to me.
You may not know I legally changed my name a couple of years ago. Not long after Fia & I decided to make a life together. I’ve continued to use the old name for the artwork & writing I’ve done for a very long time. I convinced myself it was because it's the name people know. That it was the way people'd be able to find me after that initial hit of losing all of my work & the company I built.
The truth is probably a little more unsettling than any of that: I convinced myself I needed to do it because who would I be if no one knew who I'd been...
Fia & I have a constant conversation about how to create our lives every single moment. You can see in the stories & art how we practice that daily. But, when you're lucky & something like this happens, the fault lines you've conveniently forgotten get exposed. You get to see into the dark corners, into the places where you dig in & say Yeah, well, that makes sense for other people, but I'm going to change when I damn well am good & ready. Which may be never. HA.
It's a funny thing, though. Once you see how your old story wants to tag along, it's very hard to un-see it. So, I'm not doing it any more. I’m stepping away fully from all of the old work. I’m stepping away fully from the old company. I'm stepping away fully from the old name.
It doesn’t mean I don’t love what I did with all of it. It just means that the me who did that doesn’t exist any more. So, why would I keep feeding energy to it? Makes no sense...
That's why from here on out you'll see only my real name, Kai Skye. Because it's who I am in my extravagant real life. The one who loves Fia Skye. The one who loves all of you just as fiercely. Who's right here beside you as we make a world that works for everyone...
with love, kai