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A Decade of Art & Marriage: Why AK Llamas Works

AK Llamas walking Deaderick Street in Nashville – Photography by Kerry Woo

Ten years of Art & Marriage…Why AK Llamas Works?

Let’s be honest, sometimes it doesn’t. Putting two creatives together isn’t just compatible, it’s combustible. The relationship began with Kristin interrupting Alfonso’s band practice to curse the group for firing her sister as lead singer so Alfonso and Kristin are the first to admit that they love & hate each other on an hourly basis. The fact is that creatives are usually very passionate about their ideas. Throw in some spicy hispanic and firey Italian blood and you have one strong blend of stubborn.

But just like any precious stone, it takes a lot of intense heat and pressure to make something purely beautiful and unique. The relationship has always grown with long late-night discussions, parallel pasts of fending for themselves in their early teen years and a love for all things beautiful and unique. However Alfonso and Kristin each develop ideas very differently. Alfonso is calculative and approaches ideas from a place of what is practical, logical and thoroughly researched. Kristin is impulsively driven to create out of pure need for expression and communication. It is because of Kristin’s dreams that large projects begin, but it is due to Alfonso’s sense that they are completed.

Alfonso Llamas and Raeann Rubenstein


2013 marks the ten year marriage of Alfonso and Kristin Llamas (formally Kristin Abraham). The very first of their collaborations began before their vows were even spoken. Long conversations and a year long friendship paved the way for a short engagement and immediate artistic collaboration. It was in dating that the two began developing The Nomadic Project. In fact, they even purchased a 2003 Honda Element in anticipation of the conceptual art project that would take them on a 13th month journey to all Fifty states. That car (which they refuse to ever part with) first had to take them to their icy wedding destination. After only a year of marriage, the Nomadic Project began and the artists celebrated their anniversary on the road with an idea that lead a decade of creative collaborations.

Photography by Anthony Scarlati, Courtesy of Nashville Arts Magazine


Despite a life of collaborations in art and family, Alfonso and Kristin continue to maintain their creative identities and a respect for each other’s work/role. Everything the couple works on is a collaboration, but certain projects focus more on one or the other’s strengths and that can be seen in past and future work.

This year, Kristin is focusing on a new series of oil paintings based on Socratic Dialogues held throughout Nashville. The work will debut at the Parthenon Museum in 2013. Alfonso’s passion is currently the Amaranths: Tactical Flowers, a street art project that will take on a global reach. While The Nomadic Project exhibit continues in its ninth year of touring, the couple has turned the concept of uniting the nation through art to “YOUniting” the world by creating The YOUnite Tour, and working with artists from over 55 countries.

With their passion for art and each other this combustable collaboration continues…


  • Kristen Hopkins

    I had NO clue you guys met that way, which was absolutely hilarious btw! I loved this little glimpse into your lives thx for sharing XOXOXO Al and Kris you two are truly an inspirational couple!!! Tackling the world together :-D I love it!

  • Mac Mc Donald

    Wow, what a beautiful and transparent romance story. It is refreshing and challenging as well to me and I’m sure others will agree. Keep up that special “tension” that makes you guys tick !!