Monthly Artist Feature (April 2022) – Kim Violenes

Artist’s Name: Kim Violenes

Name of Brand: violenesart 

Artist’s Age: 39 

Artform: Paintings with acrylics 

Country: Aruba


Why do you do what you do? When did you realize a passion for what you do? 

When I was a child I started drawing, I was very shy and this was a way to express myself without using words… Art is the love of my life. I get so much joy from being creative. 


What is your educational background? 

I finished high school and always wanted to study art but I couldn’t afford to go to art school.


What are some of the challenges that you have faced while trying to pursue your passion?

6.5 years ago I was living in Amsterdam and working as an account manager. I made a lot of money but felt very unhappy not being able to do what I love most. So I quit my job and started painting fulltime in Holland for a year. Then, I sold my house, car and all my belongings and traveled for 3 years. Funding my travels by doing volunteer work in exchange for food and accommodation. 2.5 years ago I moved to Aruba (where I was born) and really started educating myself by watching many YouTube art tutorials.  

Overall I haven’t had much challenges I guess. I’ve been very lucky that my art work has been accepted pretty well in 3 different continents. 


Have you encountered people who have been skeptical about your dreams?

Of course, my family always looked down on me and my choices. Now they’ve accepted that I have to do what makes me happy and are very supportive and even proud of me. That’s an amazing feeling. 

Besides family other people don’t understand what being an artist entails. They think it’s a hobby not a profession. 


How did you initially react to those people and how do you act towards them now?

It hurts when people don’t take you serious. It’s very sad that, in our society, doing what you are passionate about is not respected the same as having a regular 9 to 5 job. If you’re an undiscovered athlete, actor, writer or artist, people don’t take you seriously. They start when you start having some success.

So my advise is to always believe in yourself, and the rest will follow. 


How do you work? What is the method to your ‘madness’ and how do you filter your creativity?

Because art is my only source of income I have to do a lot of commercial art just to have a steady income so I can pay my bills. I paint a lot of the flora and fauna that is found on Aruba and give it my own special touch. 

On the other hand I love to paint portraits of people that resonate with me. In these paintings I can really express myself and bring across a piece of me. 


What role do you believe “the artist” has in society? / How do you feel your artform has the power to benefit society?

I believe we have a very big part in society. We make the world more fun colorful and positive with our streetart, paintings, sculptures and photography 


Out of all your work, which piece resonates the most with you?

It’s a piece called varanasi, it’s a painting of an Indian holy man. I’m very interested in religions but I’ve never found a religion that is a 100 percent me. So I take away things I like in religions and make my own religion.

From my time in Asia, I was always captivated by the peaceful enlightened looks of the monks. Unfortunately, I never went to India. But this holy man has the same peaceful enlightened look as do the monks. I really love this painting, and it was hard to part with it.

One of my Instagram followers messaged me that he was coming to Aruba so I showed him around the island and then he bought some of my work including this one. Which made it a lot easier to part with it, knowing the new owner. 


By what terms do you measure success or perfection? When do you feel like you can say that your work is finished and ready to be experienced by others?

I will keep going with a piece until I am happy with it. If I’m not happy with it I will just keep going and going. Sometimes I get stuck and put a piece away for a few months or even years. I always want to keep the positive creative flow going.


Where do you see yourself going?

I plan to stay in Aruba and hope to open my own gallery in a few years. When I have my gallery and [I am] financially stable, I want to give free art lessons to creative talented children that a struggling as I was growing up. I would like to give them confidence and teach them how to become a self-sustaining artist. It’s always important to give back to society.


“When I have my gallery and [I am] financially stable, I want to give free art lessons to creative talented children that are struggling as I was growing up. I would like to give them confidence and teach them how to become a self-sustaining artist. It’s always important to give back to society.”

~ Kim Violenes

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