We had the good fortune of connecting with Kimberley Kaye and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kimberley, what’s the most difficult decision you’ve ever had to make?
The most difficult decision I’ve had to make was staying true to who I am as an artist. Let me explain! So, I began painting in Jamaica on a professional level in 2003 focusing mostly on very realistic landscapes and portraits. This is what I did for years, having several sold-out exhibitions, selling hundreds of paintings and building a client list of loyal customers. But I knew from the very beginning that, although I was good at realism, this was not what I truly wanted to paint. The truth was I didn’t exactly know what or how I wanted to paint but I knew I didn’t feel completely satisfied with the way I was expressing myself through art. After about 10 years I took a little hiatus from full time painting, explored teaching and also had two beautiful sons.
In 2018 I made the decision to resume my art career and finally figure out who I really was as an artist. This time I knew things would be different because I chose to focus on what I wanted to paint, not what I knew was guaranteed income. This was the most difficult decision I have had to make as an artist and has come with many challenges. I’ve turned down landscape painting jobs, lost clients who were only interested in realism, and have had many people say to me “I love your old stuff, why did you change your style?”. While this decision might have come with some losses what I have gained by staying true to myself is priceless. Cheers to change, growth and new beginnings!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Although my artwork has evolved over the years the source of inspiration has always been nature and everything she entails. I think the vibrant colors I love using so much and the movement in my artwork are a reflection of my Jamaican heritage, the Caribbean vibes are usually evident!
At the start of my career, I used a technique where I painted directly from photographs so it has been a challenge to let go and paint freely, using only instinct and intuition. My ultimate goal is for people to see something more than a pretty, well painted picture when they see my work and hopefully feel the emotion and passion I put into the piece. I am excited to see where this journey will lead!
It won’t be easy. A successful career as an artist isn’t a cake walk but with consistency and hard work any goal is achievable. The biggest lesson I’ve learned over the years is that rejection and disappointment can mold you into a better artist if you are open to receive the message and keep pushing forward!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
For sure we would do outdoor activities like heading to the beach. Beaches in Fort Lauderdale and Miami are beautiful but for a more relaxing experience we like to head up to Spanish River Beach in Boca. We would also have to check out Everglades National Park to see wild life up close, especially the alligators!
For night time entertainment we would visit Wynwood Walls to check out some art followed by dinner and drinks at one of the many eclectic spots in Wynwood. Brunch at Sugarcane in Midtown is also a must. The Cook and The Cork in Coral Springs is also a definite for dinner, it’s laid-back and the food is amazing!
With that being said, my good friends know that I would much rather curl up on the sofa with a glass of wine and a movie than head out on the town, so we always do lots of relaxing at home!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Over the years I have crossed paths with so many wonderful people who have supported me throughout this journey from art teachers, mentors, collectors and gallery owners to family and friends.
But a very special shoutout has to be made to my husband Ricky who has been a consistent source of encouragement and support especially in those times when the self-doubt seeped in. Although his best art piece is a stick figure, he has a great eye for art and is my highly valued art critic!