Worcester native Michelle Kohler is living the American dream and making waves on the art scene.
Kohler (36) lived in Ethel Road, Worcester West, and graduated from Gim in 2002. Ever since she was a little girl, she’s had a penchant for creativity and has always been mesmerised by the natural beauty that surrounded her as a child.
“I began realising my natural abilities around five years old, but really made the commitment to become an artist as a young teenager,” she explains from her home in Colorado.
She adds as a child, painting was her favourite activity and that she is grateful to have grown up during a time when the distractions of technology were not so prevalent.
“If ever I was bored, art would delight me. It truly was a passion. Creativity emerged within me prior to it’s artistic expression. My mother would catch me at a very young age, staring for hours at the same sky, completely enraptured with the colours, depths and hues. Mother Nature is such a talent,” she gushes.
At a young age she was awarded the opportunity to travel the world.
“Travelling the world has always been my highest desire. So when given the opportunity to do so, discovering new locations around the globe filled with art, was a bonus and a blessing. It’s my opinion that the more art and art culture you are exposed to, the more inspired and well-rounded you will become as a person and an artist.”
It was always Kohler’s dream to live in the United States of America, and she never gave up on that dream. She made the move at the tender age of 22.
“Growing up, it was my dream to live in America and I never let go of that dream. So, I seized the first opportunity that came my way and now I am a fully fledged citizen of America. My dream came true.”
However, her journey has not been as smooth as it may sound. One of the difficulties she’s had to face in building her career has been to learn to trust in her process.
“It has taken me years to learn to trust in my abilities and not get super emotional when I’m halfway through a painting. My unique style of painting is very difficult and I think a lot of artists would be tempted to give up halfway and throw away the canvas. I’ve learned I must take a break and reset my mind. This style of painting requires absolute patience and a good mood, so being on top of what is happening in your mind, can certainly pay dividends when it comes to cultivating creativity.”
She calls her style of painting “Deconstructive Realism”.
“It is my expression of artistic independence and creativity as it pertains to the depth and complexity of the human portrait. Abstract meets Realism,” Kohler imparts.
For ten years, her art was her full-time job, until last year when she decided to branch out. She now owns a design company and designs and creates products that she sells on Amazon. Her goal is to one day have a retail space.
Her advice to aspiring artists is for them to get out of their comfort zone.
“Try new techniques and master them. Discovering your own unique style can only come through experimentation and courage. Dedicate a set time to create art every week. You will grow incredibly fast if you remain consistent. Also, I wouldn’t recommend, at least not initially, to aspire to become famous or wealthy from your gifts, I feel it can set you up for a long road of chasing when you should be playing. I recommend doing what you love first and foremost.”
Even though she is living her dream, she misses South Africa.
“I miss the type of people we have in South Africa. There’s just something so down to earth and relaxing about South Africans, and their humour is right up my alley.
“I also miss the landscape and overall coastal lifestyle. South Africa is all about good food, good wine and good company, with endless places to visit and explore. I miss my friends and family so much. I hope to visit soon.”
Her creations can be viewed on her website michellekohlerart.com or on her Instagram through searching Michelle Kohler art.