Who is Monika Kralicek? Could you describe yourself while incorporating your favorite colors?
I’m still learning so much about myself every day, keeping in mind we often change as people throughout our lives. At this point in time, I know myself to be independent, curious, and enthusiastic. I care a lot about people and the earth and I’m drawn to the soft organic tones in nature. I’ve reached a point where I’m not wildly ambitious with my goals, rather I’m seeking quality and balance. I’m particularly happy this time of year as the grey skies have returned and there is a quiet energy in the air. With each change in season my art evolves a little more.
Most of your pieces and your creative journey can be seen either on your website or Instagram, how and why did you choose to incorporate Instagram on your creative journey as a tool to reach out to your audience?
It wasn’t intentional… at first. I started on Instagram because I had a personal account where I would occasionally share images of my life around Portland and while traveling. I posted an image of my first painting and was immediately encouraged by my friends and family. I kept that up slowly over the next year while starting to connect with other artists. I found the community inspiring. Being self-taught, the art world was always intimidating, but on Instagram I could connect with artists and art enthusiasts no matter their background, social circle, or location in the world. I love that.
Where do you seek your inspiration, does your creative dayjob has an influence on your pieces as well?
My mind tends to search for something that relates to my current work no matter where I am. When I’m at my dayjob most of the inspiration comes from the people I work with. I’m inspired by others who strive to create something they’re passionate about no matter the constraints. If I’m somewhere that’s not so stimulating then I am usually sketching, trying to remember a horizon or landscape. The most inspiring spaces I find in nature of course, but when I’m enjoying myself outside I try not to view everything as a painting. If I pay too close attention to the fine detail, then I forget the sensory experience of being in the moment. My work is an interpretation of a place, the emotion and memory of it, and sometimes a combination of many places. It all blends together.
When did you start to value your work and when did you see that others value your work?
There were a lot of small moments that started building up. In April of 2016 I started this daily painting project where I committed to a specific focus for 100 consecutive days. My work improved and developed dramatically during that time. By the end of summer, I was working on larger canvases and I put them up for consignment in a local shop. I received some coaching as far as pricing goes and since I felt that it aligned with my work I went for it. The opening weekend I sold the largest piece I had on display. A couple months later I released 5 small pieces during an online popup and sold them all within 4 hours. Those two instances were my ah-hah moments. I shifted my mindset and no longer viewed my work as an amateur commodity. It holds value and illicits an emotional response in others. That’s impactful.
How important is it for an artist to have support from other artists or your community, family?
For me this is very important. I’ve struggled with my feelings of ‘deserving’ to be an artist. I’ve often felt that since I didn’t go to school and have the right contacts, I would never have ownership over the word ‘artist’. Having the support of my family and friends and a community of artists I’ve met in person and through Instagram has been very reaffirming. My desire to create comes from a deeply internal place but what keeps me going when it gets really hard and exhausting is my people.
Can you name 2 artists who are encourage and supported you from the beginning on?
Last year when in the early stages of my 100 day project I connected with a small group of other artists. We called each other our tribe. Lisa McLinden, Sam Rueter, Chelsea Garter, and Ingrid Knuti. Their support and encouragement has been invaluable.
When we don’t find you painting, where in Portland and in the world could we run into you?
Oh if I’m not painting I’m either chilling on the couch… we just bought a house and that in itself is an (exhausting) adventure! Or I’m out and about with friends. We like to eat and drink at new places, find interesting things going on in Portland, and just spend time outdoors… but it’s more than likely on the couch!
Can expect upcoming shows and exhibitions from you soon?
I will be at the 525 Pop-Up hosted by NIKE Design in November and my work will be on display at West Elm Portland for the month of December. Lot’s more to come I hope!xo