Art In All Forms with L.A.’s Kimberly Adamis
I learned about Kimberly Adamis’s work through a mutual friend on Instagram. I immediately fell in love with her vast array of artwork that extends across a variety of mediums. Full of powerful contrasts and an energetic vibrance, her art embodies beautiful imagery that expresses her unique perspective of life.
~ Gail Younts
What is your background, how did you get into this art and how long have you been doing it?
I grew up in a household where music was always around me but art and photography was something I explored on my own. I actually remember the first photo I ever took. I remember the feelings of butterflies as I so carefully composed the photo in my viewfinder. I recently come across that photo and am still proud of that seven-year old that made her vision come to life.
The art I’m currently doing is a joining together of portraits, drawing, digital art and music. All of these thread through all my art in some way. I’ve always been inspired by Annie Leibovitz’s style but I try to bring my own experiences and emotional texture to my portraits. I try to show people a side of themselves they’ve never seen or rarely see.
I started drawing as a teenager, but only recently have liked them enough to want to save my drawings. This led me to scanning for archive, which led to me playing in photoshop and overlaying them onto some of my manipulated portraits. Hence, the birth of my “photoart”. I have now done commissioned work for people asking me to do “photoart” using their faces. I currently have Limited Edition Prints hanging at LACDA Gallery (Los Angeles Center for Digital Art) in LA Art District on a regular basis.
My painting started as an extension of my drawings. It felt like a natural evolution and I’m now hooked. Right now I’m working with a mixture of acrylic paints and acrylic markers. I’ve recently become obsessed with liquid chrome ink markers of all sizes and I’m sure next week I’ll try something else. My latest pieces are six-feet tall and growing…. needless to say we are running out of room in our studio.
My love for music photography has grown organically. My partner (in business and life) and I established Sonic Bliss Productions, LLC in 2011 and I do all our artist Promo/Image Photography, Cover Design, Portraits, etc.
For the past two+ years I have the privilege of being out on the road with Ann Wilson (of Heart) during her solo project and now this summer joining both Ann & Nancy (HEART) for their Reunion Tour. (Along w/ Sheryl Crow, Joan Jett, Elle King, Brandi Carlile, etc.) I am fortunate to have the opportunities to shoot and travel with an amazing group of people. Every night when I lift my camera to my eye I get a new rush of adrenaline like no other.
All of my art and ideas have been swirling in my head for a long time…. decades in fact. Most of my early adult life wasn’t conducive to creating original artwork and evolve artistically. It’s only been within the last 10 years that I’ve made it my sole career and 24/7 life. I spend my life with someone who encourages me to explore my creative side by pushing limits, making mistakes and giving space for the “magic of art” to happen. I guess I’m a textbook example of a late bloomer, but I’d rather like to think I’m right on time.
What is your artistic process, from getting an idea or image to completing the art? How long does it take?
My artist process is different for each medium:
- PHOTOGRAPHY I spend a shit ton of time thinking about different approaches, lenses, looks, angles, lighting, wardrobe, locations, vibe, etc. To be honest, I never stop thinking about it. Then once I start shooting I let it all go and flow with the mood of the day and the subject I’m shooting. We usually get something different and even better than originally planned. I truly believe it’s because of the energy and thought done beforehand. After the first 20 minutes it all flows organically. My shoots usually last 2-4 hours but my edit time can take days…
Shooting live performance is a different adrenaline rush. The energy on stage whether in a small theatre or large amphitheater is contagious and I strive to capture as much emotion and energy as I can from the performer. I’m usually all over the place, from backstage, to out ’n about in the audience, to right up against the front of stage. If you see me out there make sure to wave hi!!
- PHOTOART Most of my photoart comes from diligent time and experimentation. I spend a lot of time scanning, removing backgrounds and making PNG files for all my drawings. I only edit them for rough edges or minor mess ups but for the most part they are duplicates of the originals. People are usually surprised to know that most of my drawing are only a few inches big. (I use an extra fine tip pin for most.) I edit and manipulate interesting portraits I’ve taken and overlay them together in Photoshop. I spend hours and hours. Then, if I’m lucky, magic happens….and if not, I delete and start over. It’s art after all. 🙂
- DRAWING/PAINTING This is the most magical of all the mediums I work with. I literally just start drawing/painting. It can’t be planned. I let my hand draw what it wants to draw. The curves are fun and I let momentum dictate where I go next. I usually draw/paint while listening to a cool song on repeat for hours. Then I take a break and step away to figure out what it wants to be. Sometimes I rotate the canvas before I see anything interesting and it grows from there. Paintings usually take me about a week depending on how many hours per day I devote.
How did you come up with this unique niche?
I let my heart guide my work. Not the $$. I’m not sure if it’s a niche or it just happens to make someone feel something. Either way, my art has no agenda other than to stir an emotion. The fact that it allows me to make a living and be able to make more art is all I’ve ever wanted. Well, that and to be surrounded by love and good people.
How does music inspire your art?
I don’t necessarily think it’s the focal point of my art, but it certainly is a form of art that immensely contributes to my process and inspiration. It’s a part of my life and in my household 24/7 because of my love (Denny Fongheiser, Drummer/Producer) being in the music industry. My art is influenced by osmosis. We share our views daily about our processes and inspirations. Our life is virtually 100% art and it all blends together in everything we do. Our most inspirational art talks are in the morning over pots of french-pressed coffee.
Where has your art been featured? What musicians, sports, etc have you worked with?
My PhotoArt has been regularly featured at LACDA Gallery (Los Angeles Center for Digital Art) where I am a Member Artist. Some of my photos have been included in various online music publications including Rolling Stone magazine. My most recent music photography has been of Ann Wilson (HEART), Paul Rodgers (BAD COMPANY), Carlos Santana (SANTANA), Edgar Winter, Deborah Bonham among many others up and coming musical artists. For more credits feel free to check out my site.
If my art or photography stirs emotion in someone, then I feel I’ve succeeded. I hope this interview gives a little insight and drives you to express yourself through art as well. It feels good… thank you for this opportunity to share my world.