Kazmik: A Glimpse Into Their Galvanic Paintings

This is for the readerz!! Get ya reading glasses and let’s get into it. 

I had the chance to speak to a visually stimulating painter who is known on Instagram by name of, Kazmik. They paint these diverting images of femmes encased in dark surrealism. I found their art to be so appealing and as a curious follower, I wanted a peek into their mind-scape, appreciating who they are and to gingerly reflect their thoughts. Who are they? Take a gander at the conversation I was able to have with them. Huge thank you to Kazmik for dedicating he time to talk to me.

@Kazmik_ cover edited by @ssaint_9

G: Can you talk a bit about your background? Where you from? 

K: I’m originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and I immigrated to America with my mom when I was 3 yrs old.

G: Has painting always been apart of your life? 

K: I never got into painting until my freshman year in college but I was mostly working with watercolors back then. Other than that, I never really had the motivation to paint until recently (up until about three to four years).

G: Do you enjoy other mediums aside from painting? 

K: Yeah, even though I mainly use acrylic paint– I love experimenting with different mediums to see how they work together. I’ve been using nail polish and oil based markers on a lot of my paintings lately to add extra dimensions of color or shine and the end results are beautiful every time. 

G: Your work is pretty dope, have you considered art schools or programs during your journey as an artist? 

K: Residency programs both in-state and abroad. Which would just be a great opportunity to experience a different side to the art world and meet new people from different walks of life with similar creative interests.

G: How much of yourself do you pour into your work? 

K: Probably a lot more than I think I do, every painting I make had a lot of intention behind it, I consider my work to be an extension of myself so tend to put my all into making it something beautiful

Portrait of @naezrahlooks via Instagram

G: I always ask all types of visual artists, this question– i think I really just like hearing various people’s take on it: Do you believe in the term, “Artist’s Eye”? If so, what’s your idea/definition of it? 

K: For sure, artists have a way of looking at the world that sometimes others don’t. When a person spends a majority of their time looking at the world through a creative lens, as much as any artist does, they’ll start to pick up on the smaller details they never really cared to look at before.

G: Right, like they’re scanning every single detail, to possibly create or replicate into their own work, at best. I couldn’t even tell you how much time I spend looking at… things! haha!

G: I recently asked our Paper Koi followers/readers this question, and I want to ask you too: “Which emotion/feeling/mood prompts you to make your best creations?

K: If I’m being honest, as someone who feels emotions on the highest level, most of my best work is made when I’m most content rather than any other emotion. It may sound weird but even happiness has its moments, but that’s something I don’t have the right words to explain properly right now.

G: No worries at all, thanks for answering. How would you describe your paintings, in three words to be exact?

K: Striking, motley, & vivid.

G: Interesting! Are there any painters that you would consider to be part of your inspirations? 

K: I’ve always been obsessed with Zeke’s Lunchbox [on instagram], I aspire to be as well versed with color theory one day. A lot of my greatest inspirations are the painters who can easily bring their imaginations to life no matter how realistic it may look. There’s an otherworldly or dreamy aspect to their paintings; I’m inspired by those who know the rules but break them every chance they get. 


G: Being inspired by those who break the rules, huh? I like that. It sounds like some kind of rebellion. What I enjoy about your art is your take on surrealism and that you’re not afraid to get dark. You draw a lot of women/femmes– I love to draw them too, by the way– but you’re also giving us a glimpse of your inner-world…

(I was highlighting your pieces “How do you feel?” “Hellbound” “crawling out of my skin” “facing death” “look a lil harder”) 

K: From the beginning, the idea of drawing women seems to make the most sense. I see myself in these paintings, I just don’t use my face– at least, not yet. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a bit of a dark aspect to my personality. It’s safe to say there’s beauty in the darkness but the uglier aspects sticks with you just as much. Both have the ability to suck you in, at least for me they’re both hard to look way from.

G- I love that, it just makes more sense and it’s way more fun to draw women. I don’t know what it is! Do you think about what you would hope viewers can take away from your paintings ? 

K: Other than how beautiful it looks, I’m always hoping to be understood a bit more through my work. It’s not always gonna happen but whatever you’re feeling when you look at my work I’ve probably felt the same. I’m letting you know how overwhelming my own emotions are at times. The only thought that lingers is how badly I want to crawl out of my own skin. Whether it’s my emotions or being perceived (like in hellbound) I want the discomfort to be felt, it’s something I’m learning to embrace but for now I’m letting you know that (naturally) I still feel uneasy about parts of myself and my life. 

“HELLBOUND” by Kazmik

G: In a way, that’s very beautiful and courageous, wow. On to my other favorite topic: Music. Do you like to listen to any music while painting? Who do you enjoy listening to ?

 K: If I’m not watching YouTube videos about space, history or film I’m sitting in silence. When I do listen to music though, I listen to artists like Jorja Smith, Joy Crookes, Tracy Chapman and bands like Glass Animals. I love beautiful melodies and singing so when I do those are perfect.

G: Oh yeah, Youtube is definitely the move for a GOOD video essay! Do you listen to SZA? If so, did you listen to her new album?? What did you think about it? Favorite track(s) so far? 

K: I love SZA’s music, the song “KillBill” has been on replay but specifically the acoustic version. I’m a sucker for dark and sultry shit, and that version is beautiful too!

G: Yeah! I’m happy music artist are actually blessing us with alternate versions and remixes again. Okay, we’re getting to the end of the interview…. but we get to be a bit silly. Thank you for letting me talk to you! We’re going to play “This or That”, you must pick one and feel free to share why! Okay, the first one is—

G: Cherry-flavored cough syrup OR banana-flavored Laffy Taffy? 

K: Banana flavored laffy taffy, I loved it as a kid and that’ll never change.

 G: Yeah, i’d much rather die than ingest those… Okay, how about DRINK boiled hot dog water OR EAT leftover toaster/air fryer crumbs ?

K: Eat leftover crumbs, it has more flavor

G: Not the flavor, haha! Wear the color blue for the REST of your life OR have your grandma pick out your fit everyday?

K: I’d have my grandma pick out my outfits, she used to dress me up when I was living with her back home. I wouldn’t mind looking like a doll if she was my stylist

G: That’s so sweet, your grandma must be fashionista, for real. How about: Embarrassed OR Afraid? 

K: They both feel the same to me, but I’ll go with embarrassment since it’s usually easier to handle.

G: Cotton candy OR Pretzels? 

K: Cotton candy for the sweet tooth in me and because it love how fluffy it is

G: Sweet-Tooth Gang! Haha! Start horribly OR End beautifully? 

K: End beautifully, I blame fairy tales for always ending happily ever after.

You can follow Kazmik on Instagram.

Kazmik on Instagram

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