For Kleimola, her art has been a part of her since she was little.
“It’s always seemed natural to me,” she said. “My Mom encouraged me to make creative messes and to let my imagination run wild. I always knew I wanted to be an artist.”
“I felt the need to begin painting more regularly,” she said. “I felt like I was losing a part of me, so I started to set aside time each day to paint.”
“Then my acceptance letter came in the mail, which was the push I needed to keep painting,” she said.
She appeared at the show with her then four-week-old infant, won third place, and sold all her work. After that, more doors opened for Kleimola until “artist” became her official title and full-time job.
When it comes to dividing work and family, Kleimola manages it her own way.
“I would say it’s more of a juggling act than a balancing act,” she said. “There are times when my kids need more of me, so my art is put on hold so I can care for my family. Then there are times when I am preparing for a show or gallery opening and my focus is on my art.”
Kleimola credits her family for helping out during those more hectic times. As a mother and creator, Kleimola feels a bond between the two.
“When I was younger and with less children, I would sometimes feel guilty about taking time to make art,” Kleimola explained. “What I’ve learned over the years is that taking the time to invest in my own mental and physical health allows me to give a better version of myself to my children.”