You may remember attempting to draw or paint on the walls of your mother’s house and being disciplined for marking on the ‘clean walls’. Kemesha Francis can’t relate. As a child, her mother and grandparents fed her desire to paint and draw, so much so that they gave her designated spaces and walls for her to explore her creative energies. She is now an artist and earning an income from her craft.
As the owner of KFrancis Art, she believes that a “splash of paint can bring happiness” to those who either make art or consume it.
In an interview with Our Today, Francis explains that her business is about exploring, designing and lighting up the world with vibrant colours, abstract artwork with the usage of mixed media, paint, resin, mirror, glass or whatever else that comes to mind. She works on canvas with most of her paintings and she also makes art and diaries using a mixture of her art and resin.
Resin is a solid or semisolid, water-insoluble, organic substance with little or no tendency to crystalise. It is one of the basic components of plastics and is also used for coatings on paper, particleboard, and other surfaces that require a decorative, protective, or special-purpose finish.
A LIFE OF ART WITHOUT FORMALLY STUDYING THE CRAFT
KFrancis Art, she said, has technically been around since her childhood. She would always sign or tag her work with ‘K. Francis’ and the year. However, she started the formalisation process in 2016 with the creation of her Instagram page and her ecommerce site where people may purchase her art. She began using resin in her work in December of 2020.
She considers herself to be ‘a likkle country girl from cool cool Mandeville doing big things and creating her own path through her art’.
She charts her own path as she is a predominantly self-taught artist and making her way in life according to her own terms doing what she has always loved.
As a teen, she said she would paint murals and cartoon characters on the walls of basic schools as a means to spread happiness, earn money, and also practise her craft outside of the classroom setting. Prior to that, she said she used to colour and paint her favourite cartoons and characters from story books that her mother would buy for her as a child.
“Additionally, there were walls in the house that I could draw on at my leisure. My family encouraged it and even bought me tools and material to create my masterpieces. The paintings may still be there,” she shared.
Her only training came from her Caribbean Advance Proficiency Examination (CAPE) level art classes. Her tertiary level education was fulfilled at the University of the West Indies, Mona where she studied Entertainment and Cultural Enterprise Management. Upon graduation, she went in the direction of sales and marketing and stayed in the field for a little over a decade.
While pursuing her degree and then working full time, she would always be seen drawing or painting for an art project that was either commissioned or for her own personal collection.
Francis explained that she lives by her mantra, “the world is my oyster” and she has always made full use of it by exploring art in some way despite whatever else may be happening.
MOTIVATION AND JOY IN ART
Francis shared that she is most happy when painting, creating, and designing.
“The sense of fulfillment is one of a kind and it has always been one of my main motivators,” she said.
Also a mother to a four year old, she highlighted that her child is one of her primary motivators. “His happiness, smiles, and innocence allows me to see the world differently,” she said, after pointing out that her son also has a knack for art and will sometimes join her when she is working on an art piece.
Another motivator is her partner, who has always encouraged her to pursue her craft with her entire being and transition into art full time.
FROM A SIDE HUSTLE TO A FULL TIME JOB
Francis indicated that doing art full time has always been a dream of hers and she took the step to leave her comfortable field of sales and marketing to embrace the fear of pursuing her favourite pastime on a fulltime basis.
She has been a full time artist since January of this year and she loves it.
“Despite the impending fear and self doubt, I would always say ‘what a peaceful and amazing day it would be when I wake up and my job is to paint, create and design’. That day finally came and it is a beautiful experience!” she said.
“As my grandma would say, ‘the worl’ a fi mi, don’t be like doubtful Thomas,” she said. So, “though I am scared, I’m still doing it,” she continued.
Francis pointed out that her paintings and resin art are now her primary focus. She intends on exploring painting techniques and resin art “in unimaginable ways”. “I want to see what works for me and what doesn’t. Going beyond the usual borders while having fun is my goal,” she said.
She shared that she paints from her heart and also does commissioned pieces. “Ninety per cent of my commissioned pieces are designed by me while the others are set images or photographs that my customers send to me,” she said.
In considering the future of her brand, Francis said: “I try to focus on what I’m doing now to make sure that the future isn’t rushed. I take tiny impactful steps today to make my tomorrow better. I am hopeful that my artwork will be in places that I’ve never been before, where many people make it their point to buy some of my artwork to adorn their spaces. I want my brand to make an impactful stamp in the art world.”
Connect with KFrancis Art @kfrancisart and @kfrancisresin on Instagram
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