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Meet Karina Gonzalez of Art By KaleX in Newport Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karina Gonzalez.

Karina, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I have always been the artsy type. I have been sketching/painting since I could remember. It was always a hobby and something I did for fun. I never thought once about making a career out of it, so I never pursued it like I wish I did.

When I was 25, I was living in Chicago, IL and went to an art festival in Old Town. There were a bunch of different type of artists that come together to showcase and sell their work. I always went to things like this because I love art. But for some reason, I always thought you needed to be basically famous for anyone to even be interested in buying your stuff. When I walked around, I would ask these artist their story and they were just like me- they just loved art, so they made it and sold it. I was blown away and asked myself why am I not doing this?

The next week, Takashi Murakami just opened his exhibit at the MCA in downtown Chicago. He has always been my favorite artist. Japanese culture in general was something I always followed and admired. I went and was so inspired, I literally drove right to an art store, bought a huge canvas and just started painting.

I painted a mural of all the things that I love which is fashion, Japanese culture and music. I posted it on Instagram and everything changed since then. I had TONS of requests asking me how much for my painting and if I could paint them something similar. From there I made my own art IG and website and have been painting almost full time ever since.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Just like any journey, it has not been easy. I still struggle whether I should do this full time or not. It is my passion but I also have to be realistic. I’m still working my way to become full time one day.

The other major struggle is whether to do custom paintings or not. When you take on too many custom requests, you may stray away from your style and lose who you are as an artist. I currently have stopped taking custom orders to focus on my own image and to work on making a brand for myself. Maybe later down the road, I will work on doing custom orders again.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Art By KaleX – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
My company is Art By KaleX. I specialize in modern acrylic art on canvas along with some digital work. I love embracing today’s culture and translating it on canvas. I am really in love with street fashion and like to incorporate that into my work. My paintings are always bold, bright and incorporate today’s culture whatever that may be at the time.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
My long term goal is to be able to do this full time. For now, I am just working on making a name for myself but also focus on collaborations hopefully in the fashion world. I would love my art to be on sneakers, clothing, etc.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Phone: 949-677-4794
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @artbykalex
  • Facebook: @artbykalex

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