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Meet Karissa Kaneshiro of Art by Karissa in Sherman Oaks

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karissa Kaneshiro.

Karissa, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Growing up in Vacaville, CA, I started drawing at a young age. I have spent my life scaling up in medium, content and size. As my mind grows, so do my sights on what is possible creatively. I’ve spent many years developing my abilities with graphite, charcoal, and paint, always inspired to draw portraits.

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?
During COVID, I had a lot of free time to focus and pursue my art full time. Before, I was too afraid to take the chance on myself and trust that people would enjoy what I can make. But through the doubts and low confidence, I was able to grow expressively through color and originality of each piece. I was worried about losing my job, not knowing what my full potential was in front of me. Everything will be ok and so far, it’s been the best thing that has happened to me as an artist and person. I am the most happy doing what I’m meant to do.

Please tell us more about your art.
I have most recently found myself creating collage pop art using only paper – primarily clippings from magazines and books. I’m inspired by icons and their stories. I start with a source image/portrait that catches my eye for its balance, depth, beauty, energy and overall visual intrigue. Once I have chosen a particular photo, I explore different sizing and crops. I then proceed to recreate the portrait out of various bits of paper. Each element I select is important and hopefully brings a hint of mystery and classic beauty from a lost moment in time into present day. I am able to add layers of meaning to each piece. I love the effect that all the little bits of paper, which are taken out of context, come together to create a concise piece of art.

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