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Meet Karla Kelman of La Femme Artiste

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karla Kelman.

Karla, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
La Femme Artiste started with a brunch date and a new friend. I went to brunch with a fellow ToastMaster participant (Shanna Lim) and during that outing, I discovered she was a visual artist/art professor. During that time, me a couple of older women (strangers) who directed us to a pop-up store. After the brunch date, I visited the pop-up store and met another female artist (Clarissa Castillo-Ramsey). It was then that I began to reflect as to the number of female artists in my life, and the numbers were stacking up. As an AP Art Studio and Art History high school teacher for ten years, I realized that most of the artists studied, and the “Master” were all males. I always wondered, where were the females? I understand over the course of history women’s rights were limited and/or nonexistent.

However, I am sure women such as tapestry, pottery and more but never received credit. This was the birth of La Femme Artiste, an all-female visual art mobile exhibition group designed as a platform for the creative wives, mothers, daughters, sisters and female friends by providing tangible opportunities. We no longer have to just do a “normal job” or take care of our families and put our creative dreams on the shelf OR treat them as just hobbies. While we are juggling life, we can celebrate our contribute to the art world through La Femme Artiste Group and inspire young girls (La Femme Artiste – Petite) to pursuit careers in the visual art & science field.

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?
The road to something great is never paved with gold but thorns, thistles and potholes. The biggest struggle was my mindset, could I do this? I am really able to take nothing and create something. As a portrait painter and graphic designer, I knew creation typically comes out of nothing. However, this was a new thing for me. Creating a cause and fanning a passion within others to collaborate and celebrate others. Finances was another challenge. How can this pays for itself without straining my family’s resources. I possessed nothing but an idea, a passion and a paintbrush so I figured it out. I realize that when dreams are stirred through a universal love for others, then the universe would step in and provide the necessary resources to make things happen.

Please tell us about La Femme Artiste.
La FEMME Artiste Exhibition is a creative mobile group seeking to promote female artists. It is described as a”female” and not a “feminist” exhibition group. La FEMME Artiste acknowledges and celebrates all artists (both male and female) who are contributing their creative talents to impact the world and better their communities. In alignment with its mission statement, La FEMME Artiste’s goal is to truly empower female artists by providing practical opportunities that will activate their gift(s).

I am known for inspiring others through my own creative work, as a public speaker and as an individual. I love ideas and when others mention theirs, I become just as excited to fan their dreams into flames. The proudest component of my company are the artists and their families. OMG! To be a witness in seeing these women light up because their work is displayed for all to see is priceless. We have everyone from the novice, first-timer, to the professional, and the experience is always the same. To be approached by family members saying thank you for giving us and our artist such a memorable experience is truly precious.

The thing that sets us apart is the comradery and collaboration. Most artists are solitary people. We can become caught up in our own experience as creatives and our own creations (artworks). La Femme Artiste breaks down those walls with a “we are all in this together.” So even when an artist sells an artwork, and another don’t the celebration is still strong. Our shows are very eclectic without themes and boundaries. We want each artist’s unique voice to come through her work without being bridled. The feedback from the artists and attendees are always, “we’ve never been in a show like this. We really get to see the artists’ unique voices and no two works are alike!”

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Timing is everything. Some may call it luck; others like myself – God and the universe or the law of attraction. I could not have picked a better timing to launch the company. Every show gets bigger and better. Even returning artists are flabbergasted that the most recent show outpaced the prior. I know I could not have done this and carry this vision without an unseen power aiding me. May I always stay humble in order to lift fellow female artists and be a blessing to others.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Photographs taken by Celine Sino-Cruz

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