With her animals’ craving for coffee, American artist Holly Simental puts us all in a good mood. Proving that there is no such thing as cuteness overload, she created a series of heartwarming paintings that can’t be resisted. We recently caught up with her and asked how life on the small farm influences her work and what she enjoys most. Read the interview below and meet the artist on the spot.
How long have you been creating art now?
I have been creating art for fun since I was 6 years old. I have been creating art professionally since 2014 when I opened my Etsy shop and made my first art card.
You run your own art business. What are the biggest challenges of being your boss?
I have a hard time managing my job as a registered nurse, art, and time for relaxing. I tend to work a lot, and I forget to relax.
And what do you like the most about being an artist?
I absolutely love hearing how people enjoy my art. It makes me so happy to create something that brings happiness to others!
What does “Mama Kik’is” mean?
My daughter invented a soap when she was 10 and named it Mama Kiki’s M’cocoaleaf. I opened my Etsy shop for her to sell her soap. I named the shop after her soap. I really should ask her exactly what it means 😂
What does your creative process look like?
I first think of what animal or animals I would like to feature in my next artwork. I spend a lot of time exploring photos of that animal and the natural expressions that they make as well as features that make them funny and special. I will then use a combination of photos to accurately represent the idea I want to portray. I sketch my idea. I then paint it with whatever medium I think will best achieve the look I want for that animal.
Where did you get the idea for the animals drinking coffee series?
I started with my owl caffeine meter and noticed how much people liked it. I thought that I could create better coffee art and continued to work on perfecting the idea of animals with coffee. This is definitely my most popular art theme. I will continue to improve on the idea with new coffee animal art.
You live on a farm (correct me if I’m wrong). How much does it inspire your work?
I do live on a small, half-acre farm. It was always my dream as a child to live on a farm. I love animals and I am definitely inspired by their diverse personalities and facial expressions. I am also inspired by nature as I am fortunate to live very near Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada mountain range where I enjoy hiking and camping and watching wild animals.
Apart from drawing and painting, how do you like spending your time?
I love to ski, snowboard, hike, camp, and fish. I love to enjoy all of God’s beautiful creations first hand. These experiences have most influenced my art.
What are your biggest dreams as an artist?
I would love to have the opportunity to inspire others to live their dreams. I would love to encourage others to look to the future and make it what they want it to be, no matter the obstacles or what their past may hold. If it was possible to achieve that with art and/or with my life experiences, that would be my dream.