We had the good fortune of connecting with Kei Adams and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kei, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
When I began my art career, I threw my whole self into it. I was so dedicated to succeeding (which is a good thing) but I ignored the needs my personal life and soon this caught up with me and I burned out.
Now I understand that in order for to do my best work, I must prioritize the well being of my strongest tool—myself. Rest and health in general is so important. I saw the quality and reception of my work improve drastically when I gave myself time to exist outside of my labor.
I view my work/life balance now as central part of success and the key to expanding it. Taking time out to do what I love with loved ones, indulging a little, and rejuvenating is reflected in the work I put in.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I started painting very young. My mother is an artist and I take after her, so I was always around creative materials and we always got to experiment a lot and create things together.
As I got older I kind of shied away from art, and wasn’t until I began to use art as a sort of therapy that I fell in love with painting again.
In this day and age social media has become such a central part of society. I began sharing my work on Twitter and soon I had a small following. As time passed I realized that the art that I was creating resonated with many people. This inspire me to keep going.
I paint in multiple disciplines— from minimalist work, to abstraction, to expressionism, but I believe what sets me apart as an artist is that the central theme in these works isn’t a technical skill but rather emotion and I think that that is what captures the attention of my clients.
It’s not easy to establish yourself as a creative in a microwave culture. Everything seems to burn out pretty fast and you have to stay current and relevant. I think this is why it’s so important to be in touch with what you’re feeling because that is something that many people may identify with. When it materializes into art it gives you and others something tangible to hold onto. In that way, it’s very fulfilling.
In another way it can be stressful. You have to be sure that the emotions that you’re communicating don’t become stagnant theme in your work.You want to grow as an artist and an individual. You want your following to grow with you.
This is why I’m most excited about my current collection. It reflects a story that I’ve been wanting to tell for a long time about my youth, environment and the joys of Black childhood. I named this Collection LIFE IS SWEET.
I wanted to start from scratch and say something new and nostalgic at the same time, but for a long time I didn’t feel like I had the technical skills to tell my story.
Finally, I stepped out on faith and I started painting. Even though now I’m painting with a specific theme I believe the emotions connected to it will resonate with many people and I’m really excited to see how it’s received.
I would like the World to know that ArtByVenus is a brand that believes that in art and life, change is a beautiful trait. Change is a beautiful signature. An artist transforms through life and the work transforms and can tell new stories, or reveal old stories in a new perspective. Keep changing.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Pittsburgh has a lot of art and food gems, which are two of my favorite things. The best places in the city would be Boom Concepts in Garfield, which is a Black Owned Creative, Gallery, and Safe Space that centers and boosts local creatives of all disciplines. Umami izakaya is my favorite place to eat, and I love Casa De Brasil for food too. You have to get a view of the city at night from the Mt Washington Overlook, it’s a must while you’re here.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to shoutout my brother, Keenan Adams, for how he’s always inspired me to choose my own path and be myself, even if it’s a lonely road! Even when we were rivals in our adolescence, I wanted to be so much like him.
His strength and individuality directly impacted my choosing to be brave enough to step into my craft as an Artist 6 years ago. I hope I make him as proud as he’s made me.