We had the good fortune of connecting with Kim DeJesus and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kim, what’s one piece of conventional advice that you disagree with?
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. This advice invites conventional thinking. It proposes leaving things as they are. However, often you have to break something to make it better, even if it’s not broken. Just because things may look fine or even perfect does not mean they are right, or that there isn’t room for growth. If one accepts all the things that aren’t broken as permanent, then the world would be not where it is today. In my work, I am always interested in finding a truer path, and I often have to break things to get there.

Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about?
I have been exploring how marks, colors, and layers invoke memory and forgetfulness and suggest the discoveries we make in our lives. I explore how these things can be erased and sometimes obscured. Perhaps what sets my work apart is that it emerges from a grounded practice. I am interested in the physicality of the materials themselves. I am a messy painter interested in the materiality, physical, and spiritual aspects of working. I am also interested in the lyricism of non-representational painting and color fields while wanting them to speak of memory, the life I’ve lived, and the present. I am excited about being able to share the work I did before and during the pandemic, which deals with memory and the power of painting to reveal important things we have been through, and the beauty and intensity of the present.

 How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way?
Many decisions, discoveries, self-confrontations, and challenges have gotten me to where I am today. I have also been fortunate to have wonderful support of people behind me. Painting is difficult, so continually reminding myself of why I am doing what I am doing, I am able to keep going. Being disciplined about the work I do, challenging myself to do better work, and the support of people who appreciate what I am doing, is what encourages me to keep going on my path.

There have been many challenges along the way. For example, there was a painting I worked on for many months that seemed promising, but I couldn’t finish it. I had to keep coming back to it again and again. It was really only when I was willing to undermine my initial assumptions that I was able to understand what I was after all along.

One of the biggest lessons I have been learning is that sometimes the direction of your fear is actually the right direction. Trusting yourself, while difficult at times, is critical. Especially, when you are really far beyond your comfort zone.

What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I would like to be seen as someone who is operating in that difficult space between beauty and repulsion, the influence of the past into the present, and the capacity of art to help me, or “us”, navigate life and all it has to offer and challenge.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would suggest spending a day Downtown. It is a great way to experience the core of LA. Grab a drink at Otium then go to the Broad museum. Afterward, walk to the food mall at Grand Central for a variety of options and grab a drink on the Nomad roof. It’s a beautiful way to experience the sunset in the city. Check out a play at the Mark Taper Forum and have dinner at Café Gratitude. You can also scratch all that, have Guerilla tacos for lunch in the arts district, and come visit me at my Studio.

Going to the beach is my favorite way to spend my free time. Malibu is a bit removed from LA but breathtakingly beautiful. If you’re active, start the day with hiking Temescal Canyon, grab a breakfast burrito at Lilly’s, then hit Point Dume beach. The cliffs are one of my favorite views in California. Santa Monica or Venice Beach are fun beach days and closer than Malibu. Go to

Wallflower for a cocktail and walk to Gjusta for a casual meal, or Great White for another delicious lunch close to the beach. Felix or Scopa are great spots in Venice for dinner, or Double Zero Pizza if you want a vegan option.

The Sunday farmers market on Fairfax in Hollywood is a fun afternoon, and I always take everyone to Crossroads Kitchen on Melrose. It’s vegan and loved by everyone. Their brunch is as equally delicious as the lunch and dinner menus. Craig’s is a fun vibe with several great vegan options as well!

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens is a favorite spot of mine to spend the day roaming. It’s in San Marino and worth the drive. They also have one of the best permanent art collections in LA. Griffith observatory is perhaps cliché, but it’s a cool experience that visitors enjoy.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
“Guernica” by Picasso is a painting I have been thinking about for a long time. It is a very moving work based on the tragedy of the town Guernica, and the horror of war and oppression. While it might seem depressing, in Picasso’s hands, the losses and pain invites us to remember the value of life. I have never seen it in person, but I hope to stand in front of it someday.

Website: www.kimdejesus.com

Instagram: kimdejesus

Twitter: KimDeJesus9

Image Credits
Magnus Unnar

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.