(The following interview is the aggregation of answers to a series of questions posed by Sophie Chiche)
I used to be fueled by independence and artistic freedom. I came out of the gate wanting to shock and be shocked by the universe. But that has transformed into a love of much smaller moments, usually in the studio or with my family and people I love, like hours two through six in my studio, a gorgeous view, and cooking a great, healthy meal for my children when they come home from school.
Because I’m an optimist and want to do everything, I’m always having to dial back. My father used to say, “May your grasp always exceed your reach,” or, “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much room.” I’m always edging toward the next new challenge, but that also means I’m constantly reassessing to get back into balance.
I don’t come from a place of judging whether or not other people’s lives are meaningful, but what I’ve observed is that the biggest obstacle often holding people back is a lack of confidence and courage. People who believe in themselves and are brave move forward. People who follow through and realize their dreams, as I’ve been fortunate to do, seem to experience many deeply meaningful moments in their lives.
I love being surprised. A few years ago, when I thought I’d seen it all, I spent time in India for the first time. There wasn’t a moment when I wasn’t surprised – by the colors, the scents, the beauty of the people.
Being in the studio demands a constant state of innovation, with the subject matter or with the material itself. As a painter, every day I face the challenge of discovering a new way and a new thought in the work.
I’ve been developing a meme called The Left Turn Theory. Whenever I feel totally comfortable in a situation and can see the road stretching before me, sometimes endlessly, I make an unexpected left turn and the world becomes exciting, strange, and new again. For example, I never expected to live in Los Angeles. Now, every time I see a palm tree, I’m slightly shocked and surprised and it makes me smile.
Every day, I care less about what other people think and I become more and more daring. In a few months, I might just do something I never imagined I’d do, something I can’t even guess about now. I might even do it naked. Can’t wait.
– Kimberly Brooks