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

Hi Michelle, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
You know how you get these random ideas of “Hey, that would be a pretty neat product?” Or “Man, I wish they would have made it in this color?”.

Well I decided to start designing my own products because the ideas just kept flowing and thus “The Kohler Brand” was born. I have always wanted to be a product designer and now I am one.
Not only was it important for me to be my own boss so I could juggle my two businesses alongside each other, but I also wanted to create truly high end products that would not disappoint.
All my products are created to be mainly functional but more importantly aesthetically pleasing.
I am more fulfilled now than ever before because my creative juices flow in many directions.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
1. “Biography and how I got to where I am today” :

I was born and raised in Worcester, South Africa. At a young age I was inspired by an art instructor who very quickly encouraged me to pursue a more focused art education at a dedicated art school: Hugo Naude Art School in Worcester, South Africa. I studied there for five years until the age of seventeen. My works still hang in the alumni halls today.

After completing a Bachelor Degree in Graphic Design from Cape Peninsula University of Technology, I traveled the world engaging artists and curators generating a renewed passion for portraiture. Thereafter, I completed two internships in Augsurg Germany at Weltbild Magazine and Top Hair Magazine.

In 2011 I relocated to the United States where I began working for Lin Swensson and Associates in Nashville, assisting in the sourcing of local artists. The company’s mission statement was to promote healing through art therapy by working closely with architects and interior designers to find the perfect piece to suit each area in hospitals. I did this for 2 years.

Shortly after relocating to Boulder, CO in 2012, I began my full time endeavor into portraiture.

Since then I have appeared in House and Garden Magazine UK, Artist Portfolio Magazine and Most Influential Art Magazine and am showing works in various high-production art shows in Denver, Co. My social presence has exploded in the last year, with over 1.2 million views of my time-lapse pieces on YouTube, and over 58,000 subscribers to my art across my social media platforms.

2. “Was it easy and how did you overcome challenges?” :

It most certainly was and is a labor of love.
The first 20 years of my life were dedicated to simply studying and practicing art. It has always been my first love. The hardest part about being an artist for me, personally, is braving the unknown.

My process and aim is to create a cohesive, visually stimulating and engaging artwork from a portrait. Everytime is a challenge. It’s extremely draining yet extremely rewarding and I am very hard on myself. Being an artist can take a toll on your body and mind if you don’t learn to manage your time and your thoughts properly.

3. “What lessons have I learned along the way?” :

I find that I learn every single time I paint.
Staying in practice is essential to not getting overwhelmed.
Trusting in your innate abilities, allowing yourself to go with the flow and avoiding placing imaginary boundaries on your output is also extremely important.
You have to be extremely clean and organized to be an oil painter. A clean work space and a clean technique is critical to not getting overwhelmed and making mistakes.
I’ve learned that procrastinating will get you zero results. You need to take those leaps of faith and again, you need to be consistent.
Oh yeah, don’t be cheap, invest in good brushes-they do in fact make a world of difference.

4. “What do you want the world to know about you and your story?” :

Most of my years spent studying were focused on portraiture, as expressed through realism. As an artistic discipline, it has been a constant throughout my life. But it was only after a fortuitous departure into abstract painting that I was able to playfully and courageously combine two disciplines. “Deconstructed Realism” is my expression of artistic independence and creativity as it pertains to the depth and complexity of the human portrait, and thus is my humble contribution to the art of the world.

You must be brave, above all else. Fear is a flame to the bristles. Worry is like blending all of the colors on your pallet into a dross gray paste; no life, no color, no expression. Be brave, and let the brush tell the story of your pain and courage.

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.
In no particular order, these are my favorite places to visit in Denver and the surrounding areas.

I spend most of my time in nature, so first things first, multiple hikes and adventures outdoors. Hessie Trail in the Indian Peaks Wilderness, boasts an amazing waterfall and a 6 mile hike to Lost Lake, a postcard of a view.

Isabelle Glacier Trail has by far the most epic views and scenery you will ever see, on this continent at least.

Any 90 minute road trip on i70 West will have you passing Buffalo Bill’s grave as well as many alive buffalos on a reserve outside of Golden. You will see most of the major ski towns; Breckenridge, Vail, Copper Mountain. And of course Glenwood Springs would need to be a full day adventure, with their natural hot springs, incredible views. They have a highway that travels below 1300 foot cliffs, with the raging Colorado River below.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My Shoutout:

I owe my parents a lot of credit. From a very early age, they provided the perfect environment for me to pursue art to my heart’s content. Whether it was crayons or new pencils on birthdays and holidays, sending me to art school at a young age, or helping me obtain my Bachelors Degree in graphic design, they went out of their way to support me.

Website: http://www.michellekohlerart.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/michelle_kohler_art/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michelle-kohler-8b097213/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/michellekohler?lang=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MichelleKohlerArt

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/arbpink/videos

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado 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.