She says her inspiration is born out of a passion for a higher truth.
“My journey has brought me to a point where I have realised that there is more than this life. I find inspiration in the needs of those who have nothing,” Kelsey van Schalkwyk told Entertainment Now!
The 23-year-old said her biggest dream is to change the world for children. “There is no one on this planet more vulnerable than a child without a parent. How can we live our lives pretending we do not see the needs of those around us? We need to live our lives with the purpose of change,” she said.
Van Schalkwyk said she picked up a brush and a pencil before she even knew what they were and since that day, she could not stop. “I feel that art, in all its forms, is one of the deepest human needs. It creates a platform for us to express ourselves to connect and understand each other,” Van Schalkwyk said.
She further said she understands creating things is a part of human nature - art, music, drama, they come from the soul. “We need more soul in this world to overcome the physical and materialistic world that has left us so empty inside. Money cannot buy happiness because happiness is within. We all have it and need to let it out,” said Van Schalkwyk.
She does hyper-realistic pencil portraits as well as large oil paintings of people and horses, some of which are as big as two metres in size, including abstract pieces consisting of paintings and sculptures. “My favourites are my large surrealistic oil paintings that carry messages of change,” she told Entertainment Now!
With an array of more than 1 000 art pieces, Van Schalkwyk thinks a large part of art is overlooked in Namibia. “Many people will turn and say, “Oh wow, how beautiful. I wish I could do that,” but they will walk away without seeing the message or life behind the art piece, she said.
Van Schalkwyk said the income from her work is good but advised fellow artists to hang in there. “I would like to give a shout to all artists and say: be brave and step out. The art industry is beautiful. Making a living through your art passion is more than possible. Do not listen to people who say art is not a career. Make sure you learn and that happens when you accept all criticism with open arms because criticism is not a stop sign, it’s only an opinion,” she said.