Were your parents supportive of your decision to paint full-time?
My parents did not like the idea of being an artist. They had a belief that artists are poor or I think they were just worried about my future. So at the beginning they were a bit skeptical of the idea, but over time they have accepted my decision.
Making a living is an integral part of anyone in any career. So, Doreen, does art pay?
Yes, art does pay. Since the beginning of the year I have had more than five exhibitions and have sold my pieces in each show. Being able to sell my paintings at a relatively good price is testament that art does pay.
What is your most valued piece of art?
My most valued piece of art is the 1st piece that I created when I started painting 3 years ago. It is a 90 by 70 cm acrylic paint on canvas.
I cannot put a price on it. I am keeping it in my apartment to remind me of where I came from in my art journey.
Would you recommend doing art full-time?
I would recommend it if someone is passionate about the craft. Doing what you love and earning a living out of it is a gift.
Is there enough support for artists and painters from the government?
I am not sure if the government is doing enough to support artists. I believe they can definitely do better. The government can create public art galleries where artists can be showcasing their work. This way they will be able to reach a wide range of customers and sell their art.
What challenge did you encounter in your journey to become a painter?
My main challenge was when I started painting I did not have enough cash to buy art supplies. Art supplies in Kenya are very expensive.
Finding my voice as an artist was another challenge. Being able to really understand my path and growing it into a personal brand was a bit challenging.
How do you deal with creative slumps?
When I am not inspired to work I do a lot of sketches. I also watch other artists as they paint to motivate myself.
What inspires you as an artist?
I am a feminine and also a mental health advocate. All my pieces have a story about the same. I am also inspired by old masters of art. For example, I try to create chiroscuro pieces and I get the inspiration from Michelangelo Merisi (carravaggio).
Who do you look up to in this industry?
I look up to Adam Masava, my mentor and founder of the Mukuru Art Collective Organization.
What is your proudest moment as an artist?
My proudest moment as an artist is when I sold my 1st piece one month after joining the organization when we had an exhibition at the Village Market
I also recently sold a piece at the Museum of Kenya. It was my 1st time to showcase my work at the museum.
Where can we find you and your work?
You can find my work on the following platforms.
Facebook: doryn mueni
You can also visit our studio located in South B shopping center.
What is your advice for people who want to pursue art?
My advice is to the young people is trust yourself. If your passionate about art pursue it. Also remember to practice and be patient with yourself. Everything will work out .