Cool Friends:  Carly Wilhelm

Meet Carly, the BK-based fine artist whose abstract paintings we wish we had filling our apt walls. Her pieces focus on color balance & shape and how the two interact together. We caught up with Carly to chat about her current inspirations and how turning your kitchen into a greenhouse is a good idea.

How did you start your career as a fine artist?

I went to college for painting for a year before transferring to a larger university to concentrate on video installation. After school I moved to California, worked odd jobs and curated art and music shows with my roommates. I then moved to New York hoping to do more of the same but ended up working unfulfilling office jobs for a few years before deciding to take my art seriously again. I dove in head first with no real plan other than to find what made me happy again. After quitting my job, I had a quick stint back in my hometown where I basically painted and biked all day, every day and came back to NYC revitalized. I kept the painting momentum going, got a couple fun part time jobs in the neighborhood and lined up a few art shows. Over the past year I've worked really hard to get more of my work out into the world, grow my following and challenge myself artistically by pushing myself out of my comfort zone.   

What's your favorite part about the New York creative community?

My favorite part is how enormous the community is. Nearly everyone I know is pursuing some creative endeavour- painting, architecture, music, clock making, stained glass lamp making, fashion, the list goes on and on. Living in a city surrounded by so many creative people can be intimidating at times because it's easy to fall into the trope of finding other creatives as your competition, but if you keep an open mind and stay confident in what you have to bring to the table, it can be a very enriching, synchronous experience.

What's inspiring you right now?

Mostly plants! I just moved into a new apartment with a nice backyard and have been living out my dreams of having a garden. I often sit outside and doodle with the colors I find in my yard, neighbor's yards or the nearby park. I've also created what is essentially a greenhouse in my kitchen- floor to ceiling plants on nearly every surface other than the cook top. Expect more green paintings from me soon!  

Follow along:
@carlywilhelm69 on Instagram

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Made in Brooklyn, NY