Like most kids, I started drawing at a very young age. One of my earliest memories is of drawing a picture of my father with his hair straight up and flat on the top (the epitomy of style back then). I continued to draw (mostly cars and monsters) through high school, and into the years following graduation (mostly flyers for my band at the time – The Torpedos). But in all of that time, I’d never taken any formal lessons. I consider this to be a clear case of nature over nurture, as my father is an incredibly gifted watercolor artist.
After high school (and a couple of misspent years in college) I began my first career – as a draftsman – and after several years toiling at that, I began my second career – as a zookeeper. During this time, my talents were utilized by my employers – illustrating operations manuals for the former, designing enclosures, graphics, and t-shirts for the latter – and usually for very little money. Recently, I decided that maybe it was time to start up Kmiotek Art Works, and try to put my alleged talents to work for myself.
Although I’ve drawn a few cityscapes, the subjects of most of my artwork are naturalistic – either animals or landscapes; themes that appeal to my lifelong love of nature. I’ve worked in several media; pastels (too smudgy), watercolor (too runny), pencil (not dark enough), etc., but I like pen and ink the best. Although it’s not a very forgiving technique, I’m drawn to its permanence and depth.
I consider myself to be kind of an illusionist. By simply scribbling, in a process of tightly controlled chaos, on a blank piece of paper with a fine-point pen, I can trick the observer’s eye into seeing what I want it to see; a jaguar peering from beneath a bush, a barn falling into disrepair, two men chatting on the street, etc.
My work has been displayed, among other places, at the Ridgewood Art Institute, the Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum, the Belle Levine Art Center, The Flywheel Gallery, and the Lake Carmel Arts Center. I’ve been commissioned by the Wildlife Conservation Society, Aerco International, The Komodo Dragon Species Survival Plan, and The Wildlife Care Center of Belize. I currently live in the Hudson Valley, New York, with my beautiful wife and two awesome children.