by Sue Giustino
Kara Hoblin from Greenport, NY works in various media, including chalk, drawing, painting, photography and collage. The cover drawing was done on a family driveway and the figures are from her imagination- she told me that she doesn’t have family members who are essential health care workers. “But”, she added, “they are on the front line and I didn’t know how else to say Thank You.”
I’m sure this ‘Thank You’ has made an impact Kara, and thank you for expressing what we are all feeling. The following quote truly personifies who she is as a person and an artist.
“Through the work I create, I am a vessel or conduit for helping to protect, heal, and spread compassion and love in our society and environment. Continually being surprised and ignited by the human psyche, a river of emotions, and oceans of understanding fuel my creative process.”
I was able to speak with her and gain some insight into her motivations and talents. She told me that her mother is creative, and as a child she loved drawing. Through a story she shared from when she was in kindergarten it’s apparent she always wanted to be an artist. It was Halloween when Power Rangers were the big costume, yet there she was with a paintbrush wearing a paint splattered smock!
She also talked about how hard it is, at a young age, to believe that you can actually make a career by being an artist. Putting her drawing aside, she decided to study photography in college, thus expanding her creativity as well as working towards more possibilities of a future career. Her experience studying a semester abroad in Florence, Italy is one she she believes all students should be afforded. Studying fashion photography, immersed in the different, simpler lifestyle of the Italian culture, and ‘being in the moment’ as a young student on her own in a foreign country, affirmed her own belief in this type of lifestyle.
Although after graduation she lived and worked in NYC for a bit, she realized it wasn’t for her and returned to her roots and the vast experiences of nature that Long Island has to offer. The night before her return to the Island she packed her car, realizing in the morning it had been broken into. All of her photography equipment was gone. Maybe a sign? But with nothing left, it was like starting over.
For a while she didn’t know what she was going to do so she worked in the wine industry. It was there that she met the owner of the restaurant First and South. After sharing her story with her new friend, Kara was asked to draw her chalkboard. Not having drawn in a long time she resisted. Yet when her friend told her that if it was terrible she would ‘just erase it’, Kara agreed. The seed was planted. She began drawing again trying new ideas, with chalk as the perfect medium because ‘it can just be erased.’ Although, she’s discovered most of her endeavors usually work out well. Her beliefs in putting oneself out there, being positive, and letting go are important messages for all of us…especially during this time.
“The impermanence of chalk allows us to visualize how fleeting this life is. I created the interactive chalk series, the Chalk Art of Letting Go to encourage people to move forward with positivity, embracing the idea that when one door closes, another opens, and we just have to be willing to walk through it. I invited everyone to erase my work alongside me to illustrate that if we let go of the past, accept it, learn from it, and even appreciate how it has helped shape us, then our possibilities are limitless. While we can’t predict the future, we can try our best to protect it.”
For three years now Kara’s been a full time artist, about which she says that she’s- Inspired and drawn to the natural environment, and finds comfort in the feeling of the earth beneath her bare feet, icy saltwater on her skin, or crisp air brushing against her face. Working collectively to share, connect, and inspire others through creation and exploration of our natural light and darkness. Kara has done numerous shows and chalkboards for weddings, wineries, and more; for pictures and more information on her work check out her website https://www.karahoblin.com/.