Kara Leigh Smolenyak is a 23 year-old West Long Branch Native and World Traveler.
I've been surrounded by art my whole life. Both my grandmother and mother are artists and my family owned an art studio for many years when I was a kid into my pre-adolescent years. However, I didn't discover how much I truly enjoyed painting until I was in college and my very first art professor looked at my first painting and goes, "Wow, you must have done this before." I didn't even know I had a talent until she recognized it.
Four years later, in my favorite art class to date--landscape painting-- my professor, Mrs. Akre, told us to come into class the next day with a solid color canvas. She said "be bold, use bright colors, and wear clothes that you definitely don't care about getting messy." I didn't know what to expect, but I followed her directions and came in with a fuchsia-covered canvas. She handed us each a tennis ball, cupcake wrapper, and some sticks. She posted a picture of a floral landscape on the wall and said "make this, without brushes." I had so much fun with the project, and it came out so incredibly cool that I decided to make more. Thus, my unique paintings.