(originally published on January 29, 2018)
Recently, I came across a video on The Oprah Winfrey Network’s (OWN) YouTube Channel that truly touched my heart. The YouTube Video is titled Where Is This Child Prodigy Today? Where Are They Now? It told the story about a girl in the year 2003 who, at the age of nine, appeared on Oprah’s talk show. Her name is Akiane Karmarik, and Oprah showed off Akiane’s breathtaking paintings. I found it very heartwarming that not only was the girl very bubbly and enduring, but she said that her paintings “Comes from God”. I was in awe of this bright girl.
In the 2016 update, Akiane looked like she was still as strong as ever, not only pursuing her passion, but clearly unspoiled by all of her success. It had not gotten to her head and she was still able to remain humble.
I went to Akiane’s website in order to learn more about her. She has gone through so much that many of us can’t even begin to relate to, and she has had the door slammed in her face time and time again when it comes to her artwork. Yet, even in her moments where she wanted to give up, her Mom has always supported her. That moved me so much, because my mom and I are very close as well; it hit very close to home for me.
I’ve been amazed by both her faith in God and how she and her family have traveled the world in order to help lend their support to people who have a passion for the arts. No matter what, Akiane is a genuine person and she is a positive role model.
I’m very thankful that she agreed to do an interview with me. Once again, her answers to my questions showed what a sweet, humble person she is. So, let’s jump into it. Here’s my interview with Akiane Karmarik.
1. Reading your My Story section on your website moved me deeply. You mentioned many times situations regarding people treating you and your family unkindly. (Such as the neighborhood you spent your early years in and how they acted towards your family, the con artist who claimed to be an agent, etc.) How were you all (especially your mother) able to stay so kind and never lose hope in spite of the many setbacks?
Adversities either break us or make us stronger. But in my family’s case, it was neither. We became more aware, more flexible, more cautious, more compassionate and more humbled.
My mother used the following analogy, “The palm tree is the only tree that does not break during a hurricane, because it learns how to bend.”
We did learn how to be more spontaneous, more adaptable and more tolerant in life, yet we somehow never lost hope.
My mother loves saying that her faith, as well as her ignorance and confidence were her anchors that helped her not to lose hope . I, personally, was strengthened by my mother’s dedication and by my own unwavering purpose.
2. You beautifully stated on Oprah’s show that your talent came from God. You also explained in your My Story section that you had many spiritual experiences as a child. Do you believe it was God who spoke to you when you were young, telling you that you should start drawing and painting?
All that exists is God, but the way God communicates may not be perceived as coming from God.
It may even be construed as a mindless, emotionless, loveless and atheistic universe.
So much that comes from the ultimate truth and real source of wisdom is a complete mystery to all creation. Often intentional.
The broader our perspective is and the wider we can reach time and space continuum, the clearer we can understand the divine intelligence and the way it operates.
I never doubted that God manifests in many forms, ways and trials . What i perceived as a child is quite complex and private, however i can tell you one thing: art is an integral part of God, and I was called to participate. For life.
3. I read that after a series of tragic events within your family, you temporarily stopped painting, which led you to exploring poetry. When it comes to poems, is there anything in particular you like to write about the most, or do you write whatever comes to you in the moment?
In my childhood i spontaneously created poetry. Now i gravitate towards another version of linguistic expression: story telling through film and painting journey.
4. It’s very encouraging that you and your family have traveled the world, helping people of all ages explore their passion for various forms of artistic expression. That means a lot to me because I’ve always held performing arts and writing very close to my heart. What advice would you give someone who has a passion for the arts and doesn’t have the support they need?
If the artistic and art career intention is one of integrity, and if there is a complete dedication to the arts, and if there is a sincere and focused prayer/intention for support, the help will arrive instantly. INSTANTLY. If this is your path.
If one of the above are not aligned with the universe and its grand purpose there will be a delay.
One still can achieve much without the harmony of the integrity and wisdom, but in order to receive support and sustain the practicalities of the business world and success one needs to be completely pure, humble, resilient, prudent and patient. The wrong energy returns back like an avalanche when you are resting in laurels.
5. After seeing your segment on Oprah’s show as well as her then update with you all on her YouTube Channel, I’d like to ask how is your life today? Do you have any goals for 2018?
My goal this year is to continue with my art films, to paint diverse stories from around the world, to open a platform for other artists to showcase and sell their artwork and to open an art supply store. First- online, later on– brick and mortar store.
Thank you once again Akiane, for agreeing to do this interview. I will keep you in my prayers and I wish nothing but the best for you. It was an honor interviewing you and I am certain that you will continue to make a difference in this world.
You can find Akiane’s Facebook page here. You can also find her Instagram here as well as her YouTube Channel here. I encourage you all to learn from Akiane’s story and her overall message. Always stick close to God and continue to give back.