It's too easy to think of art as a purely physical medium sometimes. I mean, you say "art" and automatically you think painting on a canvas – that is at least the most probable association for most people. However, not only is that not true, it's also being completely overturned; the advent of digital art (rather than digital visual arts) has enabled an easier access into the world of art. Communities like Tumblr have opened the doors into a world where artists repost each other's work and collaborate – a very different parallel to the traditional, elitist academies of the physical world.

One such artist springing forth into recognition through the digital world is Kemi Mai. We simply couldn't pass on the opportunity subject this UK-based artist our list of Meets questions – the crossover between art and music in Kemi Mai's work, let alone the aesthetic realism mixed with atmospherics conjured with colours, is highly appealing to us: one visit to Kemi Mai's site will show you why.

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How did you get started?
Art wasn't really a chosen hobby, let alone a chosen career. Really, I just fell into it. Getting into the digital medium was the starting point for me, it was a great driving force to be able to have so much freedom right from the beginning. I was able to create anything I could imagine, with my skill set being my only limit, instead of a lot of practical issues that often hinder beginner artists - like costs and free space. That sort of freedom is something I'm yet to find in any other aspect of life, and its proved rather addictive.

Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere. I'm influenced by the things I like. I've gotten to the point where I want to create new and experimental works, playing with colours that don't initially sit right and concepts that hide away like secrets, because simply painting something that looks good only holds up for so long, for me, but a lot of what I do is still very grounded on an aesthetic level. I appreciate that most people who come across my work linger on it purely because it appeals to them in a way that is visual and I think what dictates how I present my work is often indirectly down to things like film and music.



What risk would you take if you knew you could not fail?
The only things I don't really stretch to risk for are £££ related, so I guess I'd go ahead and move into an obnoxiously large studio with a stupid amount of plants, cats/dogs and infinite windows.

What is your happiest childhood memory? What makes it so special?
Finding my dog Pippa, because dogs make everything better.

When was the last time you tried something new?
Wasabi popcorn. 10/10, would recommend.

Whose life do you believe you’ve had the biggest impact on?
The fact that we impact the lives of everyone we stick around long enough to interact with is both exhilarating and mildly terrifying from where I'm stood. Not sure I know the answer to this question, also not so sure I'd like to. However, whenever I heard that I've inspired someone to start painting, I feel like they basically gave me the feeling equivalent of sunrise.



What are you currently working on?
Lots of new pieces for a show in New York at Sugarlift gallery. Trying some new concepts so it's fun and exciting stuff.

What's the most challenging thing you've ever created?
Every piece I make challenges me in a different way and whilst I'm creating them, I don't really stop to consider how hard whatever it is I'm doing is, I just find the problem and work over, under or around it. The piece I've spent the most time on is probably Start Over.



What is something you believe that almost nobody agrees with you on?
It's okay to have Ringo Starr be your favourite Beatle.

What's the next big step you feel you need to take in your career?
Super top secret plan to start making large canvas prints that will serve as originals to my pieces, hand embellished signed one-offs that can float around the world at will. Other than that, opportunities tend to pop up on their own and I just tend to grab them.