Artist's Statement: 

For as long as I can remember, the human mind's emotional and mental constitution has fascinated me. I am curious about identity, the subconscious, and the working of our intuition. The world we live in gravitates toward the superficial. It fears introspection and authenticity. Through my art, I hope to show that we can find some of our richest life experiences through personal reflection & questioning the unknown.

My art consists of small abstract and surreal pen illustrations. I choose to work only with black ink because of its clarity and simplicity. The absence of color allows the viewer to focus on the subject matter without distraction. I keep my illustrations small, with delicate linework & stipple shading. The smaller scale encourages a more intimate interaction with the art since it has to be experienced close up. Similarly, our inner world does not shout at us from across the room, but whispers in a barely detectable voice. Viewers connect with the content and symbolism in unique ways to help uncover and explore their innermost reactions and beliefs. No two people will experience my art in the same way.

When I generate ideas, I withhold all critique and judgment to create the art in a stream-of-consciousness manner. The juxtaposing of unrelated elements helps the viewer connect with their internal world in a playful, non-threatening way. Some recurring themes in my body of work include personal identity, transformation, human potential, spirituality, and mental health.

My approach to illustration is deeply rooted in my love of Surrealism. Breton wrote the following in his 1924 Manifesto of Surrealism: "The more the relationship between the two juxtaposed realities is distant and true, the stronger the image will be - the greater its emotional power and poetic reality."

I hope my art will challenge our culture's fear of individuality, introspection, and mental health. Our subconscious and inner worlds are not something to be feared. It is fascinating, profound, and full of the potential to transform.

Karien Bredenkamp

More Info


I was born in a little town called Louis Trichardt in South Africa. Our family of four emigrated to the United States in 2015, and we have been living in Omaha, Nebraska ever since. I received my Bachelor of Arts majoring in Graphic Design at the Northwest University of South Africa in 2005. I started my journey towards becoming an artist as a graphic designer and studio manager for a company in South Africa, and gradually progressed towards running my own graphic design studio & photography business. In 2019 I started pursuing fine art full time, and I have not looked back since. I launched my online art store in January 2021, and am actively pursuing exhibition opportunities. Check out my event page for current & upcoming shows!

Event Page

Exhibition History

Solo Exhibitions

2021 - inside | insight, The Mansion, Blackstone District.
2021 - Untitled, Scriptown Brewery, Omaha.
2021 - inside | insight, Benson Art Gallery, Benson.
2021 - The Mane Attraction, Red Lion Lounge, Omaha.
2021 - Seen, Aksarben Creative, Omaha.

Selected Group Exhibitions

2023 ABYSS, Split Gallery, Omaha.
BOLD, Split Gallery, Omaha.
2022 Drawn In, The Gallery at Coram Deo, Omaha.
- WALL, Benson Art Gallery, Benson.
2021 - Citylight Art Exhibition & Benefit, Citylight Arts Project, Benson.

Juried Art Festivals

2023 - Peoria Fine Arts Festival, Peoria, IL
- Rockbrook Art Festival, Omaha.
- Omaha Summer Arts Festival, Omaha.
- Omaha Summer Arts Festival, Omaha.
- Rockbrook Art Festival, Omaha.

Contact me

What do you see?

I am a collector of interpretations - if you have a unique explanation of what any of my illustrations mean to you, please submit it here:

Submit Art Interpretation