I discovered the work of Geninne Zlatkis in 2010, inside a book titled Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists by Carla Sonheim. Geninne was a featured artist who shared insights into her drawing process. Her bright, whimsical birds, for which she is known, immediately drew me in.
When I found her website, I pored through its pages, enamored by her originality and mixture of materials. She combined pencil, ink, watercolor and, even, photography, in ways I hadn’t seen. Each piece was its own little world.
Her drawings and paintings had “Geninne” stamped across it, figuratively and, sometimes, literally. Her art was filled with florals, birds, and cacti, inspired by the landscape where she lived. The color palettes she used were consistent.
Geninne was prolific in creating and sharing her work. She posted to her blog from 2005-2018, and you can still click through the archives today. I’m getting inspired just browsing through them, while I write this post!
When I joined Instagram, I found Geninne already there. A feast for the eyes, she shares a daily stream of magazine-worthy photos of her artwork and natural surroundings (as of today, she lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico). You’ll find images of her family’s adobe home, golden sunsets, beautiful botanicals, wildlife in the desert, and their dog, Zorro.
Bonus: Geninne captions her photos in both English and Spanish. So, it’s a great place to learn Spanish in a creative context!
In addition to traditional drawing and painting, she has shared her work in: rubber stamp-making, embroidery, pottery, beading, metalsmith jewelry, and leatherwork (with help from her husband). And those are just the ones I know of. She gives artists “permission” to explore their various interests, and demonstrates it’s possible to earn a living through their craft.
Geninne sells her work through her Etsy shop, which has a wide range of available prints, among other things. When she’s working on a collection of new work for say, pottery, she shares her progress on social media, then announces the date they’ll be available on Etsy. You have to act fast – her work often sells out that same day!
A note on pricing: Geninne prices her work on the higher end. I believe her prices not only reflect the beauty of her work, but also the quality and time she puts into each piece. In short, she values her work and, therefore, her customers do, too.
Over the years, I dreamed of having my own Geninne Zlatkis piece. I followed her work for ten years before that finally happened in early 2020. I was able to snag one of her gorgeous leather cuff bracelets.
It proves a powerful point: when you’re as consistent as Geninne in sharing your work, you’ll attract an audience of loyal fans who support you, even if it takes some years before they make their first purchase.
I sometimes wonder if Geninne ever experiences “artist’s block”, or if she has days when she doesn’t feel like creating. But then I find a post like this one where she says “I haven’t been in my studio in almost a month! It was such a needed break.”
And then I remember that she’s human, too. And it sounds like she incorporates downtime into her schedule, so her creativity tank can fill up again.
Thanks for being such an inspiration, Geninne!