Sirimas Benz Amatayakul is a Thai abstract painter based in Chicago. Her two children inspired her to explore process-based painting and start her self-taught art practice in 2016. Before discovering abstract painting, she studied Marketing Communications and worked in Brand Management. Benz received her Master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in 2007, then continued her studies in graphic design at the Chicago Portfolio School. She is also a certified Expressive Art Facilitator from Open Studio Project in Evanston, IL.
I create abstract art to honor the unrelenting energy, rawness, innocence, courage, spontaneity, and joy that I observe in my children when they’re creating art.
My earliest paintings were simply my spontaneous and unfiltered responses to my creative urges. I discovered myself as an artist through an art therapy process which allows full self-expression without any fear of judgment or expectation of the outcome. While I still highly value this process, I’ve begun to focus more closely on the visual quality of my art as I continue growing in my practice.
To push my work further, I have also introduced the concepts of intentional creation and minimalism into my paintings because I find them to be in interesting contrast to the “no reservations” nature of children’s art. The most challenging and satisfying part of my work is the push and pull between an uncurbed emotive expression and a distilled, calculated, and mature performance.
Ultimately, my goal as an artist is to inspire others—artists or not—to try their hand at art or other methods of expression without being too hard on themselves.