My name is Kansinee de Graef and I make my living as an artist. Thank you for being here and taking an interest in my work.
Presently, I work and live in Brockville, Ontario, Canada where the wistful winter winds of the St. Lawrence give way to radiant blossoms of colourful Spring life. Inspiration is a seasonal affair driven by ever-changing colours and a quaint local charm matched only by the spirit of community.
My principal mediums are digital, tattoo, watercolour, and pencil, all of which can be explored in my webshop and gallery . My tattoo and artwork are carried out in my shop and Brockville as well as in collaboration with local businesses in the surrounding area (please visit @tattoosbykansinee on Instagram for tattoo bookings). My subjects of interest are vast and evolve alongside me. You will often find I am captivated by themes including the natural world, femininess, animals, geometrics, fractals, and more.
My work is inspired by the places I have been and people I have met along the way. I most recently worked in St. John’s, Newfoundland where the sombre charm of “The Rock” provided artistic influences at the juncture of melancholy and serenity. For a period, I produced and sold art while travelling by bicycle. I carried tattoo equipment, water colours, graphite pencils, and my iPad, with which I used to produce digital art. While art served as my creative outlet, it was the connection and learning I shared with those I met that drove my passion to explore and create. This was done throughout Europe and Mexico.
Before I set-off on my two-wheeled adventures, I spent my days in the Netherlands, where I was born. My love for art started as a child. As an only child, I had a vivid imagination, and art allowed me to express my emotions in a visual way. As a child – and still true today – art channels my creativity through as expressed through various mediums, which provide pure form of joy.
Born out of the love between my Dutch father and Thai mother, I was raised between two cultures, language systems, religions, and values. This privilege has influenced me to always carry a keen interest in understanding how others live and feel. It also fortuned upon me the ability to speak three languages: Dutch, English, and Thai. My time in Mexico has me learning Spanish as a 4th.
I first discovered art as a pathway for earning a living as a 16 year old, the age I was first commissioned to produce realistic portrait drawings. I spent three years solely focused on this craft before I made the jump to tattoo work. Here is a secret about tattoo artists: every tattoo artist has a special community of people in their lives that cared for them so much that these people would let a beginner tattoo them. My father was my martyr. Having spent parts of the 1990’s traveling through Indonesia and Thailand and earning his way occasionally doing tattoos, my father provided considerable influence on my decision to enter the world of tattoo. After having spent a year honing my ink pen on the limbs of my father and his friends, I was fortunate enough to be taken on as an apprentice by Lillian Dekkers, owner of Ink & Art Company. I spent 5 treasured years learning the trade under Lillian’s guidance. Lillian, a self-taught artist and self-made entrepreneur, has continued to serve as an inspiration for what is possible in this field.
In my future, I would like to explore the intersection of art and healing. Beyond the surface of my interest in framing the beauty of the world is a deeper desire to connect with others. I wish to use my art as a medium for others to express, honour, or celebrate meaning and significance in their lives. In this way, I hope to use my artistic skills to capture stories, histories, and emotions in ways that are not bound by words or language.