Kirk O’ Hara – Overcoming To Pursue His Art

I stumbled across Kirk’s work online. Inspired begins to describe how I felt when I viewed his work. The color, composition and detail. And yet, not done by hand, but by mouth!

What an inspiration for an artist and a challenge. I contacted Kirk to ask for approval to share his art and story with the Art and Design Inspiration community.

Kirk was born with Arthrogryposis, a disabling condition which limits the use of arms and legs. Being confined to a wheelchair with no use of his arms and legs has not been a deterrent for him in developing his art skills.

kirk_youngAs an adolescent, he found that he was able to exercise ability through the execution of mouth painting. Kirk has gained a specialty and notoriety for contributions in southwest design, and an anthropomorphic style of animation.


“Painting for me is a language,” says artist Kirk O’Hara. “I like to paint anything from my experience. I started professionally when I was 15. Had my first thousand dollar showing at age 17 which is a marker in an artist’s life.”

The following is an interview he did with FOX 10 News.

On average how long does it take to finish a painting?
“There are some that I do at my shows, I’ll finish one in four hours,” says Kirk. “In my studio I’ll spend anywhere from a week to a month and a half working on a piece. It can take a long time for some of them.”

What do you like to paint the most?

“I’m constantly experimenting, pushing the boundaries of my work. The freer I am in that area the more I can say I believe. I’ve had people that have inspired me. If I can give that back and inspire someone else and share that with somebody that’s awesome.”

He adds, “You can do anything. As long as you apply yourself you can do anything.

You can view Kirk’s work on his website which is here. He sells his work in a poster format. One of my favorites is “Praying for Rain”. Totally amazing! Check out the details and the illustrative fantasy feel of the Illustration.

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1 Comment

  • Amazing! I love “Praying For Rain!” Regardless of any physical challenges this artist may have to deal with…this art is just freakin’ awesome!

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