“I like dark colors more than light colors." Zoe Murkovich knows what she likes and likes what she does. “I just teach myself how to do it."
Zoe has an eye for art. "I kind of figure it out as I go, but I never paint really pictures. I just paint abstract."
She has enjoyed exploring her talent for most of her life. “Ever since I was two," she adds. Seven years later - at the ripe age of nine - Zoe is a working artist! Creativity fills the third grader's studio in the basement of her home, where she spends hours painting acrylic on canvas and creating Zoe's Creatures, as she calls them. All her creatures share a theme - they all have skinny legs. “Because it shows more movement,” she explains. Zoe's characters don't lack expression either, which will help the empathetic artist illustrate her first book. It is about an alligator's first trip to the homeless shelter and it is inspired by Zoe herself. "The first time we did it, I didn't want to give away all of my stuffed animals. So we made a book about it." Zoe has not stopped giving back since.
Zoe's sold t-shirts with her designs printed on them and donated proceeds to her favorite charity - Animal Ark Wildlife Refuge. She will also paint in the Doors to Recovery community art project for Artown. She is the youngest artist ever invited to participate.
Zoe also recently scooped up another honor with the winning design for a Pick Up Your Dog's Poop campaign. "I don't like stepping in dog poop!” she giggles. Her art, now printed on signage, will serve as a reminder at trailheads all over Nevada County.
Her proudest accomplishment, however, is a brand new art exhibit at the McKinley Arts and Culture Center. More than a dozen pieces from her personal collection of drawings and paintings are on display and on sale. "There's one picture that I really like. It's called Catch of the Day and it's a dragon eating a knight." The gallery is free for public viewing and her work will be available to see until May 8th. While it may be the first solo exhibit for this budding artist, you better believe it will not be her last. “I like my drawings a lot."