DENVER — A day in the life of Andrew Kiminski starts out a bit terrifying as he hangs from a tree and cuts down dead branches. But his day ends in his home with his cat, Max, giving the same tree he cut down a new life.
“Most people don’t have access to this much wood," said Kiminski, as he sawed branches.
A friend suggested he make a cutting board, but Kiminski realized that wouldn't keep him occupied forever.
"I didn’t have any indoor healthy hobbies," he said. "I just had a bunch of video games and TV that I felt was rotting my mind away."
And that's how "Kiminiski's Kreations" was born.
Kiminski slices off a few pieces of the tree to bring home. He calls the slices cookies.
“Yeah my room is just insane right now," he said, carrying four "cookies" from the tree. "I haven’t counted but I bet I’ve got 70 or 80 of these.”
Those pieces of wood cover the floor of his closet, the side of his bed, and inside his shelves.
Many of them are finished pieces of art.
He melts crayons, burns the wood and uses colored pencils to fill in his burnt lines.
One of Kiminski's pieces is on a heart-shaped piece of wood with purple, pink and red crayons.
“I mean here I am melting crayons onto a piece of wood," he laughed. "Like it’s the most ridiculous thing in the world. You think about this being a craft for kindergartners and it could be.
"You're afraid of judgment, you're afraid that people are going to reject your work and that it will make you not want to do it anymore," he said. "But I got to the place where holding it all in and keeping it to myself was more painful than any rejection would ever be."
He is reminded of that place by the sticky notes on his mirrors.
They read, "I am a forever learner," and "I believe I will be a successful artist."
Kiminski has made more than 100 pieces of tree art.
“For whatever reason, if I was gone tomorrow, I would have no regrets. I’m finally giving all of myself at the end of every day."
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