When the going gets tough, Karin Hoffman gets painting.
Her medium of choice: acrylics.
This year marked a milestone in Hoffman's artistic career. She finally started to share her work with friends and the world.
"I started showing (my art) to people and they liked it," she says. "(My art is) happy. That's kind of what I hope — (that it makes) people happy."
Among new-found fans of Hoffman's work was the city of Beaverton.
The city hosted a call for original work for its 2017 Beautify Beaverton project in May. The project aimed to wrap "unsightly utility boxes in high-performance and graffiti-resistant vinyl printed with local, original artwork," according to the website.
Hoffman was among 200 applicants to send in work for consideration. Out of 50 artistic works chosen to be publicly exhibited in Beaverton, two were painted by Hoffman, who couldn't be more excited.
As a child, art was merely a pastime. Now, it's turned into not only a successful side gig, but an escape for when life becomes overwhelming.
The 30-year-old Portland-native is a mother of two — Brielle, 2-and-a-half, and Markus, 6 months — and works part-time as a housecleaner.
"For me, (painting is) nice because you can focus on just one thing (amongst the) chaos of kids," she says. "I have to paint with really bright colors to contrast the gloomy gray (of Oregon)."
A few years ago, Hoffman and her husband Chris were buried beneath bills when her parents invited them to share their home. They took the offer in hopes to pay off some debt and get back on their feet.
"We were making ends meet, but we weren't saving any money," Hoffman explains. "It's one of those things where you can put your life on hold until you pay the debt, but that's not how I wanted to live."
So now her parents' home has become her home, and her bathroom has become her studio.
Hoffman describes her edgy, colorful art as "expressionist."
"It's not typically what people would call 'surreal,'" she explains. "But it's got a bit of a pop vibe to it."
When Hoffman's not juggling the kids, working, or making her next masterpiece, she gets her creative juices flowing by repurposing and fixing old furniture.
"I think I really just like being able to create something," she explains. "Since God's like a creator, I like to be a creator too. I like to remake things. That kind of reminds me of what God does with people. It's almost like you're bringing something to life."