If I was not an artist, I believe I would be a philosopher. I love inquiring about they ‘why’ of mankind and human behavior.sc: Can you explain the (usually) single, female subject most often found in your work? Akaimi: It’s funny; people often tell me that the women in the paintings look like me. They think they are self-portraits. I don’t think they look like me; but, of course, they are all a piece of me. My initial calling was to uplift women through my work, to help highlight their higher calling. Just as it has been therapeutic for me, particularly on this post-cancer-diagnosis leg of my journey, I hope my work has helped other women. [Akami is currently undergoing treatment for Large Granular Lymphocytic Leukemia, a rare form of cancer.] sc: You’ve been heard referring to the fox as your spirit animal. Why do you say that? Akaimi: Well, the fox is often depicted as sly and cunning, but it is more than that. Foxes are particularly known for their ability to get themselves out of precarious situations. I relate to the fox when I consider my ability to emerge from situations that have threatened my health, finances, relationships of all types, and be able to care for my children. For both the fox and me, when faced with situations that might mean “the end” to others, giving up is not an option. sc: When did you know you were an artist? Akaimi: When I was 5 years old. My beloved teacher, Mrs. Anderson, instructed us to draw what we wanted to be when we grew up. I drew a picture of myself in an artist’s beret. We may never know whether young Akaimi’s beret was raspberry in hue, but she is certainly a true example of one living her dream. Akaimi and her work can be found online at her website, purchased online, and she’s on Instagram and Facebook.