Boca Raton mom makes waves in local art scene

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By: Joanie Cox-Henry Contributing Writer

There’s a story deeper than the ocean behind Karim Aboud’s mermaid tail jewelry holders and seashell serving trays. After her second daughter, Alaia, died in a car accident, she found herself escaping to the ocean on a constant basis.

“I was working with resin at the time and I was inspired by how the resin could be molded into waves,” Aboud said. “It was my therapy that got me through the hardest time of my life. Even though she was so little, Alaia loved the ocean and when I design the waves in my art, I feel her here with me.”

Wanting to bring that peace into people’s homes, Aboud has found healing through her line, Aria Marli Art, which is named after her older daughter.

“I’ve always been creative, but I never knew I could actually paint until I was pregnant with Aria,” Aboud said. “I was going to design my daughter’s nursery and I hated all the art work I was seeing. I decided to start creating my own.”

Inspired by a photo of an online blogger’s daughter, Aboud painted a portrait, tagged the blogger in it and essentially went viral on social media over night.

“My art career really just took off from there,” Aboud said. “I was immediately asked to start painting portraits through online orders.”

Specializing in portraits, Aboud still accepts orders for custom paintings and portraits and has expanded her line to include everything from resin art ceramic containers and cutting boards to key chains, clutches and coasters.

“I really wanted everything to be ocean-related in my line,” Aboud said. “So that’s exactly what I did.”

Originally from Miami, Aboud, 34, is happy to be raising Aria and her six-month-old son Jackson in Boca Raton.

“Working as a full time artist from home has really allowed me to be there for every moment with my kids and that’s everything to me,” Aboud said. “But working from home, you’re essentially always working. There’s no life balance. I’ve even Googled ‘Time Management!’ But my business is doing great and so what if the laundry is piling up?”

Aboud is also always eager to include her children in the process of creating new art.

“One day, Aria was slamming a mermaid tail on a plate and I soon realized that the concept of what she was doing could make a great ring holder,” Aboud said. “And so I decided to make one using resin. It’s now one of my bestsellers.”

When she’s not taking her daughter to preschool or children to the park or YMCA, Aboud is kickboxing or binge-watching reality TV. Her latest indulgence is “90 Day Fiance” on TLC.

But most nights, after her children are in bed, she’s working until 1 a.m. on her art work. “When I’m making my art, I listen to music or sometimes audio books,” Aboud said. “Right now I’m listening to Super Attractor. It’s all about the laws of attraction.”