What Matters to Véra Kempf

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Debbie Millman has an ongoing project at PRINT titled “What Matters.” This is an effort to understand the interior life of artists, designers, and creative thinkers. This facet of the project is a request of each invited respondent to answer ten identical questions and submit a nonprofessional photograph.

At only 32 years old, Véra Kempf is the co-founder of SINGULART, an online gallery of contemporary art and design that disrupts the codes of the traditional art market.

What is the thing you like doing most in the world?

Reading a good book with a cup of coffee or tea with people I love in the room, at home, or not far away. Basically knowing that I can close the book and see them.

What is the first memory you have of being creative?

Writing short stories at school and loving it, having my family read them and love them, and having adults tell me that they love the way I wrote, were all great accomplishments that pushed me to write even more.

What is your biggest regret?

I’m not old enough to say.

How have you gotten over heartbreak?

Writing or meeting new people.

What makes you cry?

  • A love story in a movie, song, novel, whatever, that can’t happen because of circumstances.
  • When a kid is learning about their parents getting divorced. I know the feeling, so my compassion is very intense.
  • Social injustices. People who are fighting hard to get over their difficulties and that can’t fight against them, like in the movie Divines, for instance.
  • The sadness of others; tears of others.
  • This song, due to the movie it comes from.

How long does the pride and joy of accomplishing something last for you?

One evening— I know it’s not much. The thing is, if I’m proud or happy about something I achieved, I get very excited… which prevents me from sleeping, and the next day I’m exhausted. I really have to focus on my to-dos to go through the day— and by doing so, the excitement goes away quickly.

I’m grateful for these accomplishments, but the excitement of the project is actually more intense BEFORE or DURING the project.

Do you believe in an afterlife, and if so, what does that look like to you?

Unfortunately not. I try to enjoy every day, which I believe makes the feeling of being alive even more special.

What do you hate most about yourself?

I’m such a bad cook. I wish it would be easy to invite people over for dinner, but I use my free time for different hobbies.

What do you love most about yourself?

I think that I’m happy to be able to mingle with very different social environments and various people. I don’t necessarily enjoy every environment I’m exposed to, but going out of my comfort zone socially is incredibly rewarding in the long run. Having parents who are teachers, I always loved conversations with adults when I was a teenager. My curiosity for other cultures and other working environments is how I explain that I have been able to become an entrepreneur when I had not studied business, nor worked in a private company before.

What is your absolute favorite meal?

Carrot cake!