About the Artist

Ilse Kleyn was born on 29 October 1971 in Vanderbijlpark. Her father was a policeman and her mother a hairdresser.

When she was a little girl her father got promoted and they moved to a town called Barkley-East where he was the head of the Stock theft unit. This is where Ilse won her 1st art competition and her love for art was born. Due to sad circumstances, her mother and father got divorced and Ilse and her mother and brother moved back to Vanderbijlpark where she finished school. 

It was her dream to study art. But her father persuaded her to look at a more steady income and to join the South African Police Force. In 1990 Ilse joined the Police in Pretoria as a Police Artist drawing wanted criminals, stolen property, designing posters, pamphlets ext. After two years she relocated to Cape Town – still working at ID Kitt in the Police. In Cape Town Ilse met her husband and they started a family. During this time she studied her Police diploma and soon were promoted to Captain. During her police career of 16 years, she worked at various departments including Diamond and Gold Unit and Occult related crimes.

When the two babies got bigger, Ilse found more spare time for herself and picked up on her nearly forgotten dream of becoming an artist. Soon the homes of all the family were decorated with Ilse’s paintings and strangers started asking for paintings. Ilse’s husband saw great potential and took her work to galleries - this proved to be very positive.

Within a year the demand for her work was getting more and more – so much that she had to make a choice. She chose her dream and left the Police in Augusts 2006.
Ilse sold 103 painting the first year as a full-time artist. With the help of her heavenly Father, she proved to her earthly father that doing what you were born to do is a far better way to earn an income. 

She has no formal training in the arts but she
obtained her Bachelors degree in Theology in 2020

Follow her work on Instagram (@IlseKleyn) and Face Book (Art of Kleyn)



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