When I first saw Kimberly’s stunning fashion illustrations at Fashion Fusion back in May, I just knew I had to interview her.
A couple of weeks ago Kimberly kindly invited me to her tranquil studio on the banks of the River Lark in Bury St Edmunds to chat all things art and fashion – and to create some artwork!
Kimberly has become well known for her stunning fashion illustrations featuring vibrant colours and well known cultural icons.
“My art is kind of a hybrid of fashion, fine art and commercial art,” explained Kimberly, “When I was back in art school, my work was completely different. It was very natural, photo-real, with muted tones and this all came later. I had the vision for colour and I had to get it out on paper some how -I just felt like I had to do it.”
Now Kimberly is branching out into vivid abstracts created with alcohol inks. She works the inks on synthetic paper before taking a photograph whilst they are still wet. Using photoshop she will edit and crop the piece until she’s happy with the look, and then print it. The final step is to varnish the artwork to create a glossy finish.
Kimberly invited me to have a go at creating my own piece of abstract art and I jumped at the chance! How often do you get to work alongside an artist in their own studio?!
We donned our aprons and started out with the alcohol ink. I chose sunset colours for my piece – a bright yellow, warm orange, bright pink and deep blue. After spotting the ink of the page, we moved the paper around so that the inks moved and flowed together to create different patterns and shapes.
Whilst the ink was still wet we took a photo and popped it on the computer to choose which angle to make our print. The piece I’d made looked almost like a heart. It’s amazing how many variations you can get from just letting the ink run and find its own way along a page.
Kimberly only started her fashion illustration five years ago after 20 years without painting. For many years she had been running a successful costume making business and her art had been put to one side.
“My story is that it’s never too late to follow your dream,” explained Kimberly, “I went to art school back in the ‘80s and it didn’t happen for me the first time around. I didn’t know what kind of artist I wanted to be, so I went and studied fashion design, then fine art before studying visual communications, which is commercial art.”
“My side hustle at this time was designing costumes and this was really taking off so I just ran with that. But then twenty years flew by and I didn’t do any painting.”
After taking a course at West Suffolk College Kimberly started creating the pieces she is now well know for. Amazon placed her on its home page and the rest, as they say, is history.
“It’s been this juggernaut that’s taken on a life of its own, and here I am! So I‘ve been really lucky, and I find that the harder I work, the luckier I am.”
Head to Kimberly’s website to see her gorgeous work – or visit her stall at The Suffolk Fashion Show on 4th October at Trinity Park.