Guest Blogger Week: Kimberly McGuiness Art & DesignTuesday, October 11, 2016
Kimberly is also the creator of Julia's World Project, a blog inspired by her daughter who is living with deaf autism. She, Julia, and her husband live and work in Georgia. She just recently launched her artwork full-time creating in several mediums like mixed media from nature. You can find her work from her website but also from her Facebook group, "Kimberly's Kreative Market". I'm so glad to introduce her to you in this post! Enjoy the interview!
Q: Kimberly, you’ve been an artist for a very long time, but it seems you’re really getting started as a full time artist. What you say was the turning point that now was the right time?
I’d been praying about being a full-time artist, thinking about it all the time and just wanting to be in my art practice so badly then the door opened for me to just jump in and do it. I had been working for a local school district providing contract services for 15 years and the county decided to go in a different direction this year and they dropped my contract. I’m actually grateful because that was the push I needed in order to take the step into my work full time and I knew it would be ok because God opened a door and I had to walk through it! He gave me the answer I was looking for!
Q: Do you come from a family of artists?
You know I’m not really sure, I had an aunt who was an artist I recently found out about but I don’t know of any others in the family. My mother is creative, crafty kind of lady and I have always been that way too my whole life but my current work is what I’ve grown into doing and really love.
Q: How would you describe your artistry style if given two words?
Q: So, now that you are a full-time artist, which I know how much you love, what would a typical work day look like for you?
Depends on the day and what’s leftover from the previous day like commissions, submission deadlines, getting ready for a show, or new works in progress. I typically have at least 3-4 projects going at once and rotate between them when another is drying or needs to rest for a bit. But for the most part, a typical day is just all about creating and keeping the pipeline full and posting progress photos and updates to my following on social media and engaging with them and their comments or answering questions.
Q: I know my readers would be fascinated to learn how you manage your art as well as your daughter, Julia, and being a wife? I know it isn’t easy.
Oh how true it is not easy at all and Julia and her daily challenges of deaf autism kind of dictates the schedule some days and it’s nothing but attending to her needs or helping her move past a place where she is stuck or perseverating on something. She is now 27 and the foundation for my art practice is I create first for myself, it’s my therapy and release of emotions present every day in my life caring for a young adult like Julia. She also has a social schedule and activities she participates in which can be a challenge at times but I’ve so very thankful she has these; otherwise the quality of life would be very different. I’ve learned to not be too hard on myself when I create, I need it and it, the creation needs me to do it. The only way I can balance my day and get through the end of it a feel like something has been accomplished is to be flexible, don’t worry about things I can’t control, pray a lot, be grateful for the day and hopeful for the next! You can read Julia’s story here at: http://projectjuliasworld.blogspot.com/.
Q: Was there a time in your life that you thought you would never be able to pursue art as your sole career?
Yes. I went through my school years exploring art and developing my creativity through my high school graduation. My life took a different turn when I was blessed with my daughter Julia in 1988. She is a ray of sunshine surrounded by an infectious loving spirit who is living with deaf autism. After her birth, my art was on hold for many years until 2008 when I started back with my journaling which then lead me to where I am today with my work.
Q: Do you get the support from your community, other artists?
Yes, other people are starting to recognize my work because of the style of my work and those black lines I add to each piece, it’s like a visual signature that helps people recognize the work and know who the artist is before they even look at the name on the piece. Artists are among the most caring and supportive people I know, I’ve learned so much from the people I’ve been able to connect with in the art community. I take what other artists share from their practice and experiment to see how it may fit into my style of work. Sometimes it’s not a good fit and that’s okay because now I can say at least I gave it a go and the technique wasn’t for me. Then there are times when something new sends my mind to overdrive and I have to try it like right that minute or in my next piece in my own style and it ends up being a good fit.
Q: Since I follow you on Facebook, I can see how busy you have become, can you tell us some of the collaborations you’re doing and some upcoming projects you have going on?
I have several shows I'm doing between now and the end of the year and a couple entries I'm submitting to Cloth Paper Scissors Magazine. The most exciting thing that has happened recently is I met with the director of the Harris Art Center http://www.harrisartscenter.com/ in Calhoun, GA about my work. She loved it so now my art will be in their Mistletoe Market and I'll be participating in their festival of trees they do every year with tremendous attendance during the exhibit. We've also started conversations about the possibility of art classes. I have a new group on Facebook, Kimberly's Kreative Market https://www.facebook.com/groups/kimberlyskreativemarket/ and it's a member only kind of group. This will be where I will post my work for sale, trade, giveaways, info, tips and tricks, behind the scene things and a live video thrown in here and there and some other things that have helped me along my art journey and some member only deals and steals. The offerings in the group will not be published or offered anywhere else you can join the group here https://www.facebook.com/groups/kimberlyskreativemarket/.
Q: What is the best way to purchase your art whether or not the person lives in or out of GA?
Most of my clients follow me on Facebook and several even stalk my pages, in a good way of course, as I often post new work that is available. They can also browse my online shop Kimberly McGuiness Art & Design. I'm also a licensed artist. You can purchase my original work and designs on products such as home decor, laptop & phone cases to fabric and wrapping paper from these retailers: Society 6, and Spoonflower.
Q: What would you say is the most challenging thing about working for yourself as an artist?
Trying to balance everything and not get too fragmented and lose focus on the daily projects and deadlines.
Q: Do you do any art for charity work?
I don’t usually set out to create specifically for charities, but I do donate a piece here and there for silent auctions, and straight Buy It Now fundraisers.
Q: How does it make you feel when others recognize you as an artist? You must feel very proud right?
Oh I love it. Every time someone buys my work takes an art class from me, or comments on my work it just continues to validate me and my practice knowing I’m in the right place and on the right path.
Q: How do you continue to build readership for your blog and keep your work in front of prospective buyers?
Big Laugh, that’s a great question and one I have to be honest about, posts to my blog have been few and far between lately, most of my fans, clients follow me through Facebook and other social media venues.
Q: Where would you like to see Kimberly McGuiness art be in about five years? Have you looked that far ahead?
It’s hard to look at five years down the road with everything I manage on a daily basis… but one can dream I suppose. To answer the question, I’d like to see my art & design is more in the public eye, possibly licensed work on products in shops instead of just online.
Q: If you have any advice for an up and comer artist who wants to do what you do, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to jump in and do it. Get your hands dirty in what you want to do. Ask questions of other artists you admire, take workshops, if the budget allows, from other artists, and learn what they do. Is it something you want to apply to your own practice? Share what you learn with others, be kind and respectful of the work your own and of other artists and be grateful, very grateful with your comments and conversations.
A BIG Thank you to Kimberly for this wonderful interview! Hope you enjoyed getting to know her better and be sure to sign up to her newsletter from her blog at: kimberlymcguiness.com.