Meet the Maker: Currently Kimmy

a person crouching down looking at the camera surrounded by illustrated prints

Each month we will be highlighting one of the fantastic independent makers we stock.

This month is 2D Illustrator CurrentlyKimmy.

After 13 years in Nottingham, CurrentlyKimmy is now based in Hampshire.

Working in pencil drawing, pointillism and watercolour illustrations, alongside diorama illustration, Kim’s practice draws on a vast array of inspiration.

From the beauty and strangeness of the nature world to tales from folklore and mythology, each piece results in an exquisite fantastical image, sparking curiosity and awe.

a black and white sci fi illustration
a black and white whale illustration

Can you introduce yourself and describe what you do?

I am Kimberley-Rose aka Kimmy and I am the artist behind CurrentlyKimmy – I specialise in pointillism, pencil, and watercolour illustrations and dabble in creating dioramas.

Have you always been a maker?

Always, I don’t remember a time where I wasn’t creating something.

What was the first thing you made?

In terms of timeline, I used to draw princesses when I was 6 years old... professionally - a series of watercolour portraits based on the memories that scent instils in us.

a moth illustration
a mermaid illustration

What draws you towards your craft?

My thoughts - I have too many and I feel a need to get it down on paper almost every day.

How would you describe your aesthetic and how did you develop your style?

I would describe my aesthetic as quite minimalist, there’s a lot of negative space in my work to allow depth. I feel it developed after going through a bout of depression and wanting to practise focus, this is when I started producing pointillism pieces and it heightened my sense of concentration as well as gave me momentous relief when finishing each piece.

How long does it take to make a piece and what is involved in the process?

It can vary, some doodles transform into finished pieces within a few hours, whereas my pointillist and pencil drawings can take days, sometimes weeks if I have to take a break and revisit.

Where does your inspiration come from?

I love reading and watching films, surrealism, sci-fi, dystopian and fantasy genres are my go to choices. I love the unusual and supernatural planes, otherworldly beings excite me.

a black and white illustration of trees
a black and white illustration of trees

Your collection of prints at Nottingham Contemporary features several pieces from the Ttlji Spirit Tree series. I'm fascinated by the idea of Ttlji. Can you explain what Ttlji is and where the inspiration came from?

​Ttlji is a language I created for Trees to use when they communicate and speak to one another.

The inspiration came from my love for Ents from the fantasy world Middle Earth, created by Tolkien, as well as a shared love for the book, Hidden Life of Trees, written by Peter Wohlleben.

Combining the two together and drawing traditions from my own culture - our tribe’s belief is that ancestors live in rocks and trees and we speak to them through touch - I created Ttlji.

The series as a whole comes from trees I have seen throughout my childhood, when I visited country parks and gardens with my ma - each tree depicts a month in the year which is why there is 12 in total.

I am thinking about creating a flower series too...

tree illustration
tree illustration
tree illustration

Who are your art and design heroes?

I adore Lauren Tsai and James Jean. They are incredible – Gods of illustration in my eyes.

After 13 years in the city of Nottingham, you've recently moved to Hampshire. Has this changed your practice or approach to your art?

​Now living closer to nature, I am motivated to draw more often than before. It's also a lot quieter here too, so I feel I can hone in on my thoughts without too much distraction. I do miss Nottingham though, it's great I still come back and showcase my work however - I have an exhibition approaching in June with Phlexxibition.

Can you describe your workspace? Where is it and what is in it?

I used to be part of Backlit, but since moving across country, my studio is a spare room upstairs converted into my safe space. It has a strange side window of the house but it allows a stream of light that pours through the entire day. It’s a little messy at the moment as I am re-decorating to make it more comfortable (I need books and artwork around me as I work).

Favourite break time snack or drink to keep you motivated?

I am a coffee fiend, but need a consistent flow of water to hand. Cashews and seaweed are the best snacks!

black and white sci fi illustration

For us, Nottingham folk, name your go-to small businesses in the city?

There's so many ahaha, but my mind jumps to -

Food - Mocky-D for vegan fast food and Kushiya for modern Japanese delights

Vintage, handmade clothing and seamstress - SoulandFlare, Gayle is incredible and her shop is located in Sneinton Market Avenues and has started holding workshops.

Furniture - Pine&Treasure, amazing, curated selection of homeware

What’s the best thing about being creative for a living?

You are completely you; you choose your time; you know what your priorities are without someone else dictating them to you and you get to create, literally, anything your heart desires. It’s freeing, although can be financially challenging at times, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

What would you say to someone thinking about selling their work?

Don’t forget to pay yourself for your skills and labour. Without you, there would be no work to sell so don’t forget to love and respect yourself as well as your work.

Browse Kimmy's pieces online

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