I was asked to make a colourful cushion featuring a bird and flowers with this drawing from a lovely customer:
I thought about whether I might seek such a fabric design, but I didn’t have the desire to go hunting for a fabric, so I designed my own.
Having found painted designs that the dye colours can mush together I decided to try a collage technique, as developed in some of my favourite work, my paper cut pictures.
I firstly prepared papers by carefully painting them with transfer dyes then cut and assembled pieces to build a design. I liked the composition on a cute practice design (above), but felt that the colours lacked texture and depth. So I tried wax relief frottage techniques learned at UAL Chelsea and also hand-painted my favourite flowers inspired by our own garden and a visit to the wonderful tulip gardens of Keukenhof and the Botanical Garden in Leiden earlier this year. I challenged myself to limit colours to the wine red, golden yellow and turquoise Colourcraft Transfer Dyes.
I cut shapes and enjoyed assembling these to form the design for the main panel of the cushion.
April was a bright and creative month, here are the highlights from my Instagram feed. Enjoy!
Better late than never!
First up was a cupcake themed cushion that I made for a close relation.
Lush pink, grey and teal design. It was a huge pattern repeat so I made a booster cushion with different parts of the design front and back. As I know I’ll be asked the question, the fabric was from Direct Knit and Sew in Sheffield.
Ta da! Here’s the finished cushion. It really was a work of love as it was for someone I love and I love the outcome. The pink ribbon edging the cushion really makes the colours pop.
I’m delighted that the Sheffield Star newspaper have covered my exhibition on page 12 of today’s paper.
Here’s the press release issued about the project:
Designed to Inspire – Art Exhibition
Kimberley Kay, working as ‘Inspire by Kim’, has developed a range of ‘Everyday Inspiration’ products – exhibited at The Workstation Gallery in Sheffield this week.
Kim explained, “I create to inspire and uplift people, with bright designs and delightful fabrics that add colour to everyday routines.”
“At Sheffield College I’ve explored creative ways to communicate, studied textile techniques and developed pattern designs. I honed manufacturing skills to make a delightful product range of bags, clothing and accessories. The products come together in a catalogue to engage retailers and customers.
“I share my work in progress through my website, Facebook page and Instagram feed, which provides feedback for the development of my products. The digital world means its possible to reach out to people globally, if people can feel a little happier from seeing my work that’s a wonderful thing.”
“My goal is to have a successful art business of commissioned work, illustration, products, and inspiring, creative workshops for local people. I’m determined so it’s a matter of keeping going forwards, step by step.”
Kim has been studying with Design & Visual Arts Department at the Hillsborough Campus of Sheffield College. The end of year exhibition covers Art & Design, Games Design, Graphic Design and Photography and takes place at The Workstation, until 8pm on Thursday 15th June.
Kim’s cheesegrater Sheffield souvenir idea received acclaim from Sheffield Design Week in November 2016.
I’m delighted that in just a week from now I’ll be exhibiting my latest work at The Workstation in Sheffield, S1 2BX.
My exhibited work is the culmination of 2 years experimenting, developing techniques, and evolving my art practice. I have designed fabrics, printed them and developed products, I then brought them together in a catalogue and began to market them online and seek retail opportunities. The products are designed to provide ‘everyday inspiration’ as part of my aim to inspire and uplift people.
My art journey started a little over two years ago when following acute knee injury and surgery there weren’t many things I could do. One thing I was able to do was art, I decided to indulge and focus on art.
Then faced with a winter of not being able to do the sports I loved, skiing and skating, I enrolled at the local college. Returning to education as a mature student is challenging and growing accustomed to asking for help and being beyond my comfort zone took some getting used to. But after a great year at Sheffield College and a Distinction in the course I was sad to leave. I felt I had more exploring to do, through the college learning and development structure, and in the great facilities of the Design & Visual Arts Department at the Hillsborough Campus. So I returned to study an Art Foundation course with the intention of giving myself a baseline offering for a successful art business of commissioned work, illustration projects, products and licensing.
With hard work, dedication and enthusiastic support I have achieved what I set out to do, and am pleased to have this opportunity to publicly show my work.
Sheffield College’s Design and Visual Arts Exhibition is at The Workstation, Paternoster Row, Sheffield from Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th June to 10am – 4pm and 15th June 10am – 8pm. The exhibition embraces the disciplines of Art and Design, Games Design, Graphic Design and Photography.
Life Coach Elaine Mitchell asked me for an artwork for two Empowered Woman events for International Women’s Day. I’ll be speaking about my journey and exhibiting original artworks for, prints and exciting new products for sale, at the event on 8th March.
Here’s the story of development of the artwork, as drafted for Elaine’s blog…
Developing Artwork For Empowered Woman Events By Life Coach Elaine Mitchell
I was delighted that Elaine asked me to create an artwork for her two International Women’s Day events on March 7th and 8th 2017 at Hotel Van Dyk.
I’m a Sheffield based artist and illustrator with the brand of Inspire by Kim. After a successful career, in travel industry public relations, blowing my knee was the impetus to become a full-time artist. Now creating art and illustration for myself, and my wonderful customers, is the good that came out of major injury.
Elaine’s brief to create a dynamic brand image, demonstrating empowerment, authenticity, strength, warmth, flow and generosity is inline with psyche of the female characters that I create. My characters are their authentic selves and thrive by living this way. The ‘Wonderful Women’ in my Portfolio demonstrate this theme, such as my ‘Leaves Lady’, which I used to promote my April 2016 exhibition.
After giving a lot of thought to Elaine’s brief I sketched a number of concepts. I wanted the piece to have a lot of energy, demonstrated by colour, and to symbolise positivity ahead. I developed ideas using markers, Lino cutting, inks and a great Sheffield made colour crystal product called Brusho.
Elaine loved the a number of the artworks but was keen to change the background colour. The chosen artwork was the colourful figure striding forwards, as her fabulous self, towards a shining future.
I replaced the background with Elaine’s signature green, as used on her website and book cover. I left enough space alongside the figure for Elaine to add information about the wonderful events in March.
Spectra Electra – Elaine asked for a name for the woman, Spectra then Electra popped into my head.
It’s great working which Elaine as she’s so bubbly, positive and fun. I’m delighted that Elaine has asked me to speak about my journey and exhibit at the Empowered Woman Celebration on 8th March at the Hotel Van Dyk.
All the best to Elaine for great events, I’m looking forward to them. For more information on the two events head across to Elaine’s website. To buy tickets for the 8th March event click here.
I’ll be offering original artworks, prints and exciting new products for sale at the event on 8th March.
My largest artwork in 2016 is a commissioned artwork which I’ll be revealing here very soon.
I’m astounded that my blog has been viewed in 82 countries in 2016, I love the idea of my art reaching out across the globe. Thanks to everyone who followed, Liked, commented, bought and visited my art in 2016. I appreciate everything.
I dedicate this post to my dear Grandad who left us this year.
The next post will be looking forwards to 2017. Follow my blog to see that post when it is live.