Welcome to another in the Worldwide Wednesday series of blog posts that seeks out creative talent from around the world and share it with you via probing questions and revealing answers.
Some of you may already be familiar with my guest and some may not. In either case, I was beyond excited when she agreed to take part as I have been an admirer of her work for some time.
My featured guest this week is the talented mixed media artist, Kim Dellow.
Please can you provide a brief introduction to yourself, where in the world you are and let everyone know what you currently do in the arts/crafts industry?
My name is Kim Dellow and I am an artist living in London, UK.
I run an art YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/c/KimDellow/ and blog https://www.kimdellow.com/. As well as my own content I also provide art and craft content for magazines, manufacturers and retailers.
I also teach workshops and design products so you will find me doing all sorts of things!
When did you begin working in the creative industry and what was the seminal or defining moment that put you on that path?
I started card making as a hobby around 10 years ago now. Then I left my day job as a course director and lecturer and was unsure of which direction to go in next.
Meanwhile, I was still creating, more as stress relief than anything else! But once I started getting offers for my creative work, I started to look at it as my job rather than my hobby.
Is what you do now what you imagined you would be doing when you first started out?
I can safely say no! I’ve always really enjoyed being creative but never considered it as a career. I actually trained as a scientist but it was always the creative side of the science that I loved the most.
I realise that now!
Thinking back through the years, what memorable responses have you had to your work and did this change you in any way?
I think the big turning point was when I won the Papercraft Essentials Papercrafter of the Year competition near the beginning of my career change and then started getting commissions that changed my direction and I started to wonder if I could make something of this creative habit!
What has been most important to you as an artist or crafter – a goal, a mentor, support, knowledge, advice, information, funding, family, friends … etc?
My partner. He has been a massive support and has been there through all the highs and lows!
But I am also hugely grateful for every single commission, the companies I have worked with and to my editors, both past and present, who have come back for more work from me!
And I’m also so grateful to everyone one who has taken an interest in my work, watched one of my videos or liked one of my projects on social media. And I’ve been really lucky to have met some lovely fellow artists and crafters through social media.
How have you changed during your career and do you see room for more changes in the coming years?
Yep! Big time!
My card making using other people’s designs and products has turned into an artist using her own designs and products. And I hope that my work keeps changing and developing.
I love to learn and improve and I am always looking to get better at what I do.
What work do you most enjoying doing?
Drawing and doing something with paint, any paint! Working with my hands and generating ideas.
Who/What inspires you the most?
Flights of ‘What ifs?’ I am at my most inspired when I can ask questions and make abstract connections. I love random thoughts and sparks.
How would you describe a creative life? Fun, challenging, rewarding … etc?
Challenging for sure. It’s not easy to earn money, creativity is undervalued unless you are very lucky.
You are often carving your own path and the way isn’t always clear. If you are creative you are often sharing a bit of yourself each time you put yourself out there and that isn’t easy. And you often have to do the work of a team: you are the marketer, business person, tech person, stylist, photographer, oh and the creative coming up with and making the projects.
I don’t want to put anyone off but it is a whole lot of hard graft.
But when you get it right and someone commissions and recommissions work from you or reaches out to you to thank you for helping them, or you make a breakthrough with your work, then it is extremely rewarding.
What would be your dream project?
Ok, this could go one of two ways!
Either a surface design product range or a huge 3-dimensional art project for a community!
What wouldn’t you do without?
Pencil and paper.
What are you working on at the moment?
Videos, videos and more videos!
I have some video series for my YouTube channel planned and I’m also working on some online workshops too!
What future project(s) are you most looking forward to?
I will be happy when I have launched a few workshops. It has been on my to-do list for far too long now.
I feel that I might have missed a number of boats!
What are you doing when you’re not creating? What hobbies (creative or non-creative) do you have?
I work quite a lot and have that whole, well ‘what is my hobby now?’ thing!
I like drawing in my spare time, which is also my work so I’m not sure if it counts! But I also enjoy those free days where I can wander around London snapping photos and not thinking about work.
Oh and reading comic books and graphic novels, yeah maybe that is my hobby now?!
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
The science thing maybe? That in a previous career I was a research scientist?
Do you have any tips or inspiring words for others?
Keep going – being a creative carving your own path requires a lot of grit, but if working for yourself and creating your own world is in your soul, then do it!
Keep open minded about opportunities but learn to say no too if they don’t fit or feel right. And don’t sell yourself cheap.
Don’t give up your copyright or at least don’t sell it cheaply.
Stop working for no pay. Product isn’t pay! Exposure isn’t pay!
Where else can we find you? (Blog, website, twitter, facebook etc) You can find me at:
What an incredibly accomplished person Kim is – wouldn’t you agree?
As you will have seen from the images that Kim sent through, she has a very colourful and bright style to her work and this is something that always catches my eye whenever I see it on social media or YouTube. It’s uplifting and her tutoring style is very calm and informative. If this is the sort of thing that you like, then please do check out her YouTube channel.
I was particularly fascinated to find out that Kim was a former research scientist – we often look at folk in the creative industry and forget that some have arrived on this career path from very different backgrounds. For that reason, it was also very interesting to hear of Kim’s real-world career shift as I felt that it just goes to show that creativity is accessible to all, as long as there is a genuine love and interest for it – the sky is the limit.
I don’t agree that Kim has missed any boats and that when she has completed filming and editing her workshops, they will be a huge success – I know that I am in that queue at least – how about you?
Right, I must sign off now and crack on with the day.
I hope that you enjoyed this little Q&A and will support Kim wherever you see her or her work.
Many thanks for stopping by and I will hopefully see you again for the next Worldwide Wednesday.