Sunday, September 28, 2014

In The Waiting Place With Your Art? Meet Kim Hooker Ballesteros

Kim's Studio Wall - Where She Takes Vintage Thrift Store Art and Adds Little Bluebirds

When I was an artist's rep, I knew little about how artists thought. After doing it for several years, I saw repeated themes amongst all my clients, no matter what their medium was or their level of success. Here are the ones I heard most often:

  1. I'm tired of doing the same thing over and over (even if it was their best seller).  I want to do something new.
  2. I wish something would happen and I'd know I could make money at this.
Being an artist is a different pursuit than being a salesperson, as an example. Because you are selling something you made - it requires tremendous courage to put a part of yourself out for the world to see, and watch people praise it and reject it.  It's sort of hard to not see them rejecting YOU when they say disparaging things.

A Corner of The Crafty Bluebird Studio Space at Aurora Studios in The Heights

Interviewing Kim reminded me again of these themes.  Not the theme of rejection - she's fine if you don't like her things. More the theme of 'I wish something would happen.'  She is not alone, for I have been there and every single artist I know has too. Maybe, just maybe, you are there now too.  Not only do you have to have courage to be an artist, which she has plenty of, you need to have tremendous staying power.  Finding a network of people to cheer you on at this point is critical. 

Besides sharing her feelings about  being in the waiting place, Kim took an incredible step of courage this year by renting a studio space for her to create, and not necessarily to sell things.  She had the intention of using the space to teach, after all she has her MLA in Art History. She also wanted to rent it to create things for her own personal purposes.  Being a wife and mother of a 10 year old boy, her house was not a place for her to create.  There was always laundry to do or the kitchen to clean. We probably all know that when we leave our creativity on the back burner, everything else gets done, leaving no time for what we need to do for ourselves.

Not only did Kim rent the space, she started teaching again at Leisure Learning: How To Classes on Vintage Button Jewelry, Felt Flower Pins, Cupcake Stands, Terrariums.  An ever-changing seasonal list of classes are planned and you can find them on her website.  Using Leisure Learning as the platform for marketing and connecting with others, she will start using her studio space to offer classes, and for her own artistic pleasure.

Teaching for her is easy because she is "sharing an experience with someone.  When people left my classes in the past, they would feel great about themselves."  She taught at Leisure Learning years ago, a class on Gift Baskets (since she did this for Central Market), and often got thank you notes from her class members. "Teaching someone how to tie a decent bow, and watching them feel like they accomplished something was rewarding."  She wants to broaden her scope of classes, offering ones that also can incorporate her style.

Kim has always inspired me because she has the willingness to try something new, and in this case, she is using a new type of formula; finding the space for herself first and dreaming up ideas to facilitate her mission second.  Her mission is to help others through her gift of teaching so they feel they can be creative too. When you go to her website, and read the testimonials like this one below, you too will see this girl is enthusiastic and not centered around her ego:

"Kim is the most creative person I've ever met! She amazes me with her ability to come up with idea after idea of truly unique and fun projects. She is so gifted and so loves what she does that it is impossible to not catch her enthusiasm. My boys and I looked forward to every one of her events!"
~ Becky Shaw, Georgia

How many artists do you know that are not focused on their art, but instead focused on helping others find the artist within themselves? I love that when I picture Kim in my mind, I see her with a smile - always.  I think her decorating style makes Anthropologie look like amateurs and her insatiable need for travel (she just got back from Thailand and Beijing a day before this interview) shows a spirit that is soaring...just like a little crafty bluebird.  And as Kim says on her website...

"The Crafty Bluebird carries the sky on her back,
glitter on her wings and 
ribbons in her beak."

And Of Course, A Smiling Picture of Kim

No comments: