This week’s EBSQ Blogger of the Week is most well known for her adorable Westie illustrations, but no dog or cat is safe from her imagination! Spend a few minutes with us while we explore this wonderful artist and blogger.
Who and where are you?
I’m Kim Niles, a freelance Artist, and children’s book Author & Illustrator from Whidbey Island in WA state, and I think it would be safe to say I’m addicted to making art. I’m self-taught and have been selling my art professionally since the late 1990s, and working full-time at my KiniArt business since 2005. I’ve been married for nearly 25 years to a man I’ve known and loved for 30 years. Together, we have a son, a daughter, one daughter-in-law, and we’re expecting our first granddaughter in the Fall.
I had heard that being a successful artist means you essentially work the hours of two full-time jobs because you spend at least 75% of your time marketing and promoting your work. This is very true. I typically work long hours and most days of the week just to have the time to get the new art ideas started on paper and out of my head. I started to blog as means of promoting my work and I found it to be a fun and easy way to introduce myself to new collectors, and to keep existing fans up to date with my latest art and project news too. I use a variety of blogging and social networking sites (Blogger, LiveJournal, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to inform, but also to keep in touch with my collectors. The majority of my blogs are listed and linked to from my blogs page at KiniArt.com
Any tips for other EBSQ art bloggers?
I do have a couple tips for art bloggers. If you have multiple blogs, like I do, set up reminders in your schedule to post at different blogs on different days. This helps you keep them updated so they don’t get overlooked. At the very least, tie your blogs/social sites together wherever possible. For instance, when I post on Facebook, it also shows up on Twitter and anything that shows up in my Twitter feed automatically shows up on Myspace, etc. Tying your social media together is a huge time-saver for the multi-blogger. My 2nd tip is for the art blog reader in you. Blogging and social networking can eat up a LOT of time. Set a maximum amount of minutes you’ll allow yourself to spend reading up on your favorite blogs so you don’t suddenly find you’ve spent your entire morning reading about everyone else’s productivity.
I love working to music when I’m drawing at my desk – slower songs I can hum to, but I don’t always get do so because I share an office with my husband who also works from home. Music is mandatory however, when I’m painting – no less important than my paintbrushes – and I even dance while working at the easel. I listen to a mix of favorites – rock, folk, oldies, pop, country, alternative, etc. While painting “Westie Up Close On Red” last weekend for instance, I listened to a mix that included Anjulie, the Black Eyed Peas, Bon Jovi, KT Tunstall, John Mayer, Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Duffy, Schuyler Fisk, Meghan Tonjes, Michael Jackson, Otis Redding, etc. My new favorite song though is an absolutely beautiful cover of the Lucinda Williams song “Blue” by Mike Antone. I had the opportunity to see him sing it live, and it brought tears to my eyes. You can get the free mp3 of his cover of “Blue” online. It really is SO beautiful.
I always have way more projects on my wish list than I have time to finish. Commissions take top priority, as do my works for my monthly auctions at KiniArt.com. I usually have 1-2 Petcature Portraits in various stages of progress in the studio. But I have a long list of paintings I want to do but don’t yet have time. I’m forever getting new ideas in the strangest places (I saw a Collie in the marbleized pattern in the tile on my floor just last night). Sometimes these ideas are forgotten by the end of the day. But if I’m anywhere near a pencil and paper, they’re roughly sketched out and filed away in my “someday” project file.
I’ve been itching to try my hand at some landscapes too, inspired by some gorgeous photos of China, and I plan to do both whimsical and non-whimsical versions. I’ve also been creating digital backgrounds for my hand-drawn dog art combined into designs for laptop and iPhone skins for Society6 and fabric for Spoonflower, and I’m finding those to be highly inspiring. I plan to do canvas paintings of some of those designs, as well.
Thank you Kim for being an EBSQ Blogger of the Week!
If you are an EBSQ Artist and would like to be considered for Blogger of the Week just add us to your blogroll. I’m searching EBSQ profiles weekly for links to artist’s blogs. If you aren’t an EBSQ Artist, what are you waiting for?