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Meet Kim Kyne

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kim Kyne.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Kim. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’ve been drawing and painting since I was little. I knew I wanted to go to art school and I planned to major in painting. Once I got to Otis, I was exposed to the fashion design program and was instantly seduced. Seeing my two-dimensional sketches turn into intricate garments was pure magic. After graduation, I was quickly disillusioned by the disparity between art school and the fashion industry, or at least how it played out for someone young and inexperienced, without the benefit of personal connections.

About five years ago, I started working for a well known fast fashion company as an accessories designer. It wasn’t my dream job but I had high hopes and arrived with intention and drive. A few months in, it became clear that all they wanted from me was to regurgitate preexisting styles in a way that would keep them out of legal trouble. Creating artwork outside of my 9-5 became my escape. I started getting side gigs and commissions and slowly built up enough confidence to walk away from that position without a job lined up.

This period helped me find new modes of expression and dream in ways I never would have. I used to want to relocate to Italy and design for a big fashion house. While I’m sure I would’ve enjoyed the excitement of this alternative reality, I feel more ‘me’ today than I ever have and don’t feel swept up in someone else’s vision.

Today I am a freelance artist and an in-house jewelry designer for Anna Beck. While at times challenging, I enjoy shifting between the two. I work hard to create balance in my life and do my best to stay well rounded outside of my career.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
About a year and a half ago, I took a leave of absence from a former jewelry design job to go learn about Judaism in Israel. I always had a connection to my Jewish roots and was prodded by a mentor to dedicate time to learning abroad. I’m back in LA but the journey is ongoing. The things I’ve learned have made me question everything from the way I dress to the subject matter I illustrate. It’s been a struggle navigating incongruities between who I am as an artist and who I am as a Jew. For me, identity is ever-changing. Right now, I’m working on doing what feels right for me at each moment.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
As an artist, I participate in shows, create pieces live at events, and work on commissions. Most recently, I’ve been collaborating with musicians to create album and promo art. What sets me apart from other artists is my authenticity and transparency. I’m proud of the fact that I stand up for what I believe in and don’t hide who I am. I’ve noticed a lot of artists prefer to remain somewhat anonymous and mostly share their art with little to no context. I think I step outside the box in that I share my thoughts, feelings, and philosophy with my audience.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Rather than a destination, success is a state of mind. Material wealth is not a marker of success but a means to a life with less restriction. To me, what matters is the legacy I leave behind. I am successful when I am growing as a person and imparting my knowledge and care to others.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

MaQuis Scott

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