A graphic designer and artist with degrees in fine art (painting), mathematics and an MFA in graphic design, Kim's love of art was first inspired by her architect/artist father. While she hopes to spark a similar love of art in her two boys, most of her free time is actually spent on the sidelines of a lacrosse, soccer or basketball game.
It was a trek through a pile of my hoarded kid’s artwork that sparked the concept for Gem. (Yes, the images above are from my massive archives of my kids' art!) What if there was a way to collage some of those images into a piece of art that I could look at every day? What if the collaged art was good enough to get wall status? The bigger question...can anyone really make adult aesthetic art from kids work? I decided to try.
After several months and some definite disasters, I figured out how to work with the materials. When I let go of the emotional stress related to cutting up a child’s art, I realized I was making pieces that actually celebrated the child’s work. Each piece was remarkably unique based on the child who had created the work. A Gem piece is truly the sum of its spectacular parts - crayons, tempera paint and all.
Do you have piles of construction paper and newsprint covered in bright orange, green and yellow? This is art we don’t necessarily ever intend to frame, but for some reason we simply can’t part with it. Why? Because our kids made it, and that means it stays stashed in a box forever. Maybe you rotate it from box, to shelf, to drawer? In the end there are four places our kids art work inevitably ends up:
1) In a frame if it’s lucky. 2) In the mail to grandma.
3) In the trash can (in Seattle it’s the recycling bin).
4) In a large plastic container, stacked underneath another plastic container, with the same stuff inside... forever.