Tell us a bit about yourself: Did you go to school for art? Are you self-taught?
A little bit of both actually. My aunt taught me how to stitch at the age of seven and my paternal grandmother taught me how to hand sew and use a treadle Singer sewing machine at the age of nine. I continued to seek out different crafting techniques until the 1990’s when I switched my degree from Chemistry to Art Craft Design at Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
Do you work in just one medium? Several?
I’m a Mixed Media Fiber Artist and have recently started licensing my designs.
For the past twenty plus years I have worked with natural dyes, rust, earth pigments, and oxides on fabric which I then further embellish with hand and machine stitching. My work depicts the prairie and plains both in ancient times and in modern times with corn as the unifying theme.
What inspires you / where do you get inspiration from?
I gather inspiration from where ever I am at the moment. My favorite place to visit is a natural marsh and native prairie north of Ames where migrating birds come to nest and feed every year.
I’m intrigued with the microscopic world of lichens, mosses, and liverworts; these lifeforms inform the base texture of each piece I create. I spend a lot of time studying birds, cows, bison, corn, native plants, and the wind, which figures predominantly in my work.
What are you working on now?
Currently I am taking an online drawing class which has been a wonderful refresher, given that my last drawing class was some twenty years ago now. It has caused an intense need to re-examine my work, the corn, crow, and bison pieces, so I’ve been drawing a lot recently exploring these subjects in a way that stitch doesn’t allow due to time and material constraints.
The other project I’ve been working on is mastering Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop so that I can digitize my original art into repeat patterns, and designs for fabric, paper, household goods, and the gift market.
Any great advice for our readers?
Advice No. 1: Don’t be afraid to go back to the fundamentals of art. Take a beginning drawing, painting, lettering, or design class. There is much to learn again and now you will see it through the eyes of experience.
Advice No. 2: Observe. Be still, listen, what do you hear, smell, taste, see, or feel? All of this information informs your artwork, study it and your work will reflect this valuable information.
Anything else you would like to share with us?
Don’t give up! If at first you are told no, just keep asking! It took two years from the time I submitted my first design to the time I saw my first royalty check. Don’t give up, these things don’t happen overnight!!!
Are you an early riser or night owl?
I’m a Night Owl and have been for the better part of thirty years now, my best works occur late in the evening/night when there are no distractions like a ringing phone.
What is your favorite food?
My current favorite food is Sushi and Raman bowls the real stuff not the stuff in the package.
You can find Kimberly:
You can also find me on facebook, twitter, flickr, linkedin, instagram, and youtube @kbaxterpackwood
"Fear is an addiction to failure". - kbaxterpackwood
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