Meet Kim Shirley, the founder and artisan behind CORVIDAE DRAWINGS + DESIGNS.
She draws, designs, and prints wonderful creations in her Whitefish Montana studio.
TELL ME A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF, WHAT YOU DO AND WHY :
I'm an artist. I knew I was going to grow up and be an artist ever since I was a small child....partly because it was all I could think about! In 6th grade, I actually got in trouble in science class because I was doodling on the side of my handout and my teacher didn't think I was paying attention (he was wrong...it actually helped me listen better). Numerous assignments all throughout my school years would have small doodles decorating the borders. I've always been drawing, coloring and painting ever since I can remember. In college I focused my studies on painting and believed I'd be a professional watercolorist... but life has a funny way of surprising you.
When I was in high school I joined the art club my freshman year and participated all four years. We had a small segment for a month or so one year on screen printing. I remember it being a lot of fun. Fast forward 15 years and I was at a crossroads in life. I wanted nothing more than to be a full time artist but I was struggling. I kept trying to figure out a way I could be creative and make images but also pay my rent. I suddenly remembered that art club experience and thought "Hey! That was fun! I'll give it try." Any excuse to buy new art supplies is a-ok in my book! So I ordered everything I needed and gave it a whirl and IT WORKED! I was so elated! The ideas and possibilities with this artistic medium flooded me and I felt the need to screen print EVERYTHING!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF WHAT YOU DO?
Oh gosh! This is so hard to choose. Can I just say everything? HAHA! I think my favorite part is the very first print. The drawing has been finalized so you know what it is going to look like and you can see the image on the screen, but that first print. How will it look printed? I get sooooooooooooo excited. I can't wait to pull the ink across a squeaky clean screen for the first time and slowly lift it up and off the fabric. Seeing that first print is exhilarating!
WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF WHAT YOU DO?
Moderation. I have SO many ideas and want to do them and have realized that I can't. I may have a gagillion subjects I want to do but I wouldn't be able to keep up with everything let alone have space for it all. Storage! Oh my, that is another daily challenge. My screens take up so much space. And the numerous amounts of ink I stockpile and fabric I print on. I feel like a hoarder because I have so much stuff!
WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE GOALS?
I have so many goals but the most immediate is finding a workspace that is separated from my living space. I work in my small apartment and right now everything is printed on my kitchen table. I haven't sat down and had a meal there in a year.
D0 YOU HAVE ANY IDOLS?
I have too many to choose!!! SORRY!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DESIGN?
I have a fondness for the mountain goat sketch
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST LEARNING EXPERIENCE / TAKEAWAY?
It has got to be that I took the scariest leap of faith in my life and I have never been happier and I've never been busier! Hard work and determination, yet remaining flexible goes a long way.
TELL ME SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF :
I love all types of music and listen to it the majority of the time I screen print and I love to sing along if I can. I also love instrumental Christmas music and listen to it year round. Mannheim Steamroller on Pandora! :D
HOW DID YOU FIRST FIND OUT ABOUT MANDY AND THE WORK SHE DOES?
I had the privilege of working with Mandy at a local Handmade Ice Cream shop years ago and found out she is a photographer. When she left the Ice Cream shop to pursue her photography full time I made a point of checking out her website frequently to stay up to date on her work....because it's AWESOME.
WHY DID YOU WANT TO DO THIS SESSION?
An artist friend of mine from Missoula (my hometown) had Mandy do a similar session and I flipped out when I saw a plug for it on facebook! It was one of the coolest portraits I've ever seen. Between the portrait and the taxonomy of items, Mandy was able to capture everything that makes Courtney, Courtney. I was blown away and KNEW I had to do a session!
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE PROCESS?
It was so exciting watching the taxonomy aspect emerge and evolve. It was so cool to see which items she went for first and where she placed them and then seeing how she made all the pieces work with one another in a seamless composition. Absolutely fascinating to watch her work.
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