Hello! I'm Kim, and I'm a designer based in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. I use the term 'designer' rather than anything more specific because I have my fingers in a bazillion creative pies! I create jewellery, accessories, stationery and prints under my brand 'Finest Imaginary' and I also design and develop websites too. I quit my 'day job' as a web developer last July to earn my own freelance crust. I like to blog, too, and you can find me at hiphopsideproject.com
What's your design space/studio/work area like?
My 'office' is in the spare room of our house, it's much more of an office than a spare room though. We have a row of desks against a wall that we call the flight deck, which is where I spend the majority of my time. I make jewellery, pack orders, write blog posts, make websites & get day-to-day running of business stuff done in there. I also have a small room that houses all the Finest Imaginary stock, my sewing machine and all manner of other craft supplies... I sometimes like to hide away in there with my sewing machine, it's completely full to the rafters so it's nice and snug.
I do all my screen-printing from my kitchen table!
If you had to take only one of your crafts to a desert island, what would it be and why?
Hum... I'd like to think I'd have the ingenuity to be crafty with whatever materials I could find on the island! I guess some pen & paper wouldn't go amiss, though ;) I love to discover new crafts!
How do you work and/or get inspired?
I get inspired very easily, tiny things spark off a whole new collection of ideas. When I've sort of grasped a 'theme' I like to brainstorm it, find images, pin point the areas I like and develop things from there. I'm inspired by stories, cultures, single images, shapes... everything! I'm also a great believer in reworking forgotten designs, or things that I've gotten bored of.. switching in new aesthetics and ideas can completely change a subject!
What top tips would you give to any novice bloggers and/or those thinking of selling their designs?
The main thing is just to do it... just start a blog, write about your day, give some advice.. whatever. The same with selling your designs, you just need to get your feet wet. Etsy's so great for that, it's the perfect testing ground for new makers!
Is there a story behind the names 'Hiphopsideproject' and 'Finest Imaginary'?
The name Finest Imaginary took me so long to think up, I was in my final year of University at the time and thinking of what I would create my work as. Imaginary is a given, my work has always been related to having an overactive imagination, the finest part came from only picking the finer parts of that imagination.
My blog name came from me and my boyfriend joking one time that members from some of the bands we like all had their Hip Hop sideprojects, so I said I could have one, too! :)
If you could be given an award for your designs by any person/fictional character (dead or alive), who would it be?
Hum... difficult... but I'd have to go for the greatest Imagineer of all time, Walt Disney!
And finally...book & tea or film & wine?
I'm a serial multi-tasker so... all of the above! (and throw in a laptop & iPhone, too!)
I hope you all enjoyed this month's Blog Gem. Stay tuned for more faces behind the blogs and until then, keeeep blogging! :-)
All of the images used in this interview are the copyright of Kim Lawler. Please do not use without seeking permission first. Thank you.