FEATURED ARTIST: Kim Geyer

From Autumn Winter 2010 


I was born in London and studied textiles at Loughborough. Having had a varied career working as a freelance designer for English Eccentrics, and an agent selling textile designs in London and New York, I have also lectured in design at several London colleges and produced designs for Lambeth council.



I took some time out to have a family, but since returning to work I have studied illustration at both Chelsea and Putney. I have a passion for children’s book illustration and am currently writing and illustrating children’s picture books.

I enjoy the writing as much as doing the art work and often a single image can unfold to become a manuscript with sketches for characters in a matter of hours, and that is really exciting. Then I rewrite and redraw the whole thing a few times and things start to get a bit more serious.

As an artist I wear two hats – that of the painter and that of the illustrator.

As an artist I wear two hats – that of the painter and that of the illustrator. I find it rather easy to go from one to the other, although my studio can be a bit chaotic at times, and I do have to remember to be wearing the right hat for the right job at all times.

I would describe myself as a figurative artist. I work mainly in oil, acrylic, collage, ink and pencil on canvas, board and paper. There is a strong graphic/ illustrative influence in my work and I draw inspiration from pop culture juxtaposed with personal history and memory.

Favourite artists include Lucien Freud, Anthony Micallef, Jenny Saville, Richard Hamilton and Oliver Jeffers.

My most recent paintings are semi-autobiographical collection of crisp images depicting social and personal commentary, where I create characters that are often humorous, but can be dark and contradictory. They are in some ways anthropomorphic, as I have always given most creatures or objects, alive or dead, inanimate or imagined, human attributes.

Growing up in seventies Sussex suburbia there were few opportunities for me to see fine art for real, so I looked to comics, animation and books for inspiration. Seeing Disney’s animations, and reading comics and picture books, I was always intrigued by the look and style in which the characters were depicted.

Years on, although I do work from life I still find using photographs an immensely satisfying, immediate and uncomplicated way of finding imagery. The compositions can be quite stark, but the space I have given the figures is necessary. The emphasis is exactly where it needs to be and the balance between white and worked space are realised almost like a pattern.

I have just started work on a new collection of paintings and drawings called ‘Growth’, looking at how teenage girls portray themselves in our culture. I live with my husband and three children in South London and am a member of the Association of Illustrators. Kim Geyer

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