This month's Featured Illustrator is Kimberley Adams. She has been working with the Mental Health charity 'Be Free Campaign' as their head illustrator. Her first book is due to be published later this year.


It is so important for me to keep learning and developing my skills. I really love trying things that are not usually put together and seeing how their combinations complement each other — or not! I have worked as an arts educator for over 10 years at secondary, undergraduate, and postgraduate. I love being able to share my passion for creativity, my curiosity about the visual world and my fascination with how different media create a variation of languages that we can lose ourselves in.

Growing up I was lucky enough to have a large garden with lots of trees and space that allowed my imagination to run wild playing adventure games with my two younger sisters, whether they involved swashbuckling pirates, damsels in distress, or jungle adventures with giant animals (these were always my favourite!). 

Most of our games would involve finding a small, sneaky hideaway with a hidden door (usually in among the brambles!) where we would be whisked away to another world where we became all things we dreamed we could be! These adventures are still finding their way into my illustrations and storytelling even now — with some new moss-baby characters who live at the bottom of my garden!

Illustration has not always been at the forefront of my expressive outlet. I completed a BA in Contemporary Textiles and an MA in Fine Art both in Cardiff. Each brought with it a wealth of new experiences and understandings but still didn't manage to bring me the feeling of fulfillment that I was craving. It was after I decided to invest in myself and bought my first iPad that I started developing and honing my illustration techniques further. 

I enrolled in courses like they were the air I needed to breathe; soaking up knowledge, advice, and feedback on the work that I completed. I have used so many different platforms for this, from Skillshare, Domestika, Make Art That Sells, Sunday afternoon cafe drawing sessions with other local artists and illustrators, and during Covid all the Zoom meetings that I could attend!

I found it! This was it, my soul felt loved and I was finally in an area that was nurturing both the adult and the child in me. I could create the worlds that I so desperately loved when I was younger playing with my sisters, and the friends who I had missed for so many years started to reappear on the pages in front of me. I spent time networking and finding more knowledgeable people who would be able to support me in areas I was unsure of and through this built up a wonderful world of new friends and mentors who I am able to turn to when in need of honest and important feedback.

For the past year I have been working with the mental health charity Be Free Campaign as their lead illustrator on a book for children and their families that discusses how all emotions are good emotions and how having a supportive network around you will help get you through even the darkest of days. Coming up with different characters throughout the early stages was so much fun — deciding how one person can be split down into so many different aspects and representing this as a friendship group.

Our book is due to be published later this year and as my first book, I am naturally extremely excited to have had this opportunity and feel very blessed to have worked with such fantastic authors and teammates.
I am yet to find an agent but am hopeful that my passion to be able to tell stories and create a world of escapism shines through in my work ready to help others be brave enough to become who they are meant to be too.

*All images: Kimberley Adams


See more of Kim's work here. Follow her on Instagram.


Ell Rose is the Illustration Features Editor of Words & Pictures
Find their work at fourfooteleven.com 
Follow them on Instagram and Twitter
Contact them at illustrators@britishscbwi.org 

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant, well done Kim. I love your quirky style, it really brings the characters to life!


We love comments and really appreciate the time it takes to leave one.
Interesting and pithy reactions to a post are brilliant but we also LOVE it when people just say they've read and enjoyed.
We've made it easy to comment by losing the 'are you human?' test, which means we get a lot of spam. Fortunately, Blogger recognises these, so most, if not all, anonymous comments are deleted without reading.

Words & Pictures is the Online Magazine of SCBWI British Isles. Powered by Blogger.