Who are you and what do you do?
I’m licensed Contemporary PUP Artist & Surface Designer, Kim Niles. I specialize in whimsical pet & animal art, with primary focus on dog breed-specif art. I’m also a published children’s book Illustrator and Author.
I design for Licensee products, as well as for KiniArt shops at several POD type companies (Print On Demand).
When and why did you become an artist/designer?
Always an artist, I’ve been a professional Artist since the late 1990’s. My studio space was unexpectedly severely reduced in 2002 so I began to doodle with Indian ink pens on tiny 2×2″ scraps of paper in my little corner sized studio and put them on eBay for .99 cents. Within a month I knew I was onto something good because the dogs I was drawing were making me happy to create and they were consistently flying out the door. I settled on the name “KiniArt” as it uses the 1st two letters of both my first and last name. I bought the .com domain and opened my first KiniArt shop at Cafepress in early 2004. Everyday I get to play with the puppies, kittens and occasionally, wildlife that frolic in my imagination & I adore sharing them through my shops and Blogs. When I make them, they make me smile. When they make others smile, or remind them of their dog or cat, they’re a little more “real”, and that brings me joy.
What type of media do you create in – photography, digital, mixed media?
My original drawings are all done in Indian ink pens and typically colored with color pencils & art markers. My paintings are done in acrylic, inks, and color pencils. My fine art prints, fabric designs, and full bleed POD designs are often a fun combination of my hand-drawn animals paired with a digitally painted background.
Who is your intended audience?
Women ages 35-55 who adore their pets as much as I do mine, and of course, children. My art triggers giggles from both children and the child inside animal-loving adults, alike.
Where do you get inspiration?
My pets, my friends an family member’s pets, and often from animals I see hidden within abstract patterns in the floor tiles, shower curtain, shadows on a bush – just about anywhere. Quite often these animals appear animated to me, thanks to poor vision and an animal-obsessed imagination.
What is your preferred subject and why:
Dogs – because I was the little girl who was going to be a vet so I could spend my days with them … But then I discovered vets have to give shots and put dogs down when they can’t fix them. So then I was going to work at an animal shelter and have a HUGE yard so I could adopt ALL dogs that nobody wanted … But then I grew up and somehow married a 1-dog kind of guy. So … I live vicariously through my fans and thoroughly enjoy photos and videos of all their dogs. And my one dog thinks she’s my baby & loves to be cradled – a LOT, so my hands and heart are plenty full.
What artwork of yours is your favorite and why?
Oh I have way too many favorites! It’s the only reason I don’t have a KiniArt tattoo yet … I can’t decide and with each new one, I have a new favorite! My current favorite is my new Yorkie Girl In Red.
What advice would you give a new artist/designer beginning their POD adventure?
When you find a subject you LOVE to work with, stay with it! If you’re going to have any measurable success, you’ll be spending a lot of design time perfecting it and developing your unique style, so if drawing animals doesn’t turn your heart into that of a giddy little 5-year old’s, move on because you haven’t yet found the niche you were meant to fill.