Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Writer's Block Interviews: Illustrator Kim Siebold

1) Tell us how you became an artist/illustrator?

As far back as I can remember, I have always been interested in drawing and illustrating. My childhood days consisted of coloring with my crayons, writing stories, illustrating and creating books. I remember wining a poster contest in grade school and actually getting in trouble for focusing on “only the art”. So it was only natural that I went to college for a B.F.A. in Graphic Design and also picked up a B.A. in Communications. I always knew that art, drawing and design was my passion. After college, I pursued my career working at many ad agencies, design firms, owning my own businesses and always dabbled in my entrepreneurial interests whether I was working full-time for myself or for a company. As my children grew older, I was able to devote more time with illustrating and creating art outside of my full-time corporate design jobs. Although I have illustrated for many years, I seriously started to focus on my illustration goals in 2009 when I landed my first children’s book job after opening my Etsy shop ( Illustrating has been my main focus and goal ever since.

2) Do you specialize in any particular medium? Describe your style.

I prefer pencil and digital. It depends on my mood or where I am actually. Sometimes, I get over stimulated from all the technology and process of creating digitally. That is when I like to go back to just pencil. I feel like my creativity is simple and free when I just use pencil. But then again, there is so much you can do with Illustrator and Photoshop. I do have three styles that I tend to use and promote. Sketchy, digital and line art. If you take a peek at my portfolio on my studio website(, you will see I have all three styles (even though I read you should stick to one style… but I can’t just choose one.)

My style is whimsical. I like drawing cute and girly things and animals. My art is geared towards the children’s market naturally because of my subjects.

3) Where do you live and work?

I live in Lakeville, MN. I work wherever my work takes me right now. I am trying to learn the balance of work and life balance that I am working for myself now.

4) Who or what inspires you?

OMG… where do I start? I don’t even know where to begin. Everything I look at inspires me. My children inspire me, my emotions inspire me. Typography, paper, children’s toys, surface design, children books, retro graphics are just a few of the million things that inspires me. Seriously… everything inspires me! The world is a candy store.

5) What was your first illustration job?

Wow… I need to think back. I believe I was hired to illustrate a portrait by a friend’s mom back in early high school. I was VERY stressed as I couldn’t do portraits very well. Back then I thought if you looked at something for reference, it wasn’t real art. Ha… if I only knew then what I know now!

6) Describe your body of work. Thus far, which project has been the most fulfilling? Why?

Most fulfilling? Hmm. I am torn between two actually. My first book, Starry Night, Hold Me Tight was fulfilling in the sense that it was a dream to land a book deal and my agent. Just being in the front end of the creative process and learning about the publishing world was very fulfilling to the business side of me. I like to see the big picture and understand process so professionally, this piece of work hit the mark. And of course to see my artwork in Pottery Barn Kids, wasn’t too hard on the eyes either!

The other piece of work that has been most fulfilling is my alpha animal artwork . View here: This also resulted in another book deal but the reason it was so fulfilling his how I created my first alpha animal. I was on vacation with my family and started creating a cute pig on my computer. Then a few of the kids came over and started art directing me. It was fun to have them tell me what they wanted me to draw. Then we kept adding things to the pig. It was really fun to see where the kids were creatively taking my pig!

7) Where can your works of art be found?

You can view my art in many places online and in many book stores. My two websites are: and You can find my Starry Night, Hold Me Tight book in Barnes and Noble and Pottery Barn Kids stores, as well as many of the .com shops such as Amazon ( ) and Target (

My second book due out the next month, ABC, Now You See Me which is a padded-cover introduction to the alphabet which features a sequence of animals that peek out from beneath interactive. It is available at this time for pre-ordering on many .coms such as Amazon ( and Barnes and Noble. As it comes closer to the release date, I will find out which stores will carry it. You can follow this book for the latest information on Facebook ( or Twitter (!/ABCNowYouSeeMe). You can also go to my Etsy shop at ( to purchase coordinating art as well as view other artwork for purchase.

Some of my prints are also sold at ( and

8) What is your definition of success as an artist?

My definition of success as an artist is when I can make someone smile with my art.

9) What do you plan to accomplish in 2012?

I hope the year 2012 brings good things to my illustration career. I hope to land more book deals and become more solidified in the publishing world. I am also now exploring surface and character design. I joined SCWBI this year and am excited to be a part of a professional group of writers and illustrators. I am learning more about my new world working for myself and that I am no longer living the corporate life. I am so thrilled to have this opportunity! So stay tuned in!


Connect with Kim and see her work:

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