Meet the Artist: Katie Kimmel

by Jonathan Steinitz February 21, 2017

Los Angeles-based artist Katie Kimmel cracks us up.

In fact, to say that her art is full of personality and wit would be an understatement. Kimmel's pieces are infused with a signature smile factor, including iconic food art that features humorous facial expressions. In talking to Kimmel and touring her new studio, it's actually hard not to smile; not only is the artist herself quite funny, but the decorative touches throughout her work space are a great glimpse into Kimmel's truly singular sense of creativity.

Scroll for our interview with Katie Kimmel and a tour of her studio that's sure to make you smile.

Consort: How did you get started as an artist?

Kimmel: I’ve always had the impulse to make things, so maybe always… A lot of the mediums that I work with are associated with kid crafts, and it could be that I only feel that way because they are mediums I’ve been using since I was a kid. Sometimes I’ll really start to think about my work and I’m like, “Ok, I’m not an artist, I’m a 10-year-old living in an apartment”. Other times I’m like, “I AM an artist and my soul is 7 feet tall.” I think that is a weird insecurity a lot of artists have - so maybe I became an artist when I started feeling that way. 

C: What is your biggest success or “bragging right” to date?

K: {shows image}

C: How has your style as an artist evolved over the years?

K: My style is pretty true to my hand, so there hasn’t been much change there. Over the years I think my general craftsmanship has improved, and I have a better sense of direction of what I should be making.

C: What inspires you?

K: My trinket collection is enough to get me institutionalized. I love tchotchkes and mean-looking porcelain dolls. I always leave an antique mall feeling very inspired.

C: You work with a variety of mixed media. Do you have a favorite medium for your art?

K: Ceramic. Because it is so tactile…I feel much more accomplished and connected with a finished ceramic sculpture than I do with any other medium. 

C: Your art has a distinctively witty smile factor to it. How would you describe your sense of humor?

K: 98% angel, 2% devil.

C: What compelled you to create your first piece of food art?

K: Originally, I made one as a gift, and it received a very positive response, so I kept making them. People already have special relationships with food, so that affects how they look at my food art, and I enjoy that. Usually, I get a positive response, but I used to work with a girl who became enraged whenever I made something banana-related because she didn’t like to eat bananas. So it works both ways.

C: What's your favorite food?

K: Linguini and clams or chicken quesadilla 

C: What part of the process of creating art excites you the most?

K: The point when I get to shape the facial expressions. I’m usually laughing the entire time.  


C: Tell us something about you that most people might not know.

K: I know the lyrics to basically every song on the radio. 

C: What's your favorite piece of your own work available from Consort?

K: The deviled eggs. I love them so much! I have a private stash in my room that I am constantly arranging. 

C: What’s next on your plate?  Any exciting new content or projects on the horizon?

K: Wall-hanging ceramic pieces and a chandelier! My friend Jasmine Marin and I have been building a body of more functional ceramic work, which is a very new direction for me. I’m excited to share soon :) 

Lightning Round


C: What is your first memory?

K: Waking up this morning…I have the "50 First Dates" disease.

C: What is the first piece you sold?

K: I sold some silly framed characters to a real cool dentist. 

C: What can you first remember really wanting?

K: I remember really wanting a PVC cutter for my 12th birthday. 

C: When was your first kiss?

K: Probably my freshman year of high school.

C: What was your first car?

K: My cousin Ivy, as a joke, pretended to give me a car for my 16th birthday. She just rented a pickup truck and put a big bow on it. It was super confusing for everyone at my surprise party. A year later, I got a Prius.  


C: What was your last phone call?

K: Earlier today - I had my boyfriend call me a bunch of times in a row while I looked for my cell phone (it was in my car). 

C: What was your last meal?

K: A piece of steak that’s been in my dad’s freezer since 2012, so wish me luck that I make it to morning. 

C: When was the last time you were drunk?

K: Two weekends ago, my friends and I sat next to this horrible couple at a sushi place. A lot of alcohol was consumed while we pretended not to eavesdrop on the man asking waitresses why they don’t have boyfriends.

C: What was the last emoji you used?

K: The boxing glove. 

C: When was your last vacation?

K: Sedona, Arizona for Thanksgiving.

Hungry for more of Katie Kimmel's unique food art? Check out our collection of Kimmel's pieces currently available in the shop!

Photos by Will Logsdon

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