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

FIRSTS:

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.  

LASTS:

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





Stay Stylish.

Sign up for sales, sneak peaks, and weekly inspiration.

Thank you for subscribing

You'll receive an email from us soon.

I don't want to be stylish.