We had the good fortune of connecting with Kim Murton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kim, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
I think about giving up all the time but then I get up the next day with a new idea. I’ve always been stubbornly persistent. I would keep making art regardless of whether people liked it or not- although it really is nice when people do appreciate what I do.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
In art school I studied ceramics and animation. I started out after art school working in the animation industry in NYC at Ink tank Studios. I was lucky to have been hired -starting as a foot messenger and then not too long after becoming a staff artist. I worked there for about 5 years. I was taught and inspired by the best of the best in the industry and I still value all that I learned from working there. When I moved from NYC to Colorado I re-discovered clay at a pottery studio that was connected to CU at one point , but was operated by the Parks and Rec dept. I got hired to teach clay classes to kids. At the same time I had a boyfriend who was a stone mason so I did a lot of cement mixing and pointing up-also a lot of rocks were hefted. looking back at that time I was not thinking about starting a business or selling my art. I floated around. But I was always making something and working with my hands. When I moved out west to WA I realized that I had to figure out a way to make a living besides teaching. I worked in animation for a short time but did not like the working conditions. I took classes at the Oregon School of Arts and Crafts and that’s when I realized I could make and sell my ceramics. Painting on plates was just like painting animation cels. I was always able to draw but I did not have the confidence to be an illustrator but painting on clay somehow made my drawings more legitimate in my eyes. They sold well and I got involved in the clay community in Portland. I started making clay sculptures after having a baby. Painting on plates became impossible but I could make these little clay heads fairly quickly and being constantly interrupted didn’t matter. The clay heads were very popular and I still make them 25 yrs later. When Social media started becoming popular I met and joined art groups where people did drawings from a prompts-this was back on the Flickr site. I started becoming more confident with my drawings and this eventually led to my becoming an illustrator. I still draw every day and I see my clay work and drawings relate to each other as well as opening up to other medias like fabric design and who knows what next.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live on the WA side of the Columbia River in Vancouver, WA. Portland, OR is on the other side 10 minutes away. I love the Columbia River Gorge-especially the WA side all the way out to White Salmon or as far as The Bridge of the Gods and back on the Oregon side to Hood River and then the waterfalls via Sam Hill’s highway. I also love the Oregon Coast and Astoria, OR both possible as a day trip from where I live. Close to home the Alberta St district in Portland has Guardino Gallery and a fun last Thursday where the street is blocked off from traffic for the evening. Mississippi Ave , also in NE Portland, has a bunch of great restaurants and shops including Gifty kitty a store dedicated to cat art and next to a great comic book store. Vancouver has a new waterfront downtown and a bunch of new restaurants that I haven’t been to yet because of the pandemic. Places have closed down and new places are opening up and Vancouver is starting to be less of a bedroom community for Portland.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Besides my husband and son who are very supportive, and my friends who I get to see in person, my shout out goes to all the other artists who I’ve met on social media. I don’t think I would be doing what I do without the support and encouragement that I get from friends that live far away and people that I’ve never met in person but know because of social media.
Other: kimmurton.blogsot.com cartioonworryoftheday.blogspot.com