In honour of Old Spitalfields annual Paw Pageant (where canine couture takes to the dog walk in aid of Battersea Dogs and Cats home), we’ve transformed the windows in our Lamb Street Store. On display we have animal inspired artwork from Illustrator Kim Thompson, Pawtraiter extraordinaire. We caught up with her to find out more…
Designer Dogs at Old Spitalfields
So Kim, are you excited to have your work be a part of a Jigsaw window display?
Very excited! Not only does the window display project give the artists involved a platform, access to art should be for everyone as opposed to something exclusive. I love that my work will be available for anyone to view in such an unusual and interesting setting.
Reckoning Par 11
Tell us a little bit about your background?
I studied Illustration with Animation but have managed to remain creatively active as a flexible freelancer. I’ve worked on a variety of projects ranging from children’s book illustration to set painting and storyboarding for film and TV, with previous clients including the NHS, the BBC and Lime Pictures.
How would you describe your style of illustration?
My style is just a mash up of all of the slightly odd things I’m drawn to. [Things like] early Soviet print design, psychedelia, trashy B-Movie posters… I like to experiment with line and embrace jarring colour palettes and colour combinations as I think these tend to stay with the viewer.
Have you always had a vivid imagination?
I’ve always been obsessed with making pictures and visual storytelling and I’ve always been drawn to the unusual, so I think these factors have continued to fuel my imagination.
Self Portrait as a child
How did you pet painting evolve as an area of your art?
I started painting pets as a hobby when we first got our rescue dog, Admiral Chester (he was the model for the yellow dog featured in my ‘Max and the Admiral’ painting in the Jigsaw window display!). I now take ‘Pet Pawtrait’ commissions and tend to work from a selection of photographs. Although it’s always nicer to meet my subjects before I start a piece it’s just not always practical (I don’t think it would be fair to make them sit still for hours whilst I labour over a painting) but a varied selection of photos and a chat with the owner is always good as I aim to capture some of the animal’s personality.
Max and the Admiral
What or who has most inspired you in your career as an artist?
I’m inspired by creators in any field – music, art or film; people who are innovative, prolific and really ‘own’ their craft . Experimentation is always good but I do love a bold and consistently strong aesthetic.
What is your most cherished memory?
One that stands out most would probably be the first time I visited Berlin. There’s just something about that city that really stuck with me; a buzz in the air almost. That trip had a massive impact on my illustration style.
How would you describe your style in terms of art and equally, your style when it comes to fashion?
There’s a definite crossover in relation to my work and personal style. My art is about bringing together all of my influences to create something modern that pays homage to the past. As a kid I used to chop up and customise my mum’s old clothes to make new outfits. These days I do the same but mix modern basics with vintage. I love 1960s/1970s silhouettes and bold prints; anything loud or a bit strange.
Artist Kim Thompson
What are your ambitions, hopes and dreams as an artist?
Of all the varied freelance projects I work on I especially love designing concept art and storyboards for independent film. Working on a big budget film with a director who has a strong visual style, such as David Lynch or Nicolas Winding Refn, would be an absolute dream!
Visit the Paw pageant at old Spitalfields market on bank holiday Monday. Tickets cost £8, to book email: SophieWood@wellingtonmarkets.co.uk