My Dream: The ‘Keep Real’ Store

So, as some of you lovely people may know- I run my own small business I set up last year called ‘Keep Real‘. Providing goods and illustration to all who seek a positive place. At the tail end of 2014, I had the delight of being interviewed by an independent magazine website called ‘Sheffield Unchained’ where they stated very accurately, ‘Kimberley decided to combine interests in design, illustration and mental health with the launch of what she terms a ‘positive illustration and goods movement’, which is less about selling objects and more about promoting meaning and positive messages.’

I couldn’t havIMG_20140405_141826e put it better myself. I want to create a store that people can just hang out at and shop. No rushing in, no rushing out if you don’t want to. You wanna sit and talk to your friends about your day? Do it. You wanna buy a present for a relative, and hang out on the sofas reading a book? Do it.

There aren’t enough places when you’re shopping, to make you feel like you’re welcome to stay as long as it pleases you. ‘If you’re going to stay, you have to buy something’. I don’t want that bullshit for you. Shopping is hard enough, then when you want to rest you feel you have to go to a coffee shop just DSCN0014to sit down and take a time out. So you have to pay extortionate amounts for your Americano, which you didn’t really want in the first place. If you’re gonna hang at Keep Real, just throw your loose change into a jar- where it contributes to raising money to Mental Health Charities. Just don’t abuse the freedom (I’m flattered that you wanna stay from 9am til 5pm but really? really?!)

I have so many ideas with Keep Real, creating a positive environment for all you individuals out there. They’ll be sofas, throws and chairs around, where they’ll be loads of books that you can just pick up and read. Artwork on the walls for sale, clothes, accessories, bags, prints and homeware.

Shopping is hard enough, then when you want to rest you feel you have to go to a coffee shop just to sit down and take a time out. So you have to pay extortionate amounts for your Americano, which you didn’t really want in the first place.

Who knows what the future holds for it, but after I graduate- that’s where I will make my dreams come true (ultimate corny thing to say, right?). ‘Staying True’ and ‘Keeping Real’ are the traditional sayings that prove a foundation for what I really want to create. It will happen, I just can’t wait to see where it takes me and who follows the journey with me.

Out of a Creative Block & Into the Depths of Motivation

During my third year of University, it’s been hard to accept commissions, tattoo designs, collaborations etc. and get creative. It has truly sucked. Even though my thesis is on creativity itself- it has literally put me in a ‘glass case of emotion’ (thanks, Anchorman).

But all has ended, the grey cloud has gone- and suddenly, I got my new art book out and began some doodles. The creative process is so far from logical. You can’t just force yourself to create something (well… I can’t at least),10551003_277116199079209_1442039973531281006_n (1) it comes from a quirky place that almost clicks somehow. You get an idea, and then ding ding ding! you have to start drawing. A concept is there and you just have to go with it’s natural flow. Even if you’re sat on the train somewhere. I always carry a little artbook around just in case. (If you wanna check out my recent designs and artwork get yo’ butt to my Instagram ‘kimmykeepreal‘ and follow! I mostly post there!)

Some of my best friends are in a local band here in Yorkshire called Outsider, where they take their influences from punk and most of the bands I listen to, such as Balance & Composure and Title Fight to name a couple. I got a rad little message from my best bro Aron (the bassist) who asked if I could design their first merch with thIMG_20150120_174533e ideas that he had. Then voilà! I started to play with a few sketches. I don’t normally draw animals, so it was actually real cool to get out of my comfort zone. But the band wanted a design of a Whale and I got cracking on. Turns out they totally dig it, so they’re making t-shirts with the illustration I did. Insanely cool!! They should be available real soon, but I’ll keep you updated for those who are interested.

This week, I also met up with my close friend Diane before our lecture- who in turn wants to set up her own business after graduation. Unlike my creative entrepreneurial ideas, she would love to open up her own Counselling Practice for Children. A fantastic idea, and it’s so inspiring to clearly see in her how much she really wants that. It drives me to go for my dreams too.  By sitting down in our favourite cafe, discussing what we wanted and how we were going to get there- really gave me the feeling of ‘I can and I will’. Having people around you who are just as driven as you are, can really influence your potential. And I absolutely adore that. It’s empowering, it’s motivation and it’s inspiring. I really hope you have people like that around you, dear blogger/reader. A very wonderful (and slightly cheesy), fantastic quote I hold dear is actually from the film ’10 Things I Hate About You’ which is ‘Don’t let anyone ever make you feel like you don’t deserve what you want’.

And really, it’s irrevocably true.

January- Keepin’ it Real

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January 1st, 2015. Filey by Kimberley Robinson

As a tradition, the Robinson Family go on an adventure on New Years Day. A killer wind and drastic tides of the East Coast was our destination. After our walk on the beach, we had fish & chips with a classic cup of tea. A wander through the amusements and I had some loose change to pay for fresh donuts for the family.

Since I’ve been back at my home in South Yorkshire (I study in the West), I have been trying to do my Dissertation. Being a final year University student has been, up to this point- beyond difficult. I’ve chosen a crazy ass subject totally irrelevant to my Counselling Therapy Degree (I’m researching the definition of creativity and discussing it’s biological foundations). But I am determined to do well, so this week I am bound to my research papers.

I have found solace in some of my favourite records. If you haven’t already given any of these a listen, please go ahead and check them out!

Now, Now- Threads (check them out here!) This band hail from Minnesota and were formerly called ‘Now, Now Every Children’. This record is the perfect combination of indie rock and synth. If I could find the vinyl in stock somewhere, I’d be straight in there waving my hands around potentially fangirling.

Balance & Composure – The Things We Think We’re Missing  (check them out here!) I have loved B&C since I first started college, and their latest record is just. well. brilliance.

Lorde- Pure Heroine (check her out here!) Now, Lorde for me didn’t necessarily stand out for me on first listen, but the track Ribs’ I absolutely adore. She is so young yet creates an insane pop record.

So what records do you love at the moment?

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January 1st, 2015. Filey Sea by Kimberley Robinson
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Dissertation Research

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday! x

a hobbit’s festivities

So, the unwrapping of presents is over- and the leftovers are out.

In which case, my family here in Yorkshire (all with the average height of 5”3) are eating at breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner and supper. The hobbit eating times if you haven’t guessed!

I feel extremely thankful for all my gifts this year. I didn’t ask for anything in particular, but my plans for next year are the main reason why. Keep Real, as Yorkshire’s Positive Goods Movement- will be opening as a high street store in the near future. Which means I will probably get vouchers for B&Q and stock up on supplies for the shop in future festivites (oh the joy of DIY). I want to make a place where everyone can feel at home, as well as somewhere they can have a browse of the walls, books and clothing that will be available. They’ll be sofa’s, armchairs and throws where people can hang out, as well as shop. (If you haven’t already- go ‘like’ the facebook page! click here) I’m looking forward to the preparation of opening my own Store, it is extremely early days yet!

We have the tradition as a family to watch ‘A Muppet’s Christmas Carol’ every Christmas Eve. We normally play the video (Yes…a video!!) and consume copious amounts of either Gin, Honey Rum or Sweet Cider. A glorious evening for the Robinson’s. We also have next door’s cat creeping in (see below, she looks right at home!)

Anyway, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that you are all looking forward to the New Year.

Plus I hope no one was disappointed with any of their presents!!

Kimberley x

(p.s here are some photos from my time home this December!)

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cold nights, art and hobbits.

Man this week has been killer!

But I will begin with saying I feel extremely humbled and festively fuzzy after my week.

I went to see The Hobbit- The Battle of the Five Armies in Hammersmith, and for me- a huge Tolkien fan, was thrilled. Even though in some parts it differs from the book- without those added scenes and twists, the film wouldn’t have been as good in my opinion. Who knows, I may go see it again. It makes me sad just thinking I probably will never see a Tolkien film again after the last in the Hobbit film trilogy! cry cry cryyyyy!black_and_white_text_quotes_typography_jrr_tolkien_white_background_1440x900_wallpaper_Wallpaper_1920x1200_www.wall321.com

Also, I got to catch up with my friend Alex who now lives down in London, who I’ve known from back home here in Yorkshire. We ended up wandering around Tate Modern (as an art lover/illustrator I cannot begin to describe how pretentious 95% of the art is) and walked to Trafalgar Square and grabbed a bite to eat. Modern Art definitely isn’t my thing.

After my wonderful time in London, I headed back up North for Christmas meals with my University Degree and part-time job. A wonderful drink I had the pleasure of trying was Mulled Cider. It’s like something is caressing your insides with a warm sweet nectar of the Gods. Definitely something to try out in the festivities. I pretty much danced until my legs felt they were going to fall off. I had a blast with all my friends dancing to terrible tunes of ‘Do they know its Christmas?’ and ‘All I want for Christmas’ continuously until the early hours of the morning.

I received some beautiful early presents too. A delicate little Lord of the Rings necklace from my amazing friend Kate which depicted a compass, with a card which had the script ‘not all who wander are lost’. I also had been given a large Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones– Seasons 3&4 hardback embossed book by my boyfriend. He also got me an insanely posh ‘diptyque’ candle which smells fantastic! I also got many other presents which I haven’t had the pleasure of opening yet, but I have loved each and every thoughtful present so far. So thank you!

With my goods/illustration business Keep Real, I have taken a back seat during the Christmas period. My Degree comes first during this time, but I still have major plans for it in the works. So I always have my mind on it!

Hope you all enjoy the week up til Christmas!! x

thoughts of the week

Well after being chuffed about being interviewed by Sheffield Unchained, my week has been quite a busy one! Today is my only day off for a while, so I have been trying to do all my Christmas shopping as well as starting my dissertation and CBT case study. In truth this week hasn’t stopped at all. It feels like I don’t have time to really roll around under my duvet munching on cheese puffs like I wanna. On the other hand, I think I’d freak out with a day of nothing. Anyway, here’s some highlights from my week.

Found a real cool musician called ‘Shakey Graves‘ and I honestly recommend him. Quite Jeff Buckley influenced I’d say, and mad as hell guitar skills. I was just searching through Audiotree sessions (which I bloody love) and he popped up. Finger picking king that he is, apparently he’s also been in films like ‘Material Girls’ and ‘Spy Kids 3′. Who knew huh. But yeah, some of my favourite tracks include ‘If Not For You’ from his latest record ‘And The War Came’ and ‘Built To Roam’ from ‘Roll the Bones’. love love love his music!

On another musical note (heh, my jokes are the epitome of terrible), thanks to my wonderful boyfriend I will be seeing one of my favourite bands for the second time on Tuesday! I have been a fan of Marmozets since they were bringing out tracks on their ‘Passive Aggressive’ EP. I bought one of their first shirts and listened hard to their scratchy vocals and freaky cool time signatures. It’s rad that they’re from Yorkshire. Plus seeing them hanging round Slam Dunk when I was- to them playing there a couple of years later…then Glasto…and touring absolutely everywhere. It brings a Yorkshire tear to my eye, with utter pride and admiration. So I honestly cannot wait to see them again, and to play their latest record ‘The Weird and Wonderful’. 

Also, I got a beautiful letter from my Nan. I have been writing letters to both sets of Grandparents since I moved out to go to University. It’s so much more rewarding than emails or texts. The effort and the feel of ripping open that envelope, reading the words they wrote just for you that I adore and cherish. I love writing to them!! She hoped I was well and sent a ‘guardian angel’ to watch over me- which she had made out of felt and wool and stuck it on with glue. So cute! I keep all my letters in a Vans shoe box with envelopes slightly in tact.

So yeah! Those are my three things of the week, and here is a lovely lil’ photo I found too to make you smile 🙂

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Interview and the Art of Wandering Aimlessly

On Monday, I travelled to my home city of Sheffield for a wonderful interview by an independents focused magazite/website called Sheffield Unchained‘. I met up with a lovely lady called Tricia at the Blue Moon Cafe, which is opposite the cathedral in the centre of town (they do fantastic vegetarian and vegan food- click here to check them out!).

By talking about Keep Real and the aims I have with it, it really opened my eyes to what I really want to do. So if you’d like, you can check out the interview which has been published today! It is featured on their front page, so I am extremely humbled and proud about it! So have a look at Keep Real – The Interview. woo!!

After the interview, I got the chance to look around the recent Exhibitions over at the Millennium Gallery and the Ruskin Collection. I’ve been dying to take a real look, as it feels like I never get the chance to when I visit Sheffield. Ruskin is actually quite an inspiration for me with his ‘connection between nature and art’. I actually have a really old hardback book of Ruskin’s titled ‘Sesame and Lilies and Unto This Last’. So it was really beautiful to take my time looking around the exhibition.

I then ventured through town (having stopped off at Sheffield’s German Christmas Market for a huge lamb and mint burger), to see my Auntie’s Art Studio. However, I nearly forgot the way and just wandered around aimlessly until this wonderful chap called Nathan- who I learned to be studying Computing something-or-other at the University of- showed me the way, having noticed I looked utterly lost. Had a fleeting conversation with him before we parted ways through the city. Wherever you are Nathan- thank you for being cool!

Finally I met up with my Auntie Bekah, which is always insanely badass. I see her as my big sister, so we always have a good natter. Her art studio is so beautiful too, two rooms of just craft goodness- and a loom!

Anyway, after my long day I just felt truly blessed. Sometimes, you need to hear someone else’s views of what you’re doing to truly understand what your aims are. Plus, wandering around my home city felt so natural. Being in my own company used to be so daunting- but I now feel I can hold my head high and do whatever I set my mind to. IMG_20141201_115908 IMG_20141201_120113 IMG_20141202_201628 IMG_20141202_205011

‘honey is yummy’

So I’m sat on a fairly populated train back to Yorkshire from London writing on the back of a newspaper. Sadly because I have nothing else to write on…who needs a notepad when you’ve got a metro?

It’s ridiculously foggy, a permanent grey hue all over the fields of wherever I am. I’m so used to travelling on trains- with a long distance relationship, seeing the family and friends etc, that I don’t really get bored of it at all. As long as I have a good book (I’m reading ‘Prozac Nation’ by Elizabeth Wutzel- you can find it here) and a good brew, I’m back up North before I know it.

~writing not on a newspaper~

When I’m in Kings Cross Station, I always go to Leon for a quick breakfast (I always get the Full English) and with the added incentive of a beautiful 15% student discount, it really is worth the money. I asked for a Green Tea and they recommended putting honey in it. What the hell? Honey!? I was reluctant with the offer, but it’s totally the bees knees (get my joke? Honey…bees? heh). Seriously, if you love a good Northern brew as much as I do, and fancy something different- green tea (now with honey) is my go-to drink.

Anyway, hope you’re having a lovely day and I shall leave you with this quote that you can also find on my Instagram!

‘Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside’Green Tea!

An Introduction

So hi!

I think an introduction is order, as this is my first blog, everrr.

I am Kimberley Robinson, a twenty year old residing in Yorkshire, England. Lover of hardback books, vinyl and many a brew to plunder my way through life.

Currently, I am in the my final year of University studying Counselling Therapy, with two part-time jobs (one in a music store which is so radddd, and another in Boots-also cool!) and the owner of a small business called Keep Real


 

Now, being excruciatingly busy- finding time to set Keep Real up this year in 2014, probably sounds pretty much impossible and bordering on the delusional. However,  as crazy it may seem (‘like where the hell do you find the time to do something like that!?) it’s honestly something I am so passionate about.

The ol’ tale of ‘staying true’ and ‘keeping it real’ are the foundations of trying to stay positive,  and being true to who you are as a person. Keep Real aims to remind folk that being that, is exactly what is important. None of the bullshit, just be you. It is early stages yet but my passion remains…well, shall we say a ‘beacon of light’.

So to conclude, this blog is about what I’m up to day to day/ weekly. Following the life and adventures of Kimberley Robinson/ Keep Real as a hopeful movement in creating something positive that people will enjoy as much as I do!