Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #5

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working on a commission this week!

Hello lovelies! Man it’s been a crazy week. I have just one week left until I move out of Huddersfield to go back home after the University life!

I’ve been working on a real cool commission for a living room piece (pictured). It’s right up my alley with the whole botanical/mandala vibes going on. It’s become more intricate than I initially thought, but I cannot wait to finish it! Soooo many detailllsss!

There’s so much to look forward to, I have my 21st coming up near the beginning of July then I have my graduation! It only hit me yesterday I don’t have much time left. Student life over- now I gotta get ready for new beginnings!

Speaking of new beginnings, I want to congratulate my dear friend Ayshe- who got ENGAGED this week!!! I can’t believe she will be getting married! I wish her all the wpid-img_20150617_181808.jpghappiness in the world- it was lovely to hang out and catch up after quite a while ❤

This week has ended up being quite an emotional one for me. It’s a fairly overwhelming experience to finish my degree in Counselling Therapy and move onwards. Looking back into the year with working two jobs, finishing a degree, working on Keep Real amongst other things all at the same time, it’s just unbelievable how far I’ve come personally. I work hard to get by, to follow my passions alongside a degree and two jobs. I have become more resilient and determined to get where I want to be.

There is so much more to explore and do! I cannot wait to share with you more adventures and happenings with Keep Real!

So much love to you all ❤

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.