Keepin’ Up With Kimberley #6

It’s been a whirlwind of little events this week. Plusss this weather here in the UK has been crazy! I’ve been designing, reading, working, running and organising some cool thaangs. Everything seems to be in full swing, plus I turn 21 next week! Rad!

I’ve started to read Patti Smith’s Just Kids, which is her autobiography (purchase it here).download (1) Now, this book has been on my wish list for a good year and I have only just got around to purchasing it. So far, I cannot recommend this book enough! In case you don’t know who Patti Smith is, she is an Artist, Writer and Performer (she’s an all-round creative) who gained recognition in the 1970’s in the Punk Rock movement. I find myself reading it whenever I can (mostly on trains and buses!), it leaves me feeling extremely passionate and driven to do what I want to do creatively through Keep Real, as well as work hard and get to where I want to be. If you’re feeling a bit of a creative block, read Patti Smith’s memoir. I cannot praise it enough.

wpid-img_20150701_175503.jpgAlso this week, I’ve been working on some designs for the new collection as well as some pieces for other people. It’s been slow going, as cultivating a theme of mandala inspired works has left me with the laborious task of dotworking large pieces bigger than my head! It’s quite therapeutic creating what I’m creating though. I’ve been trying out varied techniques such as cross-hatching, which so far seems to be working a treat!  wpid-img_20150704_121440.jpg

Last night I had the privilege of seeing Alkaline Trio and NOFX at the 02 Academy in Leeds. The last time I saw Alkaline Trio, it was 2008 and I was the ripe ol’ age of fourteen. I remember them playing at a festival in Sheffield and hearing ‘Time To Waste’ which blew my tiny little mind. So to see them now at nearly 21- brought back a lot of memories of being that awkward teenager who still wore fake converse and studded belts. NOFX however, were incredible. I did get a little battered in the pit- but I LOVED it. Probably the most fun I’ve had at a gig in a long time.

I’m also organising which events I will be running in to raise money for Rethink Mental Illness. I have to calculate how long it will take me to have the justified amount of physical health, in order to for me to feel comfortable in running. I’m thinking of doing a 5k run, then a 10k run later in the year. Plus I want to do the Three Peaks Challenge next year! It has been fairly hot temperatures lately, but doing a tiny mile run round the woods near my home should be sufficient in the meantime every day.

Hope you are well and as always- Keep Real! x

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.