Member Spotlight: Kim Rosen


Member Spotlight - Kim Rosen

[ May 26, 2009 ]   After receiving an MFA degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design, Kim Rosen has been busy working as a Freelance Illustrator for a variety of clients throughout the world.

Some of Kim's clients include, American Express, The New Yorker, The Boston Globe, TIME, Philadelphia Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Scholastic, The Globe and Mail, TimeOut, Billabong, Today's Parent, Storey Publishing, Runner's World, Femina, Seattle Magazine and many more.

For several years before pursuing illustration, you were a graphic designer. What led you to the realization that you were meant to be an illustrator? Do you feel your background in design effects your illustrations?
I never knew too much about the Illustration field and when I was working as a designer I had the opportunity to view professional Illustration portfolios. As soon as I opened up the first portfolio I knew that I was meant to be an Illustrator. I have always loved to draw and I love story telling as well as problem solving, it all just made sense to me.

I think working as a designer has had an effect on my illustration work, not so much aesthetically, but more in terms of the business side of Illustration. Generally, I had an idea of what companies expected when it came to marketing and the competitive nature of commercial art, because of that I felt like I had a bit of a head start.

Your palettes always feel incredibly fresh and sophisticated. Are your color choices shaped by any influences you can pinpoint?
I love color and working with a variety of palettes. I am inspired by so many things that I see on a daily basis. Mostly though, I read the stories or articles that I'll be illustrating and I try to sum them up with a feeling or mood. I tend to associate different moods with color and those associations lead to most of my color palette choices.

You live in Northampton, MA, which seems to be a lovely, beautiful place with a strong sense of community. What are the advantages of working as an illustrator from a smaller city up North? Do you think there are any drawbacks?
Well- you really can work from anywhere these days as long as there is a good Internet connection. Northampton has a lot going on for being a small New England town. I love that I can walk to local restaurants and shops, the independent movie theatre, a variety of music venues and record shops but I can also enjoy peace and quiet in my backyard.

I live less then three hours away from NYC and while I can make it to certain Illustration events, I can't make it to nearly as many as I would like to attend, that would be the main drawback to living up here.

Do you feel that personal work is important?
Yes- I think personal work is very important. I think it keeps your mind fresh and helps you to discover new ways of working in which you can then incorporate into your commercial work. For me, personal work means all the freedom in the world and who doesn't want that?

Everyone is always asked this, which must mean everyone else is curious about it: what is your dream project?
Hmmm... I have so many dream projects. I'd love to illustrate a theatre poster or a film poster. I'd also love to illustrate a book cover for a David Sedaris book, that would be a dream.

What would be your advice for Illustration students who are about to graduate?
You have to spend money to make money! Advertising and marketing is a key factor in getting your name out there. After sending out your first promo, don't get discouraged if you don't get any jobs, just keep at it. You must develop thick skin as an illustrator. Don't give up!

What is your favorite aspect of being an illustrator?
I love that I get to draw everyday. I love creating an image in hopes to set the tone/mood for the story that's being read or a product that's being developed etc.

There is nothing more rewarding than making a living doing what you love.

I also really like to meet other illustrators who can relate to the solitary life we lead on a daily basis.

What inspires you? What keeps you going?
Every new job keeps me going and inspires me at the same time. The thrill and excitement of receiving a new job will never fade for me.

I feel really lucky that I am an illustrator and I hope to continue working as an illustrator for many more years to come.

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