Kim Anderson is the exceptionally talented illustrator whose work has been turned into one of the top selling ranges for Bothy Threads Cross Stitch Kits. With an impressive portfolio of inspirational illustrations, Kim has designed artwork for a variety of greetings card publishers, gift wrap and cross stitch kits and collaborated with high profile companies including Oopsy Daisy, The Art Group and Bothy Threads. We talk to her about her exciting upcoming projects and how dreams really can come true…
First of all congratulations on you amazing success! Can you tell us a bit about your collaboration with Bothy Threads? How did your illustrations get turned into Cross Stitch designs?
Thank you so much! It amazes me how successful the ‘Love’ range has been and grown with Bothy Threads. It all started about 3 years ago now when I saw a fellow artist on Facebook mention that she had one of her designs turned into a cross stitch kit with Bothy Threads, so I decided to have a look at their website and discovered a few other artists I followed also have their art turned into cross stitch. I dropped Kate at Bothy an email with a couple of my designs attached. I remember Kate replied with a ‘we’ll give the tree and heart illustration a go’ and I was so happy! But neither of us were prepared for just how well they would do! They are still the top selling designs. The love tree especially has been the biggest hit! Kate and her team at Bothy Threads have adapted my designs into cross stitch kits beautifully and I feel so lucky to be working with them.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I love looking at vintage and ethnic patterns along with contemporary magazines for inspiration, plus I live in Brighton which is such an amazing city; having a wander though the Brighton lanes and all of the colourful shops can sometimes spark an idea. However, lately with my trees, which are my signature designs, I really feel they naturally evolve with their shape, colours and wording I use on them – each one is unique.
I can also get inspired by just doodling and many of my designs developed from pure doodling which I just love to do.
Do you like to keep up to date with current design trends and are there any particular designers or design blogs that you follow?
As much as I love my Elle deco, art and interior magazines I don’t necessarily look at current trends like I used to when working as a greeting card designer. I prefer my art to evolve naturally nowadays. I do love Instagram and Facebook as this allows us all to take a peek inside other artists’ worlds….literally all over the world too! I follow many artists and my favourite would have to be the beautiful work of Gennine Zlatkis and the very inspirational work of the hugely succesful Kelly Rae Roberts.
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?
Yes, keep going! Email as many companies as possible with your artwork, find ‘your’ unique style. A lot of the time it really is as simple as what you put in is what you get out of it. Work hard and the rewards will come. Determination has really been key to me since I graduated and I always sketch or doodle…even if it’s in bed. My heart design which Bothy Threads licensed and Woodmansterne Cards published as a Valentines greeting card, was actually a design that I created one night before I went to sleep!
Do you cross stitch yourself, or are there any other crafts that you enjoy in your spare time, (if you have much spare time?!)
I’m actually quite embarrassed that I have all these designs with Bothy Threads and I have never done a cross stitch in my life! But as soon as I do have some ‘me’ time I plan on doing the Love Tree. It’s been so nice to see the many people who have shown me their completed designs and how they frame the finished piece or turn it into a cushion, which I really love! As long as we are all creating and getting joy from it then we are all in the same place, I believe it’s so important to find something that we can enjoy creatively.
What exciting projects do you have on the horizon?
It’s been pretty exciting seeing the new designs with Bothy Threads, especially the ‘Four Seasons Trees’ which Kate and I had talked about when they produced ‘Love tree’ as a cross stitch kit. I love the foxes on ‘Love Winter’! So adorable and perfect as a Christmas present.
The next piece Bothy is working on is my Unicorn Dreams design which I think will look beautiful! I’m also currently working on an art book which will be out in May 2016. This has been a dream come true! I’m so excited about this and it will show my art techniques as well as my story into the art world and where I am today.
Thank you! Kim 🙂