Grab your gander, girls! We’ve got a new artist with a fabulous new release hitting our collection this TUESDAY 10/11 at 1 PM EST/12 PM CST. Welcome Kimberly Zukley! Kimberly is the latest artist to join the Well + Wonder team. Based in Mobile, Alabama, Kimberly, creates works filled with strong feminine tones of vintage nostalgia through character, narrative, mood, and space. A graduate of The University of Mississippi, studied painting and sculpture, after graduating Kimberly worked as a graphic designer prior to shifting her focus and becoming a full-time artist. One cannot help but smile when viewing Kimberly's work. It is where she uses her creativity and humor to twist plot lines and spark conversation. Simply put - Kimberly's work is FUN! Kimberly's debut Well + Wonder collection consists of twelve mixed media paintings in various sizes and as Kimberly describes a collection that is "mostly giggles and soft smiles that feel like little inside jokes". We are counting down the minutes until we release Kimberly's work into the Well + Wonder collection and know that y'all are too. Until then, continue reading all about this talented artist in our latest blog post Pardon Me, Kimberly Zukley.
What is currently on your nightstand?
Oh, goodness. A sleep mask that I am seriously addicted to, crossword book, all of my everyday bracelets, and a rosary that I don’t get to nearly enough.
Who is your biggest influence as an artist and why?
Women, my gal! Especially women of the past. You know, the strong ones… the ones who raised their children with grace and played the part while their husbands ran around under the tunnels of the white house with other women… the Jackie’s, the Lady Birds. I admire the women of the past who put on a pretty face yet they couldn’t even vote or wear a bikini in public without getting arrested. That’s strong and that’s what I prefer to paint.
Tell us about your childhood. What is the most memorable moment as a young person?
I grew up in a small surf town on the east coast of south Florida, nestled just north of the glitter palace we call Palm Beach. My hometown represented more of an old Florida setting filled with cowboys and surfers that had not yet been taken over by the materialism and regency of towns further south. I have memories of wearing bathing suits under my catholic uniform and dashing straight to the beach after school got out. Living on Seven Eleven slurpees and scrounging up money for a beach pass. I also can recall rounding up lost horses on the golf courses at 7 am in the same uniforms. I find humor in the irony of the mirage of “growing up in Florida” and the reality.
If you could only have one supply in your art studio, what would it be and why?
I could survive on a water soluble graphite stick.
What is your favorite room in your house?
Studio! It’s the only room in my house that doesn’t give me the willies when it’s destroyed. Destruction in my studio normally means a damn productive day.
What is your biggest score online?
I once won an Elvis sculpture on Ebay which I still brag about to all of my Memphis friends. I don’t know if this is the kind of score you’re talking about, but it was in my book.
What is the benefit of buying art through a collective? What do you recommend for those that are new to buying original art?
It’s not the consumer’s job to know the reason why something looks good, however, I do believe there is a formula to making great art. It is the job of a curator to know these things and bring the best of the best work to the table… like a beautifully curated buffet at a wedding. This formula, or principles of good design, lives in most of us subconsciously. Some are lucky enough to draw a connection between the visuals and the “rules.” Those should be your curators. For those interested in investing in artwork, I’m going to tell you to go look at the artwork. Look at a lot. Trust your eye and not your pocketbook. Your pocketbook will get you into a closet load of problems and shallow decor that has depreciated over time. If you’re lucky enough to work with a curator, ask them why your brain likes a specific piece of art. They should be able to connect the dots for you…
If you have the entire day to spend in an art museum, which one and why?
Probably an unpopular opinion, but I love the Whitney in New York City. I always feel that they have a wide variety of 2D and 3D art.
What is your favorite hotel and what makes it special?
I once stayed at the Plaza in NYC when it was still a hotel. I felt like Eloise. Seeing the tile floors in the lobby or hitting up their brunch on Sunday is worth the trip.
If you were a lipstick color would you be red, pink, or clear and why?
Oh, I’d be a Lancome juicy tube in bubble gum pink with all the sparkles that’s probably been chewed on by a dog at one point but you love it too much to let go!
I can never get on a plane without….
My sleep mask, crossword book, and sweater, I’m always cold.
How did you get into the world of art?
I failed out of business school. Technically, that is how. I switched to a major in art and started making straight A’s for the first time in my life. After college, I destroyed my eyeballs as a graphic designer for 4 years in Atlanta, Georgia. Even though I would have done it all over again for the marketing experience which I use today in my own business, I wish I had had the resources (or moxie) to jump straight into creating fine art. I’m really happy that becoming a full-time artist is taken more seriously amongst students, these days. We were terrified.
What do you do to relax?
I love sitting on my back porch with my many pups or gathering flowers in my picking garden.
When do you get the biggest surge of inspiration?
There is no rhyme or reason. Normally, when I’m the furthest from my studio. At the island, hunt camp, or in my garden. I’ve also been inspired by something as simple as a placemat.
Prediction for the Color of 2023?
I’d bet my house on some kind of green. Maybe an emerald or my personal favorite, “Hooker’s Green.” I really hope it’s that one..
What is your idea of a date night? Dinner and a movie or dancing all night?
Take me to a concert. Any kind of music… music is my other love language.
Tell us about your favorite painting that you have created.
The favorite thing I’ve ever created was actually a sculpture in college. It was an installation made using fishing line and popcorn… a lot of popcorn. I hope to one day get back to installation work.
One piece of advice for buying original art?
Don’t get catfished by an instagram filter telling you something is made well. It’s wonderful discovering new artists on this platform, but consumers should be vigilant of this. Fine art should outlive people. There is an art to finishing art. Buy from artists who invest as much time in protecting the art as they do making it.