Brand Name: Plush Ink
Tell us about yourself
My name is Kymberli Gaillard. I’m one of 12 children, 5 boys and 7 girls. Being in a large family, such as mine, you had to find your voice. Art and creating became my thing, it made me stand out.
What kind of art do you do?
I love realism! The first time I saw M.C Esher’s "Self-Portrait in Spherical Mirror" I became obsessed with detail, the accuracy, representing the image as closely on paper as is in real life. I’m also a huge fan of abstract, even though, I myself, don’t gravitate towards that genre of art.
Abstract is very freeing but still continuing to be methodical, while realism is more concentrated while still allowing you to be to be, in a sense, free.
How did you get started & how long have you been doing it?
My oldest brother also knows how to draw. As a kid I always watched him. So, when I was about 7 or 8, he had a book full of pictures he would copy, and I tried it….and the rest is basically history. I realized at that moment I knew how to draw. Painting didn’t come until after I went to college, it was a lot more challenging, so I naturally go for what’s more difficult, because drawing came so easily for me.
What or who inspired you?
I get my inspiration from all over. Song lyrics, words, and movies. I did paintings inspired but the movies “Get out” and recently “Black Panther.” Where I find most of my inspiration comes from, is black women. Being a black woman myself, I always want us to know the beauty we possess. The powerful, wonderfulness and the “Black Girl Magic” that is us. Dark skinned women in particular. We live in a society were dark skinned is deemed negative or inferior, and I feel it’s my job is to never make that a reality for someone, because it once was for me.
How do you work?
I work isolated, very secluded. Some music, a glass of wine, and I’m all set. I like painting alone because it allows me to be more myself then if I was being watched. I've painted live on several occasions before, but people become very inquisitive and what to know what you’re doing, and you’re trying to explain your process while still allowing it to happen and evolve. So, I normally like to paint solo.
Do you have a series you would like to highlight?
The one series I’ve done that I was most proud of is my “dancing Queens” series. A series of 8 silhouettes of ballerinas with head wraps. Again, I wanted to highlight the strength go black women in a field where id predominantly white, while still holding on to their own culture with the head wraps.
Is your life expressed in your art or vice versa?
I express my life through my art all the time, sometimes without knowing it or it being purposeful. As artist, we’re expressing YOURSELVES through art. so to not put your own life experiences in your own work isn’t being true to yourself.
What message would you like to convey through your art?
The two messages I want to convey in my art is very simple. Love and Black Girl Magic. Simple.
What’s integral to your work as an artist?
What’s essential to artists, in my opinion is always grow but always stay true to yourself. Be there. Understanding your own meaning of what art is and respecting the process and how it’ll all come together.
What has been a seminal experience in your career?
To pin point one seminal experience in my life, would be hard. But I can say, a groundbreaking and pivotal moment in my life was the first time I was ever invited to paint live and given my own show. The feeling I had from that first time made me continuously reach for moments like that.
What’s your favorite piece from your collection?
My absolute favorite pieces is my “Chocolate Syrup” piece. It isn’t painted any special way, it’s more of the reactions and explanations that customers would express to me. I love hearing the feeling my work gave someone, and that piece is usually the most spoke about. Also, my “Get Out” inspired piece. That was the first time a movie struck me to such a core that I immediately began painting.
Where does your inspiration come from when you are working?
The inspiration itself for each piece comes several different places, but while I’m working I usually try let my creativity flow the best way possible. Sometime I hold on to an idea so strongly, and it’s not working, so I have to stand back and let the creation come to me and not force it.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
The best piece of advice I’ve ever given and will continue to give is, never compare yourself. Are you not in competition with anyone. Be passionate, work hard, love hard, be supportive. Be a leader as well as a cheerleader.
Professionally, what’s your goal? What is your dream project?
My goal as an artist, is to be respected in the art world, and to live financially off my art. I want my art to open doors for me. See my work on billboards or a celebrity ask me to design their album cover. My ultimate goal is to have my work seen.
What obstacles have you faced as an artist?
I biggest obstacles I’ve faced as an artist is learning the business side. The art side, always came easy for me. Once I realized I could monetize off my work. That’s when it started to get harder and confusing. Learning about Copyrighting, fair use, trademarks and watermarks. You have to know how to price your work. Respecting yourself enough to know your worth and nor sell yourself short, but also realizing that the balance between overpricing and under-pricing.