Those magical cityscapes! Kimberly Sly of Albie Designs
Oh I am so thrilled to share with you guys this profile! Kimberly Sly is a Portland based artist who makes those killer cityscapes you've probably seen hanging in your favorite shop or on your favorite design blog. Her story is the best kind of story, because she made a career switch 8 years ago and never looked back. Kimberly has been an artist her whole life, but for many years it was a hobby instead of her profession. Corporate recruiting was the job she started after college and continued because she thought she wouldn't be able to make a living as an artist. Then a couple major life experiences happened simultaneously that made her reevaluate things. Her first son was born, and her father in law passed away suddenly. During maternity leave she thought, why not atleast try to make art her job?
Honestly I had no flippin clue what I was going to do. I just knew I was going to make art.
She gave herself one year to make it work or she would go back to recruiting. A friend of Kim's moved to New York and asked her to make a "We've moved!" card, which where the first cityscape came from. During this time Kim opened her Etsy shop: Albie Designs which is now her bread and butter! At first she sold a variety of things like cityscapes, screen prints and tshirts. But it quickly became clear that the cityscapes were what everyone was obsessed with, so that is her focus now.
She uses a combination of drawing by hand, and then on the computer in Adobe Illustrator. Each piece has dozens of layers and she spends weeks creating each one. Her Etsy shop currently holds 74 different cities here in the US and many International cities too.
I always love meeting other artists not only to see their art and the process it takes to make, but their homes too! Homes are where we spend the most time, and it's a fascinating window into people.
One of the best parts about Kim's house is this kitchen. And she designed it herself so major credit right? It has artistic flair that an artist would bring to a room. By far the best example of this is the tile work. I LOVE how the white subway tile is straight for the bulk of the kitchen, but on the diagonal in the bar area. That is an artistic choice anyone can make so easily.
Favorite! That bar area is so awesome and it really extends the kitchen and gives it personality. Having the whole kitchen tiled diagonally would not have had the same impact! It's the two different treatments that make it dynamic. Kim put a lot of thought into the fixtures, the lights, you name it. Also her rug game is super strong. You'll see more of that later too.
Kim and I talked about home decorating trends. She mentioned that dark grout is super popular right now and she sees it on lots of blogs and design magazines, but she just wasn't feeling it. Three cheers for Kim. Seriously who cares if other people like it? The thing about art and what makes it work is how it makes you feel personally. I want to walk around my home and love the way it looks and makes me feel. Worrying about resale value and other people's preferences just does not resonate with me one bit. Because the next person will change whatever you did anyway! So make your home for you, and everyone else will do the same.
The rest of the house is filled with tons of art made by Kim - whimsical paintings and screen prints. As well as beautiful photography by her father, who was a doctor but has taken up photography in her retirement and is really good at it!
This family room shows art by both Kim and her father. There is so much more to see, but you'll have to come back next week for part 2! See you then! And in the meantime, be sure to share this post with anyone you know who would love it!