At the Inverurie Whisky Shop we are delighted to be able to work with lots of local talent, from the Whisky Distillers at Glen Garioch and Brewers of Beer Story at Insch to the Gin makers of Rothienorman, our post code holds a plethora of people at a genuinely world class level. Outside the world of Alcohol though is no different. We have had the pleasure of launching local author Duncan Harley’s historical books, Gareth Henderson of Strathisla Woodcraft’s creations and now we have the absolute delight of introducing Kimberley Smith’s KimberleyART products.
From placemats and coasters to tea towels and calendars, Kimberley is certainly making waves since her company started. Having recently signed up as a preferred supplier to the National Trust for Scotland, you may have already seen her works of art at places such as Haddo House, Crathes Castle and beyond.
At the Inverurie Whisky Shop Kimberley’s focus is, of course, Distilleries. At a networking meeting, I had the pleasure of meeting Kimberley and got chatting about her art and the potential for a collaboration. Needless to say she has lived up to the obvious potential. From an original set of four distilleries, her work this year has increased her offerings to more than double that – from our local Glen Garioch and GlenDronach distilleries to the Islay based Laphroaig and Bowmore. Speyside Distilleries Balvenie, Benromach and Dallas Dhu also feature. We are delighted to be working with Kimberley, and had the chance to catch up with her to give you the opportunity to meet the master behind the magic.
Where did you grow up and when did you first discover your artistic talent?
I grew up in a small rural village called Tarves, in the North East of Scotland. I was definitely a country girl, and I remember spending summers cycling to Haddo House and making forts out of hay bales!
I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember, all through primary and secondary school I was determined to go to Art School. However I ended up studying architecture at University to try and use my creativity for a more conventional career path.
Buidings feature heavily in your art, is this a direct influence of your architecture studies? What drew you to Castles and, more recently, Distilleries?
It was during my time at university studying architecture that I started to paint the local castles as part of a project, showcasing the local architecture. I found the history fascinating and loved how each place had its own unique character and story. After graduating I took a job as a project engineer but continued to paint in my spare time. I started painting distilleries more recently after visiting a couple of the local ones and realising how much history is behind each whisky, and that the distilleries are all so different from each other. I love trying to portray the character and essence of each place through my work, whether it’s a distillery on the coast of Islay or hidden in a glen in Speyside.
What was your biggest influence in taking the leap into business?
KimberleyART started up as a hobby to share my work online and sell a few prints. It has grown slowly over the years since 2016, but this year after meeting so many lovely people that are making a living out of their own creative business, I thought I’d love to do that myself. I still work part time, but am really enjoying seeing my hobby growing into a fully functioning business.
What has been your biggest achievement so far and where do you see KimberleyART progressing to?
My biggest achievement from a business perspective has to be becoming an approved supplier for the National Trust for Scotland. As I have painted most of their North East Properties I had always hoped one day my products might feature in their shops. Now, each castle has its own collection in their gift shops and I feel really proud when visiting one of the properties and see my work on the shelf!
Is their anything in particular in the pipeline that your are excited about?
At the moment I have a few new products that I’m excited to launch, including a ‘Distilleries of Scotland’ range featuring paintings from all across Scotland. Two calendars for 2020, one featuring distilleries and the other will be a selection of my favourite paintings from all around Scotland.
Of course, Kimberley’s work is available at the Inverurie Whisky Shop, both online and in store, and we are looking forward to introducing the Distilleries of Scotland range in the near future. Keep an eye out for more news from KimberleyART by following her Facebook at @Kimberleyartetsy
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