Shelflife Artist Tee Series: Studio Kim

Shelflife Artist Tee Series: Studio Kim
November saw Shelflife launch our Artist Tee Series, starting with a Ninja Bread Boy collaboration. This month, we continue our program with Studio Kim. Kim Van Vuuren is a South African artist who is currently based in Barcelona. She specialises in Identity Creation, Website UI Design, Art Direction and Illustration. We love her abstract and colourful designs and knew it would be great on a tee. Recently we interviewed Kim, finding out a bit about her studio and how she got to where she is today. 
Check it out below!

Where did your love for Graphic Design and Art begin?

I suppose my love of art began when I was about 11 years old - I grew up in a very small town so the schools I attended didn’t offer the best art facilities. My mom found me a painting/art tutor in a nearby sea village - Stilbay. I used to go to lessons with her on weekends. She was a total hippy so we used to have our lessons outside and involving nature. Come to think of it, my mom was always finding me extra art lessons outside of school. So by the end of High School I was totally fixed on pursuing a career in arts. I became very passionate about Graphic Design after studying Fine Art. I was mostly self taught in Graphic Design - apart from an intensive computer course. And after 3 years work experience I was determined to make a name for myself - despite my lack of experience - I wanted to be my own boss. This is was about 4 years ago. 

Who are some of your biggest influences?
I’ve always been influenced by the great surrealists, Joan Miro, Yves Tanguy, Dali etc. And now, living Barcelona I’m very fortunate to have access to their work. The work of Etel Adnan inspired me to paint for the first time 2 years ago. In terms of Graphic Designers, throughout my career I’ve been influenced by many studios - especially Mexican agencies Anagrama and Futura. For the last 3 - 4 years I was mainly creating Restaurant and Bar Identities  - their incredible portfolios always inspired me to try new things. Luckily I’ve had some pretty cool clients who trusted me enough to let me do my thing. 

What have been some of your highlights as an artist so far?
I’d have to say selling my first painting was a massive game changer for my career. 
And definitely having my first exhibition in Barcelona this year.

If you could collaborate with one artist, who would it be?

Definitely Art Director and Designer Leta Sobierajski. Also Australian artist EVI-O, she has a similar aesthetic to me. 

How did you interpret the concept of the Shelflife "S" into your artwork?
The "S" definitely reminds me of a curvy girl. So I wanted to establish the shape of a woman first, and then build a scene around her. My style is mostly abstract, but I usually incorporate some recognisable elements like plants and architecture to create some contrast and suggest life. I wanted to create something that I would want to wear on a hot summer day or night. 

What would an average day at Studio Kim look like? 
An average day for me starts off with coffee and admin - I like to get all my mails done in the morning so that I can get started with the fun stuff by 11am. I live and work in Poblenou, Barcelona. The neighbourhood is like the Woodstock of Barcelona. Its very industrial and full of creatives. For most of the year I’ve also been studying Spanish on the side every day. The rest of the day depends on what I’m working on. If I’m painting a commission, I normally set up and paint for 5-6 hours every day. Its been a dream. When the day is done we normally meet up for beers and food at our local bar. The days here are long, its taught me to utilise every minute. 

Any advice to those wanting to start a studio of their own? 
Always trust your gut. And never be afraid to ask for help. 

The Shelflife x Studio Kim tee drops in extremely limited units on 15 December 2018 at our CPT, JHB and online store. 


Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL.  


The North Face Denali 2 Fleece Jacket - Lemon/Black
The North Face Fanorak Jacket - Twill Beige/Vintage White
The North Face Fanorak Jacket - Fanfare Green/British Khaki
The North Face WMNS Cyclone 2.0 Jacket - Pink/Black





adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 'Semi Frozen Yellow'
7 December 2018

adidas Yeezy Boost 350 V2 'Semi Frozen Yellow'

New Balance 574 Sport 'Decades Pack'
7 December 2018

New Balance 574 Sport 'Decades Pack'

Heat on feet
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