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Chatting with Kim Hovell

I discovered Kim Hovell's beautiful paintings at Petite Maison, a jewel of an interior design store that we both sell our work in located on St. Simon's Island, Georgia.  Her color palette is soft, etherial, and full of bright-whites.  Any of her paintings would be happily appointed in a cottage sitting by the sea.  I am thrilled to share this artist with you: she creates work that all will appreciate! 

How long have you been painting professionally?

I would mark my professional career as a painter beginning in the summer of 2013. That spring I had left a long term position as a graphic designer to consider new horizons, whatever they may be. One of those things was painting, although I studied studio art in college, it was formerly a pleasurable pastime. After some incredible feedback from the local art community I set my sails.

What do you think you are most known for?

I'm most known for my oyster paintings. They were my original subject and really struck a chord with those who love the water and the communities that surround it. I'm fortunate enough to paint mostly on commission these days and oysters are by far most popular request. I still take great satisfaction in matching the colors and textures of someone's home with the irididence of the oyster shell.

 What is the scariest part about having your own business?

The scariest part of having your own business as an artist is probably familiar to most entrepreneurs - the anxiety of putting yourself out there. It's inherent in making that leap, but what makes the cliff all the more daunting as an artist is that my business is such an extension of myself. Sharing your art with the world is an intensely personal experience. It's a roller coaster that I ride alone, with all the highs and lows. But with all the support of friends and family and a great local art community, the highs are much higher and the lows aren't so scary.

What is the best part about having your own business?

The best part? I'll be perfectly honest for you - being my own boss. I've always preferred working on my own time, I do not thrive at 8 am! I truly relish being able to strike when the iron is hot, so to speak, when it comes to inspiration. Some days you got it, some you don't.


Do you have any really large/interesting jobs you are working on currently?

I'm working on some interesting commissions that I can't wait to see how they turn out. I've been in touch in with some interior designers that have designed entire houses with my artwork in mind and I think that is so cool.

Who are your favorite artists?

There are so many artists who I admire but currently I can't stop looking at Lou Ros and Alex Kanevsky's artwork. I also could look at Myriam Dion's creations all day long.

Myriam Dion's Paper Cuts on Newspaper


How do you want to scale up your business?

Most of the developments in my career have happened organically and I hope to keep having the same success. I would be so lucky to keep getting awesome collaborations with talented people. I would also like to streamline my business and try to eliminate as many steps as possible in responding to emails, fulfilling Etsy orders, and other day to day tasks.


Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I like to think I am a free spirit and will go where life takes me but I am sure I will still be painting because it is what I love. I have fleeting dreams of the future and my painting but I am open to anything and everything that might happen.


What is your favorite color?

Blues, I looove blues as is evident in most of my artwork. Blue is so calming. It's the color of the sky and the sea and it just soothes me.


What inspires you creatively?

The Chesapeake Bay and all bodies of water inspire me creatively. Everything about the Chesapeake inspires, the people who work on it, the colors it radiates, the reflections, and all the life it supports.


What is your favorite music to enjoy while painting?

When you paint for a good portion of the day by yourself, you try to find anything to fill the void of silence. Law and Order SVU or any mid-day drama can frequently be heard in the background of my studio as well as audio books (I've listened to them all) or anything on the radio. When I am really in "the painting zone" I am usually am listening to Beach House, Santigold, Grimes, or CHVRCHES.

What is your favorite Quote?

Right now it is "a rising tide lifts all boats" which is the moto of Rising Tide Society, a group that a few Annapolis area girls started to "overcome comparison and competition in our market in order to cultivate thriving businesses side by side. In turn, discovering that we are stronger united than we could ever be apart. Building a business can be challenging, but the struggles are not so overwhelming when you are surrounded by community that cares." The movement has become international. This really resonates with me as an artist because at times I have felt the pressure of fierce competition in the artistic community. We should really grow together as artists because there is no limit to creativity and what we can all achieve. I respect ladies and gents who build each other up and I love it that you are also doing this Marquin.

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