Interview: Kim Lam

Kim Lam is mostly an illustrator living in Melbourne. A lot of her work also revolves around being the Creative Director at Dr Jason Fox, where she injects lateral thinking and helps people visualise the narrative behind progressive strategy. In her spare time, she is an inner-city veterinarian, saving little furry lives.

Q: What gets you up in the morning?

A: A realisation that with a whole new day, comes whole new possibilities. A small quiet note to my waking self, that a unique set of moments will occur that will be worth diarising later in the evening…so some anticipation for the day ahead. That aside, my partner gets up super early, so I also strive to get up decently early enough so that we don’t end up living in different time zones (I’m a night-owl in denial).

Q: If you ever have slumps in creating art, what gets you inspired, motivated or passionate again?

A: Sometimes the combination of non-thinking, blank-staring and a somewhat possessed pen-in-hand will yield forms on paper that I can appreciate enough to turn into the next idea. I find that using my hands versus brain in an inverse way helps a lot when stuck in a creative rut — I’ll plan drawings in writing, and plan writing with drawings. Otherwise, I’ll try to revive the muse with a change of scene. This can range from simple little activities like rearranging tchotchkes and pot plants around the home — nothing fancy! Or I might go for a wander and park myself at a local cafe with my laptop for a few hours of internet inspiration.

Q: What was the last inspiring thing that someone said to you or that you read?

A: That I read — ‘To people-watch is to glimpse the mysterious and the banal. The public face and the private gesture, the strangest other and the most familiar self.’ — from Cheryl Strayed’s introduction in the book, Pen & Ink — Tattoos & The Stories Behind Them, by Isaac Fitzgerald & Wendy MacNaughton. So poetically said, and so delicious to read. Although this excerpt wouldn’t fall under the typical ’inspirational quotes’ category, it does inspire in me a certain feeling of wonder and curiosity. It’s a reminder that we are all so different but so the same, and overall so small but very much connected. A tiny antidote at times, to introversion. But besides that, people watching is super fun, and is a good way to collect characters for cameo appearances in your dreams. That someone said — You are enough.

Thanks Kim!