Meet the painter and textile artist, Kindah Khalidy. I stumbled upon her work on Instagram and I was immediately hooked. Her paintings are huge abstractions with a rich visual vocabulary. She exhibits her works in galleries and also launched her own line of clothing and accessories. While her line is made locally in San Francisco, she sells her work domestically and internationally. Read about how this creative entrepreneur got started below:
What made you take the leap and start your business?
I wanted to be able to contribute to all of the creative parts of running a fashion business. I was working in retail and e-commerce before, and was longing to do more prints, styling and photo shoots. I had so many ideas that I needed to get out, so I decided to put my creativity to work and put all of my energy into my line. I had the idea to initially start a side business so that I could support myself through grad school, but it grew faster than I thought - and I haven't gone to grad school yet.
Why is making and shopping handmade so important?
It's a great way to support local commerce, and to help build it up in other communities as well. It's nice to know where your product is coming from, to hear the personal story behind it, and to find out how many steps removed the finished product is from being raw materials.
Tell us about your creative process.
I paint and draw almost everyday. It's what makes me truly happy. I feel very lucky to have figured that out. Running my own business requires a lot of uncreative work that has to get done, so it's all a balance. LIving in an urban environment is very inspiring for color palette inspiration - I take a lot of photos of striking color combinations.
What is your studio space like?
Right now it's packed to the brim with giant paintings. I have a 16 foot table for hand painting fabric yardage, that I can convert into an 8 foot table when I need room to build canvases. The building used to be a mortuary which surprisingly doesn't creep me out, maybe because it happened so long ago and almost every building in San Francisco is very old and filled with character - but it's a bonus because we have really wide doorways which are great for moving large paintings. Everything is white, including the floor; it looks a lot like my paintings actually. White background with blobs of color. Sometimes I feel like I'm stuck in one of my paintings.
Who are your favorite makers and artists?
Thank you Kindah for sharing your story and your photos!