Dear Artists! It’s Never Too Late To Start Again- Kim Hamburg
This podcast episode of Arts to Hearts Project features a conversation between Kim Hamburg, an artist, and creator, and Charu Kaarora, which is an inspiring exploration of art, motherhood, and professionalism. Kim shares her experiences as an artist and mother, discussing the importance of experimentation and craftsmanship, pricing and selling artwork, and the advantages of aging and why it’s never too late to start again.
They explore the journey of finding freedom through art, the therapeutic benefits of artistic expression, the joy of creating art, the challenges of learning new technology and business skills, balancing work and home life, letting go of guilt, women’s multitasking and awareness of safety, inclusivity in the art world, breaking the patriarchy, and embracing a new chapter.
Charuka encourages Kim to pursue her artistic dreams and suggests hiring an assistant. The conversation is an inspiring exploration of art, motherhood, and professionalism. This conversation is a must-listen for any creative looking to gain insight into the life of an artist.
Topics covered in this podcast
- 00:19 Conversation between Kim and Charuka Arora on Art, Motherhood, and Professionalism
- 02:25 Interview with Kim: Crafting and Experimentation as a Mother and Artist
- 03:55 Interview with Kim: Exploring the Journey of Finding Freedom Through Art
- 10:54 Conversation Between Kim and Charuka Arora on Social Media Inhibitions
- 18:31 Conversation on Artistic Expression and Therapeutic Benefits of Art
- 20:07 Conversation with Artist Kim: Exploring Authentic Art and Engagement
- 21:38 Conversation with Artist Kim on Pricing and Selling Artwork
- 27:37 Conversation between Charuka Arora and Kim on the Challenges of Learning New Technology and Business Skills at Age 50
- 29:15 Conversation on Balancing Work and Home Life
- 42:32 Conversation on Breaking the Patriarchy and Empowerment
- 43:52 Conversation between Kim and Charuka Arora on Embracing a New Chapter and Pursuing Artistic Dreams
About Kim Hamburg
I am Kim Hamburg. I never saw myself as an artist. In fact, I remember my father telling me that I would do well to just be a waitress. Although I am a first generation college graduate, I’ve never taken an art class. Most of my materials are found and are always previously owned by someone else.
In my house, the kitchen and my studio are the same room. It is a space where I can be a mother and an artist at the same time; a space where who I am becomes what I do, and my experiences and emotions all merge together on the paper.
I started making mixed media collage during the COVID lockdown. There was a lot of anxiety and my family was at home. Collage helped me to make sense of life and to work out the emotions that come with that. Now, I make art everyday. It pours out of me. Nothing stops me from making it, not even a lack of supplies. I will pick up a chopstick or a spatula if I don’t have a brush. I will use wood or cardboard.
I work intuitively and I make what I know, so you will see most of my art features women in domestic situations or surreal situations that mimic real life. I like to grapple with the real world issues that women face everyday and hope that the viewer is able to figure it out with me.
I am gluepaperscissors_ and I am a woman, a mother, a foster mother, wife, teacher, healer, maker, cook, driver, and an artist.
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Key Highlights from the Episode
Q. Charuka: Let’s begin with, When did you start making art? Let’s talk about that.
A. Kim Hamburg: I started making art probably two years ago, but I’ve always been a crafter, and even as a kid, I did crafts. I mean, I’ve always done it. But I am a former school teacher. I also have degrees in biology and early childhood education. Yes, so I’m a former biology middle school teacher. So I’m one of these people that has these. You know, talents exist in many different areas. But um, no, I’ve never taken an art class, not in high school or college. Never.
Q. Charuka: I think at of times we know people feel stuck due to where we are or hat we’ve become. Like you were teaching our job. Then why did you need to change your course? or Taking that extra hedge or like you know, leaving those fears behind and actually doing something about it and then um you I mean there are so many people who um, in their mid 50s 60s like they wouldn’t find the courage to start something even if they’re passionate about it like. Because you know, oh, they don’t hav the strength, or, like, I don’t know, everybody would have their own reasons, but no matter the reason, our reasons fall into our place in life and age, and everything we all have feels unsafe. It feels risky; it feels vulnerable. It feels scary. You know, to push yourself even if you are not chasing any kind of goal. Let’s talk about that shift.
A. Kim Hamburg: It does. you have to give yourself permission to do it, and that was my biggest thing. The other thing I had to overcome was imposter syndrome.
Because when I first started, I thought, “Oh, I’m not good. You know, um, how can I be getting followers, and because who am I?
I had to get over that, and I am over that now. It took me a while but um, but yeah I had to give myself permission and I actually I went to each of my children and I said. Is it okay that I’m spending all this time making this art?
Of course, they all said yes. Make your art. You know do it but you know because that mother that mother guilt is very strong and but you know once I realise that I can do it I’m good I’m okay spending this amount of time doing it I feel like I have banked my hours.
Early in their childhood. You know, I really do that. You know, I made my deposits, and I’m now able to, and they’re actually very supportive, and they’re very happy for me that I’m doing what I’m doing, and I’m just very joyous about it. I mean, you can just see that I love it.
So it’s also. I’m so prolific I don’t know if you notice but I make art constantly. Um, and I post every day. Yeah, sometimes twice a day 3 times a day I can’t help it I just keep making and I think that I’m prolific because I have so many ideas and I just can’t I mean like today. I could have made probably five reels today. Ah, but I didn’t because I thought people were going to get so sick of me making these reels. So I think I just made two, but, um, I just have so many ideas and so many things I want to do.
It’s like I feel like I’m catching up, you know?
Q. Charuka: I think at every stage of life, you don’t know how to work things, and then you eventually learn, like it’s like you’re transitioning into this new shape and farm, and you learn more about it and get better at it. But how, like, do you have any? What are yours? What are your inhibitions? What are your fears? So specifically, when you started coming on Instagram, did you have any ideas about what people were going to think or, um, ah, did you have any of those things?
A. Kim Hamburg: Yes, yeah, Before Instagram, I did not post on social media at all. No Facebook, no Twitter, no photos. and if you’re even now, I’m still trepidatious. I felt like I didn’t have a face on Instagram until maybe six months ago.
Um, one of my art pieces was my face and when I originally came on I had a fake name and a fake face. Yes I was Susan Bear that was my name and because Susan is my mill name and um. I just happened to have a picture of a teddy bear and I thought okay I’m just gonna be Susan Bear and so the first year of me being on Instagram I was Susan Bear and I did not change my name to Kim Hamburg until after I got like 10000 followers. So if you followed me before, you know that the first year I was Susan Bear, and I made that switch, and I thought, I hope people aren’t confused.
but I didn’t even use my real name because I was afraid that for a couple of reasons. First of all I am a foster parent and you do have to protect the anonymity of your foster kids and some of the parents are not too friendly and um. So I when I learned about that and I waited and now my daughter is eighteen years and that’s when I put my face and my name out there because at that point I realised, “Um, it’s okay, they’re 18,”
because before that you know you’re in the court system and you’re not really supposed to post anything on social media, and I was just trying to be really careful. So that’s part of it. But also, social media scared me becase I hadn’t been out there, and I’m still trepidatious. I just joined Facebook like two weeks ago, and that’s the only reason I did it.
The only reason I did it was because I taught a class on collage master summit I don’t know who saw that but but as part of the class. Students we had their our own private group on Faebook so I had to join Facebook so I’m giving you the so I reluctantly I have joined Facebook now so it has forced me to do things I didn’t want to do.
I’m learning technology I have I’m sitting here with a mac laptop I have learned the Mac computer. who would know that I would have a laptop I’m learning photoshop I’m learning to edit my own photos I tried so hard to learn to do it and it’s just I keep getting more and more.
Um. And that is a good thing, by the way. Ah, you know, magazines are asking for my art, and you have to have a 300 dpi, and you have to have it along with other projects that I’m doing, and they’re asking for my art, and it has to be, you know? and so I realised I better learn how to do this.
So um. One of my daughters is actually in graduate school for museum exhibition and design. She’s helping me. So yeah, yes, she’s in Philadelphia. Yeah, she’s really good. She also knows how vector works. She knows photoshop she knows all the stuff so whoever hires her soon will be very fortunate to have her. Yeah, but she’s helping me quite a bit.
but it’s it’s weird because if you would to ask me like, you know, even three four years ago would I be in this spot I would have said no you know I mean I’m even an influencer now. I am now Sponsoring products, like they give me free stuff, and I make reels for them. Can you believe? who would have known?
Q. Charuka: So you’ve kind of understood this whole new world that has come your way and how much of your own beliefs you’ve shed. How much It took you to really grab these opportunities and be this person you are today.
A. Kim Hamburg: Well I I mean I’m still the same.
I think the thing that has changed most about me is um I stopped caring about um you know like I used to be just a very Helicopter Mom You know. Okay, kids, do you have your lunch? Do you have your socks, you know?
I mean, I’ll give you an example, my daughter. My daughter just had a birthday. She’s 26 she is the one that’s in Philadelphia in graduate school and prior to this year, every year for kids birthdays I did the care package and I would have had cake was delivered, and I would have had balloons.
This year I just venmo to her some cash for her birthday this year that’s all I did ah and um I said. I’m so sorry I’m busy I’ve got this podcast, this class, and this and I listed everything I was doing, saying, “Here’s some cash ah, and that’s so-and-so, and that’s how I’ve changed; I would have called her and wished her a happy birthday, but now I don’t.” Just oh, hey. Birthday I sent you some cash, but ah, ah, so it’s not that she was actually okay with it.
I mean, the thing is, my children. Thank goodness they all understand that this is for me and um, important to me and they see how much joy it brings me and they see the success.
If I weren’t having so much success, I’m not sure what I’d do. They might think I’m a little wacky, but they actually do see the success that I’m getting, and, um, yeah, they’re okay with it. Um, you know so that’s a difference I probably wouldn’t be doing it as. Prolific I wouldn’t be doing as much, but I would still be doing it. Yes, um, I might not be doing, you know, three reels a day; I might just be doing one, but yeah, I would still do it. I love it. I love it.