Kimba Frances Kerner

The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed? 

Kimba Frances Kerner: Kimba Frances Kerner, 32, Artist/Designer/Teacher, Me

TCU: What hobbies do you have outside of your professional field that keep you inspired and motivated to generate personal work? How do they inspire you?

KFK: I sing. I found that a big part of my personal journey was accepting my voice. I cannot quite put into words why this was the case, but my fear of being completely exposed with just these vibrations coming out of my insides to entertain people was something that had always held my heart closed. There was a switch that was triggered a little over two years back, and I felt released. I have to analyze this all a bit more internally to understand it, but I finally decided to approach my art seriously only after I gained better control of my voice, but I am still working on it.

TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?

KFK: I do not actually have this problem because I "work" very little on anything besides my personal work. I was able to find a niche of teaching which permits me a relatively satisfactory income with little effort but totally fitting to my personality. I sometimes am overcome with guilt that I am not more productive with my personal work...lack of self-discipline at times, but I like to think I am getting better and better. I should be more aware of the gratitude I owe towards the universe which has provided me with such opportunity because it is truly a gift.

TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?

KFK: I am usually active after 11 am. I am not so much a morning creative. I can do menial tasks in the morning, but it usually takes me a while to warm up to do anything that requires concentration and is absorbing. Post 11 I just try to do creative work whenever I can fit it in, even if it is 2 am. I love the night and going to bed late!

TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?

KFK: I would love to make larger pieces than I have made so far, but my available space is constraining. This is why I should look at applying to residencies and/or furthering my education. These are all issues which can be solved through time and organization, I squirm on the inside a bit when thinking about it, all require a great lovely dose of self-discipline...Also, my brilliantly talented sister (Mya Kerner) recently told me that I should try working with porcelain because my skills in detail would finally have their proper medium to shine through with, also a possible residency idea. So much to do...

TCU: Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?

KFK: I am always working on personal projects. My creative nature is like some old sage woman living in the forest, gathering little pieces of plants to hang from her ceiling because who knows when things will come in handy? I gather stories and situations and facts. I have no idea what will come up sometimes when I am going through things with my hands and mind. Sometimes the juxtapositioning surprises even me, then I feel this little jolt of satisfaction along with the thought, "where did that come from?" 

The most recent example of this:

A little over a year ago I found an article on about "Frozen Charlotte." This was a poem that was very popular during some years of the Victorian era, and people started selling little dolls, sometimes with little coffins for them which represented a girl who froze because she didn't listen to her parents. I love these kinds of weirdly morbid things! Anyway, these dolls were produced on a mass scale back then and you can buy them off eBay. I decided that I wanted to buy a few to make sculptures representing different disobedient children who ended up badly (following Edward Gorey and Roald Dahl in tradition as well) and each one would have a pocket with this little, broken Victorian doll in them. I still hadn't gotten around to making them, not quite getting the feel of them yet, but then two weeks ago I was looking at a book and found a picture of a little girl from the 1920's in Poland with the most amazing enormously bowed hairstyle and knew that I had to use a version of her as my first victim. So I just started on her.

TCU: What scares you?

KFK: The Great Devourer: Time. However, Time is just a figment of human limitation (one of those many burdens we place on ourselves), so it only gets power when you think about it. I do not believe that Time exists in the sense we think it does. Apparently, there is something called time crystals that scientists have just discovered, maybe we will all know soon enough what Time actually is. 

TCU: What does success mean to you?

KFK: Success is really just a matter of perspective, but for me, real success is normal everyday happiness. Not that I do not sometimes hope for my name on big subway posters for shows in big museums, but really you can't hunt it down. 

A long time ago (about 20 years), I found a tiny-sized book of "The Prophet" by Khalil Gibran on my parent's bookshelf, and though I cannot recall any exact quotes from it, there was a feeling that it gave me that has been the essence of what I want myself to always be aware of. This does not always come easily, and every now and then I fall into some deep dark hole in myself and wallow it in for a month or so, but success would be to remember that lightness, that beautiful wisdom and avoid that wallowing altogether. Here is one quote from "The Prophet" that is exactly what I mean: "Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens." 

TCU: Anything else you want to add?

KFK: Approach everything and everyone (especially yourself!) with love, when you do that you will understand why.


To learn more about Kimba and to see more of her work, head over to or follow along on instagram, @kimbakerner, or facebook.