We had the good fortune of connecting with Kimberly Bordere and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kimberly, what role has risk played in your life or career?
For me, risk taking has been the common theme in my life and career and it’s completely integral to who I am as a person. I’ve been a visual artist my whole life and that led me to acting in college and wanting to pursue that career full time. I moved to California from Maryland to pursue my dreams without knowing exactly how or what that would look like. I’ve taken jobs I wasn’t necessarily qualified for on paper and I started my own business doing commissioned artwork during a pandemic. I can think of many more examples, but basically what I’m trying to say is, yes I’m a risk taker. I feel like every step I’ve taken has led me to my bigger purpose of being a full time artist/ illustrator and being my own boss. I have a deep desire to live life on my terms and pave my own path. Being an artist, in any form, is a risk and a rebellion especially in a world that screams at you to follow a more traditional path to success.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My journey to becoming an artist wasn’t easy because I didn’t embrace it. What I mean is, when I was younger I drew constantly. I loved art, but I never actually believed I could have a career as an artist. I actually stopped making art for many years because I thought I needed to have a “real” job and do something more acceptable. It wasn’t until I took a portfolio class to brush up on my skills that I realized the possibilities. I’m most proud of coming full circle as an artist and just jumping in and putting my art out into the world. I’ve learned that even though I don’t have all the answers, that starting is the most important part. You can always tweak things along the way, that has helped me overcome my perfectionism. I think what sets me apart from others is simply my life experiences, there’s a lot of talent out there and many different styles of art. We all have something to offer.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I will always say Disneyland because I’m a big kid at heart and I had never been there before moving to California. It’s that place that makes me excited every single time I go. Another would be more of an experience than an actual place I guess, driving down the PCH, it’s one of my favorite things to do. Driving through all the beaches and taking in the scenery of the ocean is breathtaking, especially at Crystal Cove, that’s my favorite spot. Also, Laguna Beach because well, it’s the beach and Orange County has amazingly beautiful beaches. I love the inspiration of Laguna Beach, there’s so much art to see and great restaurants and small businesses. Taco Loco is one of my favorite places to eat, it’s a small, casual local spot. Last but not least, I’d take you to Big Bear and Arrowhead Lake. One of my favorite things about California is having the mountains and the ocean close by. I love that you can be in the mountains with the snow then drive back to Orange County and go to the beach on the same day, it’s crazy and really cool and makes me feel so spoiled to live here. It’s great. Also Big Bear is where I got married so I’m a little bias! Teddy Bear’s diner is a great, cozy place to eat up there.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people who have helped me along the way. I would absolutely not be here if it wasn’t for the people in my life. My family, especially my mother and grandmother, always encouraged my artistic ability when I was little. I always think about that and how much they believed in me. My husband, who is my biggest fan and always gives me honest feedback about my artwork. I need that honest person in my life to keep me grounded, that’s so important! All of my fellow artists and art teachers who I worked with when I was an art teacher, they inspired me and pushed me to grow as an artist. Sureya Davis who nominated me for this interview, her talent and spirit are so inspiring to me. She’s one of those people that makes you feel seen and heard and I appreciate that so much.