Kimberly Kradel: Artist, Writer, and Photographer
ARTIST-AT-LARGE is a tag line that was given to me by friends in the days after art school, at a time when I moved to California via a Greyhound bus with only ten dollars in my pocket … there’s a story I haven’t written yet …
The early days in California found me roaming the coastline, living in an old ’68 VW bus, keeping journals and basically getting into everybody’s business. These days I’ve traded in the ’68 for The Escape Pod – a more reliable ’71 Vdub – and I am now much more of a voyeur, an observer, relying on the sights, sounds, and tastes of a place to gain my worldly experience.
After graduating as a photography major from Ivy School of Professional Art in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I went on to study for my B.A. in Studio Art/Painting, while dabbling in French and German as well as Congolese dance and drumming, at Sonoma State University in California.
I love the beauty of this world, and that includes even the grungy, weathered, beauty that comes from age and environment. I love landscape. I love peeling back layers – of time, of dimensions, of history, of color. I love making art and photographs and pushing boundaries and busting systems and supporting other people who do so too.
My work in internet technologies began in 1995. Before that I was working in publishing at a few local publishing houses – Osborne McGraw-Hill, Ulysses Press, and Lonely Planet – in various positions from answering phones to editorial research. My goal was to gain experience at all levels of publishing so I could run my own publishing empire one day. One of my favorite projects was working as an Associate Editor on the “Americanization” of the British travel series, the Virago Women’s Guides – first for Ulysses and then for Zenobia Press. In the years leading up to that my life was all about paint, photography, and art school, and traveling around California. Working in the field of corporate publishing gave me a way to support myself while creating art, although it paid a pittance.
I got the idea for ARTIST-AT-LARGE during my time at Lonely Planet, in 1990, albeit in paper publication form. The idea was for a line of cultural travel guidebooks from the artist perspective, along with travel photography and related projects like posters, cards, and calendars.
But in 1995, all of that changed. It was a pivotal year. The internet opened up to the public and I got my first domain name (kimba.com), one of the first 7,000 names to be registered at Network Solutions – which I still have today. Tech started to support not only me but my art as well. Falling in with a group of uber-programmers, during those next few years I worked in in very technical positions, usually involving networking of the cable kind, testing protocols that made the internet work, or building the machines to transport your daily musing over the world wide web.
That led to launching ARTIST-AT-LARGE in September of 2000 – just as the work bubble was bursting. The site started out with just a few of my travel stories and back then the technical bits of the site were written in plain and simple html. The site was designed as best it could be at the time, as a place for good writing, creative writing, and beautiful photography. I’m not sure if I’ve lived up to that … that’s for others to decide.
Build it and they will come. But will they support it?
My living is made through this web site and my work as an artist. I have no other resources at this time, although I am always seeking out other opportunities. You could click on the donation button in the sidebar at the left of the page to support my work here on the site, if you find it worthy. The Patreon button will give you another option to support the site and my work on a monthly basis – kind of like giving me a stipend. Or, you can purchase some of my stock photography at Alamy or now on IMAGES@ARTIST-AT-LARGE or prints of my project photography, as all of those support me as well.
I have an affinity for the Oxford comma. And Pluto. And Nutella. I’m just as likely to write about sci-fi, or time or space or virtual travel as I am about my work as an artist, or my next trip to France, or the adventure of hanging out at the neighborhood cafe.