Today we’d like to introduce you to K.F. Golden.
Hi K.F., so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today.
I’m a freelance illustrator and cartoonist currently working out of Memphis. I graduated in 2015 from the Memphis College of Art under their Illustration program, and since then I have been traveling around the country as a guest artist at comics and gaming shows. For the most part, my work travels with me; my primary mediums are ink and watercolor, and I do many of my paintings as custom pieces at shows.
I also produce merchandise such as stickers, keychains, prints, and buttons out of my home studio, much of which you can find on sale locally. For the past few years, I’ve been a part of Memphis Monster Market, a pop-up shop run by Memphis creatives during Halloween. You’re likely to catch me if you frequent conventions or art markets in the area, too.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
As with any small business or creative endeavor, getting started is often one of the hardest parts! I had to take a chance on supporting myself through my art when I quit my last job, and it’s been a slow build-up to get to where I am today. My product line has naturally expanded and grown over time as I’ve been able to afford to invest in more supplies and take risks on different types of products. And of course, my artwork has grown with me as I’ve aged.
It can be a real struggle to compete with larger companies and mass-produced products. All of my work is handmade, and I simply can’t produce something like a pinback button for $1, even if Wal-Mart sells them for that much. Fortunately, I think my buyers understand this, and they’re willing to pay a bit extra to know that they’re getting something from me that they can’t get anywhere else.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I’m a cartoonist and illustrator primarily known for my custom work, including pet portraits and fantasy characters.
I specialize in ink and watercolor paintings, mostly highly stylized pieces inspired by pop culture and anime. I love using really bright colors, especially pigments from children’s art supplies (I love some Crayola watercolors) and thick, black linework.