Creative Careerist: Interview with Kim Phillips

Meet the Creative
Kim Phillips is an independent marketing consultant who, after 25 years in corporate jobs, decided to pursue a career as a Judaica artist with her company Hebrica. She hasn’t given up her day gig entirely; you can follow her “Lucid at Random” marketing blog or read one of her regular posts for Her recent post about creativity was picked up by several sites.

What does an average day look like for you in your creative career?

Part of the day is working on my new art business, part is doing marketing for my long-time clients, which are mostly financial institutions. It’s a little schizophrenic.

How did you get to where you are now in your career? What key moments, decisions or circumstances brought you here?

Truthfully, probably the biggest impetus was getting downsized from the big corporate job. I managed a large advertising operation and would probably have retired there. All my life, people said, “You should be an artist,” but I didn’t think it was a real job. Later on, I did some seminary training that took me to Israel, and that’s where I found my creative life. But really, there’s nothing like getting fired to move you off a spot.

What excites you most about your work?

I’m a writer, too, and a bit of a word nerd, so I love taking ancient texts and interpreting them visually on paper in a modern way. It’s nice that people buy my work, but I’d do it either way.

What is its greatest challenge for you?

Finding the time to create new art and, at the same time, stay on top of all the technology required to market it. The art itself is analog … just a pencil, some paper and a knife … but the marketing is decidedly digital.

How do you get your best ideas?

On the marketing side, there are some techniques for idea generation. If you do the strategy part right, the marketing almost writes itself. For creating my art, I always go back to the text and the images just come.

What do you do when you get stuck?

I always have several things going, so if I get stuck on a particular project, I just switch to a different one. The key is to have lots of stuff in the hopper. Carry a sketchbook or notebook; when something occurs to you, get it down on paper. That way, when you get stuck, you can work on something else. Or just do some laundry and come back later.

How do you make sure you make time for creativity in your life?

I don’t clean house much.

What advice do you have for other aspiring creatives who want to follow in your footsteps?

A creative pursuit can be a business if you treat it like one. Have a budget, an accountant, a marketing plan and a savings plan. If you’re not good at those things, hire it done. Don’t sell yourself short; being an artist is a real job and you should get paid real money.


One thought on “Creative Careerist: Interview with Kim Phillips

  1. Kim,

    It’s great to see you here! I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you on Facebook and now I am able to connect some of the dots. It’s amazing what talents lie under the surface of someone who has worked so long and hard in the marketing business. I, too, came from that background. I think it’s important for creatives to get that business part (budget, accountant, business plan, etc.) as they toil over their art. Your pieces are absolutely amazing. Must be very gratifying to see a dream become a reality. Great advice here.

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