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Burke Residency 17: Kim Mejia of Splendid Circumstances

Written by Emma McFarland

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Posted on March 01 2022

EMMA: Hi Kimberly! I’ve seen your artwork out about in Long Beach and am such a fan—I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to ask you some questions. 
To start off, could you introduce yourself to our readers, tell us a bit about yourself and your history with image making? What draws you to create the work that you do?

KIM: Hello Emma. Thank you!
Yes! My name is Kimberly Mejia (Kim). I make art under the name Splendid Circumstances online. I was born in Lynwood, California with my twin sister. I was raised and I am currently living in Long Beach. I spend most of my time doing freelance art, graphic and textile design. In my personal work I do mostly digital art, photography and sometimes poetry. 
I have been making images digitally for a very long time. I was probably too young to be spending that much time on the computer. Honestly. At around 8 or 9 my parents got me a digital art drawing program and photoshop for the family computer (illegally) and I guess the rest is history. I never stopped creating. Along with that I spent some years studying art at CSULB. 
What draws me to create my work, it’s extremely innate..I don't think I could ever stop creating. 
 

Kim Mejia of Splendid Circumstances

E: Could you elaborate on Splendid Circumstances? I’m curious to hear more about this designation that you create under. 

K: I started Splendid Circumstances in 2017. I created it to be able to share some of my art and to connect with people. Splendid Circumstances is what I use to describe human connection and synchronicity in life. It’s the positive way moments unfold and seeing the bigger picture down the line. It can be so many things. It’s this feeling that there really are no coincidences. How we are all connected and a bigger picture always reveals itself down the line. It’s a subtle optimism/belief that the dots will connect and reveal an image (reason) in the end.

Splendid Circumstances Booth Art by Kim Mejia 

 

E: One of the things I find most compelling about your work is that it brings to mind charts, graphs, blueprints, schematics, etc., but also has a very personal quality. To me, it captures the feeling of trying to navigate the systems built around us—to try to both make sense and find a course of movement. Does any of that resonate with you? I’d love to hear about what inspires you (and if you spend a lot of time looking at technical charts). 

K: Yes! That's one aspect of it. The way I got into my style of art was it started as a tool for relaxation. It was what I did in order to cope with stress and pain. I was diagnosed with chronic migraines when I was 17. Since then I have suffered from about 2-5 migraines a week. I started drawing lines and random patterns in order to relax, to quiet my mind and ease my pain. When I can tap into this creative meditative state I can navigate my pain and make sense of it. I create because it’s one of the few places I can tap into that doesn’t cause me pain.
I like to thrift a lot of books for inspiration, old topographic maps, aerial photography books, poetry, and fashion magazines. I gain a lot of inspiration from music, small moments and people. My ultimate inspiration will always be my grandmother, Rosa, she was always so inherently creative. I try to channel her energy in everything I do. 
 
Splendid Circumstances Logo Art
 

E: I’ve noticed that eyes and hands appear as a frequent motif in your work, do they hold a particular significance for you? 

K: It’s a symbol for wanting to be seen, and touched. Physically, spiritually and emotionally. It’s a reference to human nature and needs.

Splendid Circumstances Art by Kim Mejia
 

E: It’s thrilling how dynamic your line work is; it often feels both scientifically precise and simultaneously free-flowing and organic. The quality of your hand is so immediately felt in many of your pieces—could you give us a little window into your process? Do you draw by hand on paper, use a digital medium, a mixture of things? 

K: Most of my art starts as a sketch on paper. It starts with drawing a single line or shape and connecting it from there. Sometimes I collage or even start writing words that resonate with me at that moment. From there I take the image into the computer or ipad. I create from there. I use illustrator, procreate and photoshop. It can take on many things from there. 

Splendid Circumstances Scarf Print by Kim Mejia

E: Many of your pieces tend to be black and white, sometimes with subtle hints of color, while others of your pieces are wildly vibrant and bursting. Could you talk to us about your use of color? 

K: The colors I use symbolize moments and different feelings.. I like to upload different photographs and create a color palette based on that. Sometimes I even upload memes to create color palettes.. It can be anything, really anything and everything. I also use lots of harmonious colors on the color wheel. 

Splendid Circumstances Scarves Art by Kim Mejia
 

E: Finally, to conclude, what’s on the horizon for Splendid Circumstances? How can we stay connected with you? 

K: I just hope to continue to create lots more textiles, and art. I want to do more collaborative projects this year. You can connect with me on instagram under @splendid_circumstances.

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