Surface Designer Spotlight: Kim Bliss

I’ve gotten to know our spotlight designer for May, Kim Bliss, pretty well as I’ve been following her design journey for the last few years. Her design style is bright and joyful – it always brings a smile to my face. I’m excited to share her story AND her art with you today!



Surface designer Kim Bliss
Please Introduce Yourself

Originally from the Northeast, I’ve lived in Florida, California and now in Oregon. I feel as if I’ve been designing forever … but in 2012 I got my Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design.

Tell us a little bit about your design journey.

Gosh … well, I guess you can say it began when I was a little girl, drawing has always been a favorite hobby. I finally realized that I should incorporate my drawings into my design work … not graphic design, but surface design.

I can’t pinpoint an exact moment when I discovered surface design, but it was when I took two Skillshare classes offered by Elizabeth Olwen and Bonnie Christine. They are still 2 of my favorite designers … along with Shannon!


Surface design by Kim Bliss
What did you struggle with most as a new designer?

Definitely finding my style. There are times I’m still not sure what it is. I love designing digitally, so I struggle with, of all things, sitting down and drawing, especially people and most animals. I’m very good with birds, though. And flowers … I love drawing flowers, even fictional flowers.

Surface design by Kim Bliss
What has been your favorite client collaboration to date and how did you find them?

One client commissioned me to illustrate Mother Goose characters. I retained the copyright, as she only needed them for a custom invitation. So, I put them up for sale as digital clip art in my Etsy and Creative Market shops. That clip art bundle, illustrations I never would have thought of drawing, have become my best selling product to date. Go figure!

When you look back at your design journey so far, what are you most proud of?

Surface design by Kim Bliss

I would say that I’ve really grown as a pattern designer in the past two years. I still feel I have a way to go to get to the point where I want to be, but I believe myself to be a good pattern designer. Good enough to start contacting prospective clients.

Where do you see yourself in your career three years from now?

My focus is on printed products (like stationery and gift wrap), as well as home decor. I would like to have clients on a regular basis in both markets.

What advice would you give to surface designers who are struggling?
Don’t worry about anyone else,
just do what you love.

Believe in yourself. Draw or design as much as you can, especially as you’re starting out. Find inspiration in everything.

Where can we find you?

Instagram: @kimblissdesign


P.S. If you’d like to be featured on the SDR blog, you can always submit your story right here!

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