SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 42: “I’m A Leo, I Like Having My Picture Taken”

Halloween on the horizon, pumpkin patches opening all through the city, I decide to pull into to one to see what happens. Up to the sales desk I walk, introducing myself to the owner, a very interesting looking, hatted man. He jokingly declines my 365 invitation, “I’m too famous, but you can photograph one of my kids.”

He speaks glowingly of his young staff, all of whom are prepping for the wrap of the day. I later find out that many of them come back to work with him year after year; a real testament to him as an employer.

Sporting orange staff shirts, they gather around and allow me to tell them about 365. All listen intently, yet one stands out with magic in her eyes, clearly excited to be photographed.

Friends, say hello to Kimberly.

If positive outlook is transferable, you really want to hear what Kimberly has to say, and with her interview, she becomes a charter member of the 365 under-30 club. An incredibly inspirational section that is forming, right before my eyes, as we continue to build the 365 community.

My take away from what the club is teaching me, “The future is in good hands” and, “Never stop dreaming.”

An emerging graphic designer, Kimberly speaks with artistic relevance. Five minute into chatting with her and it’s obvious that she is someone of strong vision and passion. There is no loss of energy in this kid, just free-flowing enthusiasm for what’s to come. “You are the creator of your life,” she expresses, “and life is what you make of it.” What great affirmations for us all, no matter what stage of life we are in.

Our our interview clock is ticking, concerned that she is not supporting her co-workers in closing the lot, we speed up our conversation.

We pause for a moment as she tells me about the loss of her father only a year earlier. Emotion tearing up in her eyes, I change the subject, but see that her positive outlook is more than youthful naivety. It is well-earned, mature and caring.  Her presence is sure and her words are focused and positive. And even though we have come close to a very fragile topic, I am taken by her strength, spirit and ability to turn sadness into tribute. Kimberly, Thanks for sharing that part of your life with me. I’m sure you will be an inspiration to all the readers who have experienced the same loss. I know you inspire me.

We pick the pace back up and with tremendously warm and endless smiles, she goes on to tell me of her dreams and artistic perspectives.

Kimberly’s life is all about strengthening her artistic talent. A multi-talented artist, I see no limit to her future. We talk of poetry, music and creativity in general. In doing so, she bestows upon me a few more gems: “To design is to simplify,” and “Never take “no” for an answer.”

“For many years I wanted to be a rap star, but now, my life is all about school and art,” she comments. Probably accounts for the super-hip attitude and style sense she so seamlessly wears.

Time is very short now, we both feel the gaze of her co-workers, wondering why we are taking an abundance of photos. It’s time for us to get back to life, Kimberly needing to help shut down shop for the night, and I needing to get home to family. Lots of late 365 days lately.

As always, the closing questions:

What word would you like to share with my audience?

“Be one with another”

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

“Rich, famous graphic designer with a big and very organized office.” And, “Remembered for never taking “no” for an answer.”

Kimberly, I look forward to one day seeing you in Communication Arts, and being able to say, “I knew her when.”

Later Gator!