If there is a chick who could be the poster girl for The Indie Chicks, it’s the kickass Kim Thompson.
Kim is not only a professional graphic artist and web designer, but she is also a talented musician who plays keyboard, saxophone and bass in the band, Carfax Abbey. On top of all of this she started her project called Dark Mind Design, a company offerings apparel, fragrances, jewelry, and art prints dedicated to the celebration of creativity and dark culture.
What is your artistic background? I know that you studied Art at college, but were you always artistic?
As an only child living in a rural area, I spent a lot of time alone. I would amuse myself for hours by coloring, crafting and drawing while telling myself stories behind the characters I created and the colors I chose. I remember that I would often draw this one face in particular with huge sharp teeth that I would slash with “wounds” so that I could “stitch them up” all the while thinking of how the wounds occurred and pretending to be a surgeon–so I suppose one might say that the Dark Mind was already at work back then.
Why did you decide to start Dark Mind Design?
As an over arching concept, my outlook on life is that everyone has a “Dark Mind” to one extent or another. It is only a matter of whether or not they choose to look at it, live with it, and ultimately admit it. We live in a society that is full of things that no one talks about. And the weight of that alone is it’s own darkness that separates the world that is from the world as we want it to be.
As a personal concept, in 2010 I had been taking antidepressants for a couple of years and I was feeling very flat. I felt that the medicine that had saved my life was now making it seem very dull. I needed a creative outlet that was just for me, not for clients. I had always looked at the darkness within myself as a driving creative force, but it had become a force that was tearing me apart. I wanted to take the darkness and turn it back around to be a positive force rather than a negative one…
I could go on and on about these points, but Idon’t want to get too overwrought or make the work seem fraught with meaning.
From a practical standpoint I also saw a gap in the market for dark themed products that were not entirely Halloween, horror, or Goth based.
Where do you find inspiration for your jewelry?
I have always loved machines, so the pieces I do with gears were what first drew me in. Then it branched out from there. I also wanted to make items with a spooky or horror edge, that were wearable for every day. Each piece I make is generally slightly different from others of its kind. I might use a different chain, other colors, etc., that’s why I sell the jewelry only at events. Inventory would be a nightmare.
Having a line of fragrance is really unique–why did you decide to add them to your Dark Mind line?
I have always loved unique fragrances, but I often find commercial blends to be simultaneously overwhelming and a little bland. I wanted to create non-traditional scents that evoke places and experiences.For instance, Green Fairy is an anise scent, blended with woods and other scents that are meant to evoke the experience of being in an absinthe bar from the past.
Blending scent is a lot like mixing colors, it is an art in and of itself and it feels like a natural extension of creativity.Also, I really wanted to design the line of labels that I use on the bottles.
What is the I Love Industrial Event?
It’s an occasional event at the Starlight Ballroom promoted by DJ Mighty Mike Saga. On October 12th I’ll be vending there with Dark Mind Design for the Suicide Commando show. It’s always a great time, and this one has a really great line up so if you like industrial or dark electronic dance music, you should check it out.
Tell us a bit about your band. How long have you played Bass?
I play in a band called Carfax Abbey that has been around since the late 90s though I just joined last year. Our new album is coming out on Halloween, it’s finished and it sounds pretty great, it’s some seriously ass-kicking industrial rock if I do say so myself.
Also, we will be playing at the Halloween Dracula’s Ball at Shampoo for the release party. It should be a totally awesome party – the costumes and fashion alone make it an experience.
I have been playing bass for a little over a year now. I also play in another band with the Carfax keyboardist Dave. Since I had learned to play keyboards for his band Brainclaw, when Carfax needed a bassist, he asked me if I thought it was something I could learn. So I did. My primary instrument is actually the saxophone.
Brainclaw also has a new album that will be dropping soon and we plan to be doing shows after the first of the year.
How do you feel about being such a unique chickie in a sometimes ridiculously fucking conservative world?
I have to admit that I am surprised every day by the hang-ups that people still seem to have. Even my short hair is a frequent topic of discussion and confusion for some people. I think you come to a point where you realize that you just can’t please everyone, so you might as well do what you want. That can be easier said than done since the pressure can be intense, but at this point in my life I am definitely becoming much more comfortable being me and I try to look at other people with compassion. I think there is a lot of fear in most people, they value comfort above all else and conformity is one way to get that comfort. I also think that a lot of people just never even consider the possibilities. I hope that myself and other “unique” people out there can wake people up a bit and expand their minds as to what is possible, what is beautiful and ultimately what life can look like when you give yourself permission to develop as you see fit.
When I lay down to die,I’ll be able to say a lot of things about my experiences on this earth, some were good, some were bad, and some were horrific, but I won’t be saying that any of it was boring.
We couldn’t agree more, Kim. Thank you so much for being one of our Spotlights. You are truly a brilliant Indie Chick.
Check out all things Dark Mind Design here:
And Kim’s music here: