Kim Roemer is a Senior Art Producer at inVentiv Creative Studios. I have known and worked with Kim for years and she is one of the most committed and connected and professional producers I know. Kim is always one to return my call and answer and any all questions no matter how many emails she received from me! She even helped us to remotely host a portfolio show at her agency recently. And, she is great fun to hang around with. For all of these reasons and many many more, we love Kim and wanted to feature her on our blog. All of our paths in this business are varied and I was curious about Kim’s. Here is what she had to share.
What did you “want to be when you grew up?” Are you surprised where you ended up?
I always envy people like my uncle who knew he wanted to be at the age of 5, pursued it and executed it. I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up! I think what truly surprised me was falling in love with art history in college – this discovery was ultimately what started my path to art production. I was never a creative kid, nor was I ever much of a student – I favored socializing at school over learning. But when I took art history 101 my freshman year, a spark lit. From here I took as many art history classes as I could and because it interested me so much, I got A’s.
I guess discovering art history also opened a world to me that I had never been introduced to before; I have found since then that I love anything creative and, as my friends say: “artsy fartsy”.
What was your path to becoming an Art Buyer and what was that first moment of inspiration when you knew you would work in a creative position?
I touched on this some what in the first question. My first job in art production was found via the New York Times want ads (I’m probably blowing minds here!!) back in the mid 90’s. I thought something called “art buying” sounded very intriguing and got myself an interview. I thought I would be buying existing art to hang on walls, etc. but learned the meat of the job in the interview. Amazingly I got the job and was later told by my boss that it was my enthusiasm that won her over.
Growing up, what were your creative interests?
I don’t recall having creative interests and was more interested in people and socializing than anything else.
Do you have a personal aesthetic that comes through in the photographers whose work you are drawn to?
I notice that I am consistently drawn to a handful of types of photography: black and white portraiture (example: Lee Crum), super femme and romantic but not cheesey (example: Amber Grey), and anything that I feel portrays an approach or aesthetic I haven’t seen before (recent example: Mark Hotlhusen).
Are your talents being needed in ways that you didn’t expect?
I think what has been most unexpected is the realization that a huge part of having a successful career is knowing how to talk to people and work with different personalities. Obviously you have to have the smarts and knowledge and skills but the people part is huge. This is something I didn’t anticipate when I entered the work world in my twenties and I’m lucky that it’s something that comes fairly naturally to me.
How have your life experiences influenced your job choice?
Likely it’s a boring and typical answer but having kids changed everything re: my career and job choices (as well as everything else in life!). I really try to have a solid work life balance and, as we all know, finding the sweet spot is a constant challenge. I’ve been very grateful to have part time work in the field which has allowed me to find this balance much more easily.
How do you describe your job to your mother or someone not in our industry?
“I help produce art that is used in ads or promotions for products”.
Where do you look for inspiration? Stay inspired?
I’ve been discussing this with friends lately as I think that this is like anything else: creativity is like a muscle that needs to be worked and when it’s not, it gets weak. Recently I went to see fellow art producer and dear friend Hannah Wolfert in Portland, OR. While there I was reminded of how inspired and jazzed I feel when in creative communities like her’s in Portland. It was also a reminder that I haven’t been feeding my creativity enough and so I made a concerted effort to do so when I returned. I think inspiration is everywhere – first things that come to mind are: being out in nature, visiting the art producers Facebook forum, going to museums and places that respect art, and making cards to send loved ones.
If you could change one thing in the creative industry right now, what would that be?
I have a real love/hate relationship with where technology is taking (and has taken) everything in our culture. I am continually blown away but what is being produced on the CG front and deeply respect the folks in the field but I’d love to see a shift in focus back to good old clean photography captured in camera without CG or a lot of post.
Favorite way to spend a Sunday?
Buckets of coffee, running or bikram, the NY Sunday Times and my boys (12, 15 and my husband).
One thing people reading this would find surprising about you?
I have no secrets and therefore don’t think there are really any surprises to share!
If you weren’t an art producer, what would you do?
In college I considered pursuing social work instead of art history. If money didn’t matter, I imagine myself running an after school arts program for kids in need.
The work I saw by The Mill at Le Book really blew my socks off!
Thank you Jimi Stine for help with the post.