Interview with RMCAD Alumni Kaitlin Ziesmer

Kaitlin Zeismer is a RMCAD Alumni (2010) who studied Fine Arts, with her degree emphasis in drawing, painting, and photography. As an artist living and working in Denver, she’s worked over the years on projects including various paintings, along with murals and public art pieces all over the Denver metro area. Much of the artists’ inspiration comes from film, especially the classics of her childhood. Ziesmer has been featured as one of Denver’s Artists to Watch in 2019, and so much more. We had the pleasure of chatting with her about her experience at RMCAD, how her work has developed since graduating and creating art during a pandemic. 

How did your experience at RMCAD in your chosen program of study affect your career path and where you are now?

I always kind of fell in between Illustration and Fine Arts. I make very illustrative work with a Fine Art “mindset” when it comes to scale and application of the work. The fine art program certainly helped push my thinking out of the box when it came to these things. The instructors were crucial with this, and they introduced me to a lot of work and artists that I might not otherwise become aware of. Not to mention, they pushed me towards trying different mediums that I dabble in occasionally in my own practice; even if it’s not what my “career” is centered around.

What are the most prominent things that you learned that have been applied to your professional life?

Be open. Be open to opportunities that you might not think you “fit” in. Saying YES to different things has really helped me figure out what I like doing, but really things I would prefer not to do again in the future. So much of post-school has been trial and error, and that’s okay. Also, there’s a lot of different communities doing cool things around town; I highly recommend getting to know different people in different circles. Everyone has their own strengths and experiences, and you really never know what advice you’re missing out on if you stick to your own “art clique”.

How would you describe the evolution (if any) of your artistic style? Is there a medium you tend to favor? 

I’ve been evolving a lot over the years when it comes to the scale of my work. I worked a lot in school, but after realized that it’s very beneficial to be able to work small as well. Recently, I’ve been going XL with a few murals, but I like it all.

Medium-wise, it kind of just depends. I tend to gravitate towards acrylic on canvas (much like I did in school) but have grown to love gouache on paper over the past few years. Spray paint is an entirely new medium that I find endlessly frustrating, but it’s incredible what you can do when it starts to click. I’m trying to get better at that most recently.

What projects have you been working on lately? 

During COVID times, it’s been a lot of studio illustration work. I don’t have a lot of room to work on large canvas pieces, so it’s a lot of smaller panels and paper pieces. On the opposite side of the scale, I’m dabbling in mural work and have some projects coming up with that.

How has COVID affected your art and your life as an artist? 

With my day-to-day, it’s not too much different. I’m a homebody, or more like a studio-body, and prefer to go long stretches without much else happening. I was doing a lot of traveling shows and markets over the past few years because I really enjoy designing products and stuff like that, but with all of that canceled for the year, I’m realizing I’m liking the extra time and probably won’t be going back to doing much of those anymore.

What advice would you give artists during these challenging times? 

One day at a time, one project at a time. Use the time to try some stuff you’ve been wanting to try! I ordered some different supplies at the beginning of all this to try out and it’s been a lot of fun. I think also keeping it in mind that EVERYONE is going through the same or similar struggles is comforting. We just need to help each other out when we can.

To follow Kaitlin on social media and check out her website, click the links below:

Website: www.kaitlinziesmer.com
Shop: www.etsy.com/shop/kaitlinziesmer
Instagram: www.instagram.com/kaitlinziesmer