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Occupational Therapist and serial maker, Kym, found that creating was her lifeline during Melbourne’s lengthy lockdowns, creating original alcohol ink artworks, jewellery and homewares for her self-sustaining hobby, KymCo Handmade.

25 October 2021

Designer Spotlight: KymCo Handmade

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Occupational Therapist, alcohol ink artist, and serial maker, Kym: ‘I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t making or painting and I hope that’s the story of my life for many years to come’

My name is Kym and I’m the creator behind KymCo Handmade. Right now I paint with alcohol inks – wall art, homewares and jewellery. I am enjoying exploring this expression – I am learning more about myself in the process too.

‘You Beauty II’ original Australian eucalyptus abstract art, alcohol ink on board by KymCo Handmade

I am cheered on by my husband and three sons. I live in beautiful Melbourne and have very much valued more time to be more creative during our very long lockdown! In fact, it’s been my lifeline. We live near parks and walking tracks, we wake to hear the cockatoos and kookaburras in the morning.

‘Early Morning Swim at Mornington’ mixed media artwork of the Melbourne skyline by KymCo Handmade

Melbourne’s recent lockdown has meant every available space in our home is being used. I set up and pack up my supplies for each use as I work at our dining room table. I am thankful to have a big window beside me with lots of natural light and the soundtrack of family life around me.

Filtered sunshine lands on a myriad of hand-painted coasters and Christmas ornaments in progress amidst the palettes of alcohol inks paint-brushes on Kym’s dining room table’

I work as an occupational therapist in rehabilitation, a very rewarding and fulfilling career. And currently, I’m also completing some post-grad study. In the midst of our busy life, art and creativity provide a peaceful place of rest and relaxation. I feel like my best version of me when I’m being creative.

Kym hand-paining coasters with alcohol ink at her dining table in Melbourne; ‘My hope is that my little beautiful life might produce something beautiful to share with others’

Growing up, my mum loved cooking and sewing, my grandma painted, her walls held paintings and portraits by my great-grandfather. Grandma painted landscapes and I treasure the memory of standing side-by-side painting landscapes together. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t making or painting and I hope that’s the story of my life for many years to come.

An Mornington Leader newspaper article picturing 8 year-old Kym creating a cotton wool snowman with her peers in an interschool competition at a local shopping centre.

I have always enjoyed creativity – I have many childhood and teenage memories of making things; from handmade paper, pressed flowers, knotted friendship bracelets, earrings made from shrunk-down chip packets, beaded jewellery, weaving…the list goes on! Needless to say my family and friends have received many handmade gifts over the years – and still do!

Blue and White handmade school hair-ties from Kym’s first foray into selling her creations; ‘My Madeit business began with making hairties for my nieces’

In fact, my Madeit business began with making hair ties for my nieces, then earrings for my sisters, and crochet baskets. I started receiving requests for these products and offers of payment and I realised I could possibly support my creative expression. My love of creativity is a self-sustaining hobby at this stage, but I find myself dreaming of the possibilities the future could bring if art became more than a hobby.

A collection of paintbrushes, palette-knives, eye-droppers and other tools and materials and a gesso-primed canvas awaiting the first drops of alcohol ink; ‘It’s an unpredictable medium and that is the great joy of it!’

Most recently I’ve been painting with alcohol inks on various mediums – paper, canvas, coasters. It’s an unpredictable medium and that is the great joy of it! There’s no controlling the ink which means I have to go with the flow and enjoy the process.

Alcohol Ink artwork cut to shape and adhered to bamboo pieces & coated in resin, awaiting assembly into earrings

Some art I have made into earrings – I cut the art to shape, adhere it to lightweight bamboo bases, add a resin layer and watch the colours shine!

Pendant necklaces featuring pieces of Kym’s original alcohol ink artworks, on an ink-splotched tablecloth

I am inspired by colours in nature, in sunsets, by our Australian landscapes and seascapes. There is so much beauty and contrast in our beautiful country, it’s impossible not be inspired!

Kym takes much of her inspiration from her surroundings; hand-painted alcohol-ink drink coasters depicting abstract landscapes

An unexpected blessing as my business has grown has been the connection with other creative people. There is so much encouragement, growth, generosity, support and learning to be shared in a creative space with others.

One of Kym’s completed earrings appears to hang from the lobe of a hand-painted figure by fellow Madeit maker, Julia Parisi; ‘A great joy has been including the work of other creatives in my photographs and displays’

A great joy has been including the work of other creatives in my photographs and displays. My latest Secret Garden Collection included the divine artwork of fellow Madeit artist, Julia Parisi – perfect models for my earrings. And…..I’m excited to be using the ceramics of fellow Madeit maker, Novice Ceramics, in a special release of Christmas decorations this Christmas! I hope to find new ways and opportunities to champion fellow makers in the future.

Hand painted pastel alcohol-ink Christmas ‘Love’ ornaments hang from a Eucalypt branch

I chose Madeit because it’s an Australian platform for Australian makers – it’s really as simple as that. I also preferred to pay per quarter than a percentage per item – it makes pricing my items so much easier. Since joining Madeit I have valued the support, the education and opportunity to share my work to a wider audience than I could reach on my own. Also, while I’m still starting out, to have a ready-to-use platform is so much less daunting than managing my own website.

Occupational Therapist and serial maker, Kym, found that creating was her lifeline during Melbourne’s lengthy lockdowns, creating original alcohol ink artworks, jewellery and homewares for her self-sustaining hobby, KymCo Handmade.

My overall goal is to make something beautiful – namely a beautiful life – in the way I live, in the way I love, in how I treat others, in who I am. My hope is that my little beautiful life might produce something beautiful to share with others along the way.

Kym is offering Madeit’s community newsletter subscribers a free gift with every purchase at KymCo Handmade for a limited time. Subscribe below to get the coupon, plus weekly handmade shopping guides, designer spotlight stories and discounts:



Visit KymCo Handmade to find more original alcohol ink creations: KymCoHandmade

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