December 20, 2015 artsetters

How One Artist Went From Selling Insurance to Painting Sea Creatures Full Time


big bug and kim lighter

It wasn’t until she left her corporate career selling insurance that Kim Rody became known as the “fishartista”-  that’s short for artist who paints fish. We’re talking bright, colorful acrylic paintings depicting sea turtles, lobster, and octopi (the plural of octopus…cool!) and oceanic dinnerware that wouldn’t feel out of place at a Finding Nemo-themed dinner party. Think being a “fishartista” sounds fun? It gets better- Rody actually lived on her boat in Hope Town Harbour in the Abaco Islands of the Bahamas, where she met and married her sailor husband. She now spends summers in North Carolina painting mountains and trees, and winters in the Bahamas painting fish and turtles. Here’s to Rody for having the courage to leave her corporate job  in order to pursue what she loves- and for proving that when it comes to choosing a career path, there are plenty more fish in the sea!

How did you start your brand?

I’m a fine art painter. A friend suggested I create dinnerware out of my images for his upcoming fundraiser in the Bahamas, so the next year I showed up with some dishes and they were a big hit.

What inspired the vision behind your brand?

I’ve always been connected to the ocean and the creatures that live under and around the sea. I love diving and swimming in the beautiful Bahama waters.

Oval Platter_octopus (1)

What are three core values that represent your designs?

Quality, Delight, Creativeness

What materials do you use?

For my paintings I use acrylic on linen canvas. For the dinnerware, I fire my images onto high quality, sturdy restaurant dishes in my kiln in Florida.


What is your background and how does this influence your work?

I didn’t become an artist until I was nearly forty years old. I had sold insurance before I made that change. That helped me with the business side of my art career.
What advice would you give to up & coming designers that want to start their own brand?

Develop images that reflect what you love – for me it is sea creatures. Create hundreds of images, that gives you a lot to choose from when you start to produce merchandise.

If your designs were a movie, which would it be?

Finding Nemo

Four-Piece Set_Bubba-s Seahorse (1)

If you could pick one brand to stand next to in a boutique, which would it be?

Le Crueset cookware. I LOVE that stuff.

What’s next for you?

We are in the process of buying a home in the islands, and after that closes I’ll be building a new studio for painting my large canvases. New subjects: Chesapeake images: blue crabs, stripers, herons.