Kami Baergen • Process & Inspiration

When do you feel your best and most confident?

First: When I wake up, I look at myself in the mirror and see a beautiful and strong woman, and I find myself wishing I'd feel that way throughout every part of my day and that people would see me that way.

But then I put my makeup on, my clothes, and that feeling fades. By the time I'm out the door I've already lost that feeling and have started to feel the pressures of society. Perhaps we wake up everyday like we're being reborn, and we haven't yet connected the things society and our culture have pounded into our brains, the pressure to be a certain way.

The first two hours of my day keep me sane. 

Second: When I'm creating. Set down, and drawing, painting, all the other things fade away, and I can just be. 

Third: At the ocean - it's dangerous and wild, can completely consume you and is not afraid of you or whatever you bring to the table, it makes me feel small in the best way possible. 

BWOB_Kami Baergen_150814_037.jpg


What's been the best process to find inspiration? 

Reading (books, anything that interests you) and scooping out other artists (booooooom.com + vimeo's staff picks), but mainly making more art, even when you feel like you've got nothing. Drawing something shitty can sometimes be really helpful to clear out the wonky things bumbling around your cloudy brain.


BWOB_Kami Baergen_150814_031.jpg

What's been the best working environment? 

Alone in a room,

door closed,

music on,

good light.  


What are your biggest fears? In career and in life?

Missing out on love and happiness because I'm trying to fulfill some curious, semi-gaping hole, that I'm growing to believe, all creatives have. My dad is an artist and art director and has had some insane accomplishments in the advertising world, so I've always lived on a "good v. not good enough" scale that runs rampant in ad land, but has messed with my personal life (beauty standards, personality, relationships) and career life (personal art work, career relationships, money, overall success). I guess it's not really a fear, but more so something that I think fucks with my head, and I have to make extremely conscious efforts to tell myself that there isn't a magical grand scale that says you're okay or awful (and it's never that extreme)

I hate snakes. They are a terrifying creatures. 


What's your ultimate goal as an artist? How do you get ahead in your career? In those goals? 

My ultimate goal is definitely more general (and so vague because I'm just a creature in progress) but I want to be happy, make a lot of art and hopefully make others happy through that art, but more importantly that people connect to the art I make - whether it makes them ask questions, have an obscure feeling, be sad, look at the world a little differently. I want to make the world a little bit happier of a place. Maybe, one day, everything will come together and I'll be able to support my life through my livelihood. 

The only way to get ahead is to keep moving. dive deep: make as much as you can, put it out into the world and see what comes back to you. 


What would make you feel stronger and more empowered in your career or workplace?

Loving critique and encouragement. 



Photography: Michael Cooper, @cooperphotog

Interview: Sarah Kim