Creative Rituals – Artist Kim Herbst

Creative Rituals -Artist Kim Herbst

Welcome! Creative Rituals is a fun blog of mine featuring creatives and their rituals. Creatives talk about how they start their creative day, as well as give you more insight into their work. It’s a perfect opportunity to demystify the creative experience, and maybe even inspire!

Kim Herbst – Artist

Today’s guest creative is artist Kim Herbst! Read on about Kim’s creative day!

Artist Kim Herbst.

Today’s guest is artist Kim Herbst, whose art I’m honored to have gracing the cover of my (written as J. Dianne Dotson) debut young adult, SFF adventure, THE INN AT THE AMETHYST LANTERN! I first connected with Kim to illustrate my character Galla-Deia for my space opera series THE QUESTRISON SAGA; she’s the central character of the saga and makes her debut in EPHEMERIS. So I knew she’d be perfect for illustrating the cover for this Lunarpunk adventure:


What Do You Do to Start Your Creative Day?

My day always starts with coffee and breakfast, I can’t seem to function otherwise. I try to resist reading news or looking at any screens as a distraction first thing in the morning because this usually puts me in a lesser mood (I can go from admiring others’ artwork on social media to feeling self-doubt after scrolling for a while and that’s never a good start to the day). Instead I’ll feed and pet my cat as I sit at the kitchen table in silence, staring out at the scorched flowers I’m attempting to grow in window-boxes outside my kitchen.

I mentally prepare myself for any upcoming drawing tasks at hand, if for freelance gigs, I ask most clients to describe the feeling they want the project’s illustration to convey, in roughly 3-4 adjectives – from there I compile my research and sketches. I’ve generally spent a day thinking over the project with a small sketchbook or notebook. Usually a page of notes gets jotted down to try and summarize what the project is visually asking for, what points I should hit in my imagery, with tiny doodles of very rough compositions. My sketchbook is filled with lots of tiny squares and rectangles for attempting to block things in.

Creator Bio

My name is Kim Herbst! I am an illustrator with about 16 years of experience, having artwork published in magazines, album covers, books, newspapers, children’s educational materials, gallery shows, as well as video games. Some clients include Google, National Geographic, and Tor Books. I attended the Maryland Institute College of Art and received a BFA in Illustration, then moved to Brooklyn to discover that there were actually very few jobs in the games industry for me there, so I tossed caution to the wind and managed to snag a job on the West Coast in San Francisco where I work as a Senior Concept Artist and have resided for about 13 years.

You can find my work at or @kiwifruitbird on most socials like Instagram and the App Formerly Known as Twitter ( is the latest too). I’d love to promote The Inn at the Amethyst Lantern by J. Dianne Dotson (Jendia Gammon) as I had the great opportunity to work on the cover, along with The Luminaries by where I illustrated a promotional poster for the first book’s release!

Thank you, Kim, for being a guest!

Write on!