They say that clothes make the man (or woman). For Cindy Kinash, it’s the woman who makes the clothes.
Kinash, 27, is the artist behind some of the designs on T-shirts, tank tops, sweaters, snowboards and skate decks in Vancouver board shops. Hers is a case of a young woman following her dream to be an artist. It’s a dream that took her from her small town home of St. Paul, in northeast Alberta, to Vancouver a few years ago.
Kinash said she always knew she wanted to be an artist, and when she moved to Vancouver after graduating from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, she simultaneously got jobs in Maple Ridge with a screen print production company, and in Vancouver for desktop publishing.
She decided to pursue the former, and got her first contract apparel design job with snowboard clothing company, Nomis Design. From there she’s been building her portfolio with companies like LTD Snowboards and Westbeach, and has several more contracts lined up for 2007.
“I’d like to get good contract work and be able to move into a studio and have a showroom,” said Kinash, who also paints.
The hardest part of what she does, she said, is coming up with the initial designs and presenting them to clients.
“Sometimes it’s hard making (designs) how they envisioned it. You’re not doing it for yourself, and you want to please.”
She said it’s also challenging keeping styles consistent to a company’s clothing line.
“Everybody has their own style and at the beginning of the project you have to recognize (the company’s) own style. You have to be innovative and yet stay within that style.”
She is now working on some concepts for clothing company David and Goliath, writing and designing pun T-shirts, which will come out this fall.
“I don’t know if I have a signature style. But I like designing little characters,” she said, quickly sketching out a few little figures — childlike drawings with a sort of sinister yet whimsical twist, which she incorporates in her designs.
“I definitely like working for myself and working from home,” she said. “And I always get to do something different.”
For more information on Kinash’s work, visit www.cultivatedmindart.com.