Meet Kim Adlerman - an artist of many dimensions and much joy


Thumbnail image for KAdlerman.jpegArtist and illustrator Kim Adlerman may be familiar to many of you due to her children's books and her warm-hearted willingness to share them (and her love of creating) with our kids in school, at the library, and the Raconteur - to name just a few.  But Kim's body of work goes far beyond what you may recognize from the pages of those lovely books.  Be sure to find her at What's The Scoop this evening, where you will see her quick smile and good humor are as inviting as her talent and the lovely work she shows. 


We spoke with Kim to learn more about the many dimensions of her craft:  

What is your medium?  If you work in more than one, do you have a favorite and if so, why?

I describe my artwork as three-dimensional mixed-media. I usually use a variety of things. I start with a watercolor base plate. I then apply varying layers of painted figures or animals in conjunction with leaves, dried flowers, stones, fabrics, feathers, etc....and lots of glue!


My last book, Oh No, Domino!, was not done in this style. Due to the simplicity of the story, I chose to just use watercolors for a brighter, more accessible style.


I prefer to use the three-dimensional style because I love to experiment with different things. For example, the next book which I will be working on will be set in the city so instead of using a lot of natural objects, I'll be experimenting with various materials to portray city scenes.


How long have you been an artist?  What inspired your interest/how did you get started?

I've been an artist for as long as I can remember, maybe three years-old! I've always loved to draw and paint. I think because I was always fairly good at art, I got encouragement from other students, as well as my parents. The more I did it, the better I got.


Where have studied) and do you have any mentors?

I actually went to college for graphic design. I did have to take many art classes, which I loved. I don't have any mentors to speak of. I wish I did, it would have helped!


I know you are a successful illustrator. How did that come about?  Are you working on anything in particular now?

As I mentioned, I went to school for graphic design at the University of Buffalo. After college, I moved to Jersey City and started free-lancing at Atheneum Books for Children as a designer/paste-up artist. I eventually got a full-time position. This is where I met Danny, my partner in crime. After we got married, we decided to try writing and illustrating ourselves. Our first book, It's Raining, It's Pouring did really well and we had such fun with it that we kept going.


Right now, I'm working on a game! This is new territory for Danny and me so we'll see what happens with it. It will hopefully be out early 2010. While the game is in production, I'll start work on the art for The Cats of New Bop City which was written by Danny. I'm excited about this, but also a little nervous--it's outside my comfort zone.


I'm also running a couple of art classes with fellow artist Wendi Cohen, as well as a word game program with Metuchen Recreation over the summer. I've considered doing art classes out of my home during the school year as well, if there were interest.


Danny and I also make appearances regularly at various venues. We will, for example, be appearing at the Metuchen Library on August 6th.


Where do you show your work (generally and for Junebug)?  Do you ever enter juried shows? 

My work is shown throughout NJ in galleries, libraries, restaurants, and other businesses. The Provident Bank on Rt. 27 has shown my work for several years. They have been very supportive of the arts in general and me in particular. They are a good bunch of people, too! 


For Junebug, my work is shown at What's the Scoop? (speaking of businesses supportive of the arts!) I was also one of the artists selected to open the Rotunda Gallery at Borough Hall. I will probably bring a piece or two to the kids event for the last night of Junebug.


I've never entered juried art shows, although I've judged them before!


Do you ever sell pieces?  If anyone is interested in purchasing your work, how would they go about purchasing?

I do sell my work. I charge rather a lot for the art that comes from my books. I suppose because I don't really want to sell them. I have actually done commissioned work on occasion. A few years ago, a teacher loved the elephant piece from Africa Calling but couldn't afford it. I did a similar piece for much less money and we were both happy!


If anyone were interested in purchasing my artwork, they can just get in touch with me. My website is: My email address is:


What is your inspiration? 

Inspiration is everywhere. Usually it just happens. It may be something random, and it's generally unexpected. The idea for the aforementioned game came from a dream that I had!


Tell us about your family and how long you've lived in Metuchen.  What brought you here?

I'm married to Danny, who is my creative and life's partner, as well as my best friend. We've got three great kids who can also be inspirational in many ways. As of June 24, Rachelle is a senior, Josh is a sophomore, and Maxx is in 5th grade.


We've lived in Metuchen for 16 years. After Rachelle started walking, we decided to get out of the city and find a house. We wanted to live in a small town with good schools. Once we found Metuchen, we knew it was perfect for us. It's like a secret-it's great!


What can you say about Junebug?

Junebug is fab! It's a lot of work, but it's great for the businesses AND for artists of all kinds to get out show their work and talents. It's also wonderful to see the streets abuzz with excitement. I feel very fortunate to live in a place with so many nice, caring, and talented people!


Anything else you might like to add?

Thank you for providing a venue for people like me. Metuchen Matters has been a welcome addition to this town! Thank you again.


Thank you Kim, for sharing your talent with us and helping to make art in Metuchen so enriching and such fun.


Be sure to also catch Danny Adlerman hosting open mic at Brewed Awakening tonight from 7:00 - 10:00. 


We first met Kim and Danny at a book signing at the JCC/YMCA about 4 years ago. We have since bought all of their books and think they are really unique in their presentation of the story, their style / formatting -- especially "Africa Calling" with the mysterious little boy who is hidden in the some of pages. And I LOVE Kim's piece at Borough Hall!



Another super article spotlighting our artists! But one point to be aware of...Kim will be the artist leading the interactive activity this evening, June 24, outside of Borough Hall. So not at The Scoop tonight, but Borough Hall!

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