March is women’s history month, and with March 8 being International Women’s Day, we’re taking this week to celebrate THE LADIES with our very own #wcw, woman crush week. Each day we’ll feature a dynamic and inspiring woman who is positively impacting the creative world. We’re kicking it off with Kimi Recor, the artist behind the mesmerizing LA-based band Draemings. It’s impossible not to get pulled in by her enigmatic aesthetic and artistry, so let go and let yourself get lost in her endless inspiration.
Tell us about your style. Has it always been pretty consistent, or has it been more of an evolution over time?
My style has definitely evolved over time. I’m always inspired by new things and feeling like I want to express myself in different ways. I definitely think that I’m solidifying myself more as I get older. I spent my late teens and early twenties really exploring a lot of different identities, and I finally feel like I’ve kind-of found the things I truly connect to.
Do you approach decorating your living space in a similar way?
I realized that my living space needs to basically be an inspiration chamber. I could spend hours looking at eclectic, dark, weirdo artist homes that are filled to the brim with random treasures. Colored glass vials, black candles, dried flowers, dark walls, gold frames, crystals, books upon books upon books, framed vintage botanical drawings, vintage brass bowls filled with burned sage, plants hanging from every nook and cranny, those are a few of my favorite things.
When do you remember first being interested in aesthetics? Noticing the way things around you (clothing, architecture, interiors) looked and determining how it made you feel?
When I was younger, I didn’t care about aesthetics. I just wanted to be wild, naked, and running free through the forests outside. I think I related more to my animal self than to my “civilized self”. Once I became a teenager, I realized that personal aesthetic was a great way to “wave my flag”. I was really interested in punk-rock and counterculture, and I liked expressing my love for those things by dressing like a weirdo.
In terms of living spaces, I’ve always liked creating sacred spaces for myself. When I was much younger, I was very chaotic, and my room was always this womb I could crawl back into when I had exhausted myself and needed a time-out from the real world.
I love the way you play with the masculine and the feminine. In what ways do you find androgyny to be particularly powerful?
The older I get, the less I want to associate myself with the constructs of gender. I’ve always felt a bit alien, and I think the last few years have really been about expressing that through my style. Androgyny is powerful to me because it allows me to truly walk down the middle. Clothes become more of a costume rather than a gender-signifier. It lets me be comfortable in my skin. For me, femininity and masculinity are powers, not looks and I think it’s healthy for people to explore both.
I’ve read a lot about David Bowie and his magician’s approach to music. Do you believe in magic (real magic?)? And how do you let this influence your creative process?
I 100% believe in magic and use it every moment in my life. Like every other 13 year old girl, I watched The Craft, and became a baby witch. But as I got older, I started reading more about REAL magic, the kind that happens in the world. There’s this amazing graphic novel, The Invisibles, that I read when I was just out of high school and the author, Grant Morrison talks a lot about chaos magic and sigils, and it just made me look at the whole world in a different way.
I think artists and art ARE magic. You are putting your powers into something that so many people will focus on and dream about. Especially as a musician you are creating a soundtrack that some people will always have playing in their ears. It’s so powerful, and it makes me want to be very precise about what I write about and what I put into the world.
As with many creative professions and especially music, the highs are high and the lows can be very low. Do you see this as just “part of the job” or do you let the roller-coaster serve as inspiration?
I think a little bit of both. I’d be lying if I said that the lows weren’t extremely hard to deal with. As someone with clinical depression, the downward spiral of a low-period can render me almost catatonic. Sometimes it can serve as inspiration, but often it just pulls you under and all you can do is try to ride it out. The self-doubt and rejection you have to deal with as an artist is insurmountable. But it’s a choice you make because if you can make it through the dark times, you get to make music, you get to be an artist, you get to create and there’s nothing that’s better than that.
There’s obviously a lot happening in our world right now, and especially in our country. A lot of artists have been making subversive political statements with their work. Do you think this is more optional or essential?
I’ve never considered my music political. I’ve always been more introverted / self- documenting when it comes to writing songs. But with this heavy shift that has occurred, more and more of my songs are turning towards political themes. Politically, I feel like my particular voice hasn’t been heard for a long time and I know I’m not the only one.
We have this whole generation of young people who are being led by the old guard. I can feel the unrest. I think it’s ESSENTIAL that people let their voices be heard, in whatever medium that may be. For me it’s through music and writing. I think the greatest art/music movements have started because people were fed up with how the system treated them. Art and music give a voice to those who need it the most.
Answer these, quick!
One item you can’t live without: Cat
If you could join any band (past or present) it would be: Depeche Mode
Current favorite book: The Sandman Omnibus Book or The Invisibles or The Mists of Avalon