Meet Kate Maleki
Meet Kate Maleki, the Maker behind kd maleki
She/They are a nonbinary artist living and working in Long Beach. She is passionate about making fat positive, queer positive art. Drawing is her go-to technique, but she loves to experiment and is open to most anything one could consider art. She loves getting inspiration from her hometown and is so proud to be the artist for Long Beach Creamery.
Read her/their story below
What inspired you to start your creative enterprise?
I think the thing that got my creative enterprise started was the urge to draw, the love and support of those around me, and some good luck. By doodling at work, I got the opportunity to draw ice cream labels for the Long Beach Creamery. By making friends, I’ve been able to find collaborators and opportunities for projects. And most of all, I was blessed with a loving family who is very supportive of me. I appreciate every single person who’s ever looked at my art and enjoyed it, and especially the ones willing to pay for it because they definitely give me the confidence to keep creating not just for the joy of it but to support myself through what I love.
“...my advice is, to poke your head out of your shell and try to make connections with all the other turtles. You’re most likely going to find some really cool friends.”
Describe your perfect day out and about locally.
One of my favorite outdoor spots is the bluff. I really enjoy meeting friends there to throw down a picnic blanket and have silly conversations. I also love the El Dorado Nature Center. Since I was a baby, I’ve been going there to see the turtles and be with trees. A mural I love is the one painted on the Dolly Varden hotel, if you’re ever downtown it’s a must view. Some other great spots: the Merchant for coffee and pastries, the Long Beach Creamery (duh), and a really good spot by CSULB called Uncle Fung’s Borneo Eatery. Also, Joliza’s in Wrigley is very yummy and I always recommend them.
Describe your day at home or in your workspace?
My workspace is also my bedroom. I’m most certainly a little on the messy side - maybe we’ll call it cluttered chic. In addition to drawing ice cream labels and postcards, I like to create animations. Usually that’s a team effort, and it's simultaneously the most tedious and exciting team sport I’ve found. After I graduate this semester, I plan on creating a fun, stop-motion animation with puppets that I fabricate.
“My sister is usually nearby making me laugh or playing with the dog in a distracting fashion. I spend all my school and homework hours, as well as some of my life hours, in my desk chair & through quarantine the two of us have grown really close.”
What holds more value for you: creativity or knowledge?
I do not believe formal training in my field is necessary at all. I think creativity is an inherent human trait. I have seen extremely talented artists with no degree, or a degree in something random. Success seems to be way more about focus, practice, and finding joy in it. Finding a community of people with the same enthusiasm for sketchbooks and colors and making stuff was the best part of school, and I spent way too much of my time in college quietly working.
“I think that higher education is an expensive scam in a lot of ways, but I will always cherish the people I got scammed with.”
If you could move to any other place in this or any universe where would you go?
If I could move to any place at all it would have to be one of my own creation. A mythical little town near a sparkling body of water where all the cottages are occupied by my favorite people and new friends waiting to be met. In this reality, we would have community festivals and gardens everywhere and live in harmony with the forest spirits. Everyone looks out for everyone else. The biggest threat facing this place would be the sentient yogurt overlords plotting the demise of this grotesquely idealistic world, but they're pretty delicious when defeated with the locally grown berries and granola. Why not?