Kim Naïa Boggs, aka Kim Kiwi, is a princess of Pinterest. With over 137,000 followers to date, the content of her boards crosses art, cinema, music, fashion; the dark eroticism of sex available on the internet; the charming fascination with modern day fairy tale. Her boards show a woman with a multitude of stories surrounding her, a sort of visual Anais Nin, with Pinterest the vehicle with which she can tell her tales.
Pinterest grabbed me from the get-go. A devotee since its birth several years ago, I’ve watched the rise of the platform with interest. It’s one of the few social media tools – if one can call it that – I use consistently and purely for my own enjoyment.
To collect our own thoughts and creativity visually, as well as having access to the thoughts and desires of other people, is a very exciting privilege. This is a key to the reason Pinterest has become so popular so fast.
As a follower and fan myself of Kim Kiwi, I’ve been curious about who she is. Unlike many bloggers who seem to use their blog as a forum for their own personalities, Kim Kiwi keeps herself behind the scenes. There’s not much about her out there, and yet she has a following that ad agencies would kill for. I hopped on the Google Search Wagon, ferreted out her email, and reached out. She reached back. – Alison W.
KIM KIWI | PRINCESS OF PINTEREST
From your Pinboards, Naïa, which are so personal, I feel like I know you well; but really I don’t know anything about you aside from you’re a young woman and a student living in Paris. Which could actually be wrong!
Who are you, Kim Kiwi?
My name is Naïa and I grew up in Paris.
I went to an art/graphic design/communication school, which I enjoyed a lot; then to an oriental languages school to learn Japanese, but didn’t finish. Really my goal was only to learn a bit more about a culture I admireal, I’ve always been fascinated by the Edo era in particular. We love Japan in my family!
I work as a freelance graphist and illustrator, and as I love visuals and illustrations I’m never bored by it. I also work as a set designer and stylist (mostly on short films), but not as often as I wish! I’m attracted by cinema because you can create a whole world – it allows you to do anything. And I love the energy on a set. Even if it’s exhausting and sometimes tough it doesn’t matter. It’s intense and always a rush and when you like the crew you’re working with, it’s magic!
I just started working for a web magazine but it’s not out yet. I write little articles about places and things I love in Paris. I’m attracted by the advertising world, I love branding and packaging in general. I find the process of creating a visual identity really interesting. I’m creating an Etsy shop now and it’s exciting because that’s part of it. I see packaging and little objects as small treasures – sometimes a simple package with nice little details can be the most beautiful thing. The attention and aesthetic that Japanese people bring to packaging truly is an inspiration for me.
I’m very excited about that Esty shop, I’ve always loved Etsy and one day I thought maybe I could do one too! So I’m doing it! I’m enjoying so much creating a visual identity and deciding what I will create. I was a bit scared by the management part because that’s not really my thing, so I took some courses and now I feel way more prepared. Also I love the idea of being free to do what I want as I want. It’s very pleasant.
I spend my time between my home in Paris and my country house where my parents and grandmother live. My parents have a giant garden with a big vegetable garden and a small forest, and the country all around is beautiful, it is refreshing to go down there. And I like above all lighting fires in the fireplace!
When did you start pinning?
I started pinning approximately a year ago…
You have over 135,000 followers now. You have a Tumblr blog, but it seems to me your following really comes from Pinterest. Is that correct?
I think that people following me are coming from Pinterest, yes. I don’t know how to answer because I really have no clue why they follow me. I don’t feel like I’ve done anything in particular.
With a lot of bloggers it feels like they are posting about themselves – it’s very self-oriented. With you, it seems like we’re seeing your observations about the world, almost seeing the world with your eyes. Is this lack of personal information about you deliberate on your part?
Yes it’s a choice. I use Pinterest like an extension of my computer, I put everything I love in it, like I would do on my computer and so I don’t feel the need to talk about me. I use it like a pictures library. And also I’m a bit shy…
Your boards run the gamut, from high art and design to fashion and pop culture. What inspires you to create each board and maintain your image choices so that they keep the same thread?
Mmh…Well, I think of all the things I love and have interests in, and create boards in consequences, like everybody does I guess! And then with time, I notice and discover that I love something in particular and so I create a new board just for that!
For example, I realized that I love pictures of people from behind so once I had collected enough of them I decided to create a board that I called – This Is Your Back – !
Or sometimes, other people’s boards will inspire me to create a board that I would never have thought of.
Can you tell me a bit about The adventures of the fearless Mr Sans-Peur? I love how you and Alan Williams from Imaginary Forces are using the Pinterest platform for something different. How did you two come together and how did the idea arise?
Ha well, Alan posted a video on Pinterest, a French ad for a tv channel that I love, with a bear as a movie director where the background is a movie set. So I told Alan why they took a bear as a movie director because I thought he was the kind of guy that might like to know why! You can see the ad here. And that’s how we started to talk and then it never stopped. Alan is like the brother I never had and always wished for – the best brother ever! He truly is important in my life now and I’m so happy and glad to know him. Hi Lil’ Whoot, if you read this I love you! Haha!
The idea arose from Alan’s and my love for all things wild. We found ourselves pinning very similar images of snowy mountains, canoeing adventures, and untamed jungles, and began commenting about the mystery man in these photos. Really, it became a fun place for us to write out our fantasies of escaping Paris, for me, and NYC, for Alan, and living vicariously though this wild explorer, Mr. Sans-Peur.
Many of your boards and image choices have a dark and erotic take, for example My Dark Little Box and Mrs. Meow Treats. Can you talk a bit about your interest in the dark side?
My interest in the dark side…I don’t really know, I think I like the mystery of it, the aesthetic of dark things, as if you see something deeper, under the surface…
By doing that Little Dark Box board, I explore and discover more and more this dark part of me. And as dark as it is it’s becoming more clear! I just love the mood of those pictures, it makes me think of stories and movies, and my imagination runs away anytime I see those kind of pictures.
I would love to have magic glasses that would make me see the world in black and white like old movies, ho how I would love that!
I remember the first time I saw Beetlejuice when I was kid and how much I would have loved to be Lydia. And when I was watching the Addams Family show on tv and how I was fascinated by them and dreaming to live with them! I guess it never left me. I still like to think I could be Wednesday’s cousin or Lydia’s best friend!
And on a more graphic and artistic level, I find black and white extremely appealing, and even more with a twist of blur and grain. Something dreamy but not scary. I don’t see all those pictures as sad or grave, I just find them beautiful and attractive, very attractive.
I’m completely fascinated and in love with Francesca Woodman’s work. And I feel almost connected to her through her work as if I was feeling her just by looking at her pictures. Of course, I don’t wish an end like hers, but her journey and her work are completely talking to me.
As for the Mrs Meow board, ho well! I guess I’m naughty! I might not do or wear or behave as in all those pictures but actually it’s a good way to explore my own desires, so I think it’s healthy and sexy to express it this way. It’s making my imagination work a lot!
Where are your favorite sources of inspiration online and off?
On internet, so many websites, it’s hard to choose…
So I would say randomly :
And what inspires me in real life, I must say everything and anything. I love to observe what’s happening around me, places, people, clouds, everything can become beautiful and interesting! Everything is a good excuse for me to imagine a movie that could be based on what I see.