If you’re ever taking a walk through Norfolk, you might see Kimberly Munn lost in thought while walking her 10-year-old pug, Petunia. What you would see is a woman walking her dog, but what you don’t know is that a masterpiece is being formulated at that very moment.
Kimberly started Maple and Belmont, a Norfolk-based design studio that specializes in hand lettering. From pins to prints, her work is uniquely crafted. Kimberly embodies what she calls “appropriately awkward” in her life and her work – enthusiastic pride in her own charming quirk.
Her shop is organized into three components. The first two are product lines that she designs and screen prints herself and workshops where she teaches techniques like hand lettering, watercolor, and chalk lettering. Commissions are the third component, and they have given Kimberly the opportunity to do large chalk walls and logo design for companies.
Her range as an artist was developed throughout her life. Raised in Newport News, Kimberly was born to parents who both had Masters Degrees in Fine Arts. They told her that if she was going to be an artist, she needed something to offshoot her into a position where she’d be successful. Under their guidance, she majored in Business Management and minored in Graphic Design.
Once graduated, she found herself in a job that wasn’t going anywhere – until she met Mr. Boddington’s Studio in New York City. With a specialty in wedding invitations and a whimsical essence, Mr. Boddington’s Studio sparked the passion that Kimberly now has for hand-drawn type, and it gave her the experience needed to carry out the vision of Maple & Belmont. When Kimberley does something out, she is in it for the long run.
She will sit with a quote for as long as it takes until the words take shape in her mind and she knows exactly how she wants it to look. When she is working with a student in a workshop, she will continue investing her time into them long past the workshop. For example, she kindly allows them to contact her after the workshop if they need help on a piece. When she is commissioned to draw a quote, she takes it to heart and implements them in her life, making each work a lasting memory for herself.
Her inspiration comes from what is around her. Anything from words said by a relative, to a different environment while walking her dog.
“I think creative brains are always on, they’re always working. I think they’re fixing puzzles in the back of your brain and then it’s like the rubix cube. Click! Ok, that’s it! Go!”
Keep updated with Maple and Belmont and keep an eye out for workshops coming in the future!