Kim A. Tolman
Originally from the rural North Sea coast of Germany about an hour northwest of Bremen, Kim set aside her original trade to attend art and design college in Oldenburg. Kim had completed training and apprenticeship to be a journeyman carpenter/furniture maker but soon realized that woodworking was a stepping stone, not a final destination.
Kim worked her way through art school tending bar until the early A.M., and then after a couple of hours of sleep, driving an hour to attend class in Oldenburg. While often butting heads with the instructors and their rigid adherence to the "rules of art," Kim developed her own style of colorful expressive abstract work.
While immersed in the local music scene, which centered around a club that brought touring U.S. and other international alternative, punk, and grunge bands to the small city of Wilhelmshaven, Kim continued to paint and develop her art.
After a brief foray as a restauranteur and chef at her own art cafe in a nearby seaside tourist town, a chance visit to Cologne brought an opportunity to leave small-town life behind and make the move nearly 400 km south.
Along with the widened perspective, Cologne brought Kim her first big city exhibitions and press. She also started working in theatre and was soon designing sets and costumes for Opera Mobile and other productions. She also tried her hand on-screen, garnering bit parts and extra work on films and television.
In the late 90s, she met her future husband, American musician Russ Tolman. Joining Tolman in San Francisco in 2001, Kim started her career as a scenic designer in earnest, designing nearly 200 theatre productions in the Bay Area in her ten-year period there, along the way joining the United Scenic Artists, Local 829/IATSE.
In the twenty-plus years since Kim A. Tolman relocated to California from her native Germany, she has amassed an impressive portfolio in theatre, film/TV/commercials, and themed entertainment.
Kim has gathered several regional awards for her theatre scenic designs and worked with some of the biggest names in themed entertainment including Walt Disney Imagineering, NBC Universal,
and Universal Studios Japan.
Her television ad work has included clients such as McDonald's, DreamWorks, Pepsi Cola, and L'Oreal.
Kim has been a fine art painter since her teens with exhibits in both Europe and the U.S. She prefers large format and her abstract, expressive work emphasizes texture and color.
Her talents also extend to commercial and residential interior design, including custom pattern design for wallpaper, fabric and other products.
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