Classically trained painter Kim David has had a 30-year career as a professional scenic artist ─ the last 10 of which she’s used her skills on sets in the Georgia film industry.
“I moved to Atlanta in 2012 for the film industry because I knew it was booming,” says Kim, Set Dec Paint Lead and Scenic Artist. “Once I got my foot in the door, I’ve had extremely steady work. In fact, it’s hard to get any time off. It’s a good problem to have!”
Kim runs a team of artists who use artistic techniques to create faux finishes such as marbleizing, wood graining and antiquing of metal finishes on set decor.
On Disney’s “Haunted Mansion,” the set dec crew created a cobweb-filled Victorian setting. Kim and her team spent weeks getting the sculptures, furniture, and light fixtures to look both ancient and spooky using artistic tricks.
Kim learned these techniques during her early career working in scenic studios in cities across the country. While in Florida, she worked as a designer, painter, and sculptor for theme parks like Disney, Six Flags and Busch Gardens. In Chicago, she specialized in huge backdrops 70 feet wide and 30 feet high for places like the Washington National Opera. In Philadelphia, Kim painted murals for interior designers.
“My background as a classically trained painter gave me an edge in the Georgia film industry and the work has been tremendous,” says Kim. “The work is interesting, artistically challenging and it’s helped my husband and I buy a new house on three acres of land — a dream come true.”
Kim and her husband, also an artist, use their skills to create and sell vintage pieces at a booth called Flippy Floppy located in Decatur’s Kudzu Antiques, a hot spot for set dec buyers to spend large budgets on purchasing vintage and period furniture and accessories.
Kim’s work can be seen in many film and TV productions including “The Color Purple,” “Black Adam,” “Red Notice,” and “Stranger Things.”