Karen Kimmel and James Bond are a couple of creative powerhouses. Kimmel is a multi-disciplinary artist who also consults for a slew of major brands, while Bond is the founder of cult streetwear line Undefeated. They share their mid-century abode in Los Feliz with their two children and a veritable gallery of contemporary art.

Karen, you work with an incredibly diverse range of mediums. How do you describe what you do?
Karen: People are comfortable with categories because it makes it easy to define things, but as an artist, I like playing in a lot of different forums. I like to be open, but drawing is where things start – where ideas begin. Visual stuff has always been my way of seeing the world. It’s been my mechanism to learn about things.

How do you spend your studio time?
Karen: I’m a bit anally-retentive and precise, and that serves me in a lot of ways, but it can be a deterrent sometimes. I tend to start with organising my thoughts in the studio, and then start with drawing. Then I’ll start cutting or moving shapes, and then I’ll put larger ideas or concepts together.

For years you’ve executed experiences that you call ‘social sculptures’. Why is working with the community so important to you?
Karen: The social sculptures were very peculiar when I started them. I’d set a stage and a controlled system and then people brought it to life. Incidentally, that’s what corporations want to do now. They want to set a stage. They want to create an experience and then they want their consumers to bring it to life. It’s very strange that my creative practice ended up informing my ability to work in a corporate setting. Art needs to service the community – that’s part of its duty. Our community is in dire need of enormous energy and creative thinking and alternative ways of dealing with what’s happening, and artists can be ambassadors for those ideas.

You’re both great ‘brand builders’. Undefeated just celebrated its fifteenth anniversary.
How do you account for that longevity, James?
James: If you’re authentic and stand for something, it’s timeless. Undefeated means a lot of different things for a lot of different people. For some people, when they get out of bed in the morning, it’s having another day with their feet on the ground. For people who have exceeded their expectations in life, every day is the cream of the crop. For those battling through personal or physical issues, it’s the thing they need to get moving. It’s not just “I won today,” it’s that, “I lived another honest day. I get to breathe another day.”

How has living in Los Angeles influenced your work?
James: Undefeated is based on a California lifestyle. L.A. is the wild west. It’s still uncharted waters. If you come out here with an East Coast mentality, you’re going to have some issues acclimating.

How has parenthood influenced your work?
Karen: I’m still growing up. Having children changes you and the way you think about things forever. Motherhood is an ongoing process and there’s no way that it wouldn’t impact how I see the world and how I make things. I feel more accountable to my community and to my kids. They’re my responsibility.

What kind of music is typically playing in your house?
James: It really depends – it could be Pandora playing the D’Angelo station, or Donald Fagen. I like old soul and R&B. I grew up in Philadelphia, so that Philadelphia sound is what we’re all used to. I try to push that into the mix. Lately at night, we’ve been playing the Gil Scott-Heron radio station or Chet Baker, just something super mellow. But it’s usually a battle between what the kids are listening to and what we want to listen to.

Karen: James and I are pretty aligned in our musical tastes. I love old school hip hop, like A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul, but I also listen to what my daughter plays. I don’t think I ever would have listened to Chance the Rapper on my own! It keeps me young, and I get to know what she’s into. It’s something we can share together.

You have Sonos connected through every room. How do you find the music moves throughout the house?
Karen: We usually have different pods of music going on, especially when the kids are doing homework. It’s not like our generation where you had subwoofers and big set ups – now it’s so refined with these intimate systems. Everybody can have their private moment and then come together as a family.

You moved here in 2001. What were you thinking about in the redesign of the space?
Karen: We wanted to make a space that was incredibly usable. I didn’t want to have any rooms that were precious and only for special occasions. We wanted it to be comfortable so that people could gather. School is super intense for kids and work can be consuming. You want to come home and just feel like, “Wow! It’s so good to be here.”

What’s a typical night in your home?
James: A bunch of different meals for everybody and then everyone’s either off coming down from their day, or clustered up in someone’s room laughing. Everyone’s got a pretty hectic schedule, even the kids between sports and school. We choose one person to pick on each evening to lighten the mood. Share the love.

With all the different ways to access sound nowadays, do you listen to music differently than you used to?
James: I used to listen to CDs on a carousel, but now we use a lot of Pandora or Spotify playlists. It takes away the guesswork, and every once in a while you get turned on to an artist that you wouldn’t know. We also use MixCloud, and I’ll put in like ‘stoner rock’, ‘desert rock’, or ‘doom metal’. It’s just ambient noise to me, but it bugs the kids out sometimes.

Today the most luxurious thing about technology is how it fades into the background. Your kids both know how to operate Sonos and take it into their rooms and customise it.
Karen: Ironically, I sometimes ask my children for help. They’re so savvy. They’ve been brought up with technology and it’s so graceful how seamlessly they integrate it into their lives.

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