Kim Michelle Toft
Silk Artist | Author | Illustrator
By nurturing nature , art and education, I believe we can make real change with positive outcomes for the environment.” Kim Michelle Toft has been drawing since the age of 4 and grew up in the suburban streets of Brisbane, Australia. As an only child she would spend hours drawing and creating her cartoon characters like her hero at the time, Walt Disney. Her Mum would buy her a precious ‘golden’ book once a month and over the years Kim built up quite a large collection of cherished picture books, which she shared with her daughter and still has today.
Her artistic ability was recognised and applauded throughout her school and her teacher’s college years, where she majored in art and ran the school magazine.
During her college years she also discovered the relatively untouched beauty of Far North QLD and The Great Barrier Reef. After 5 years teaching in North Queensland and 4 years working as a graphic designer in Adelaide, South Australia, she moved to Byron Bay, Northern NSW in 1998 and was introduced to silk as a medium.
Exhibition highlights include selling a painting to Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall at the Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas, where she has had 12 solo exhibitions 1993 – 2004. She was selected to be the featured artist at The Maui Marine Art Expo, Hawaii 1995 and was artist in residence with a solo exhibition at The Bateman Foundation, Victoria, Canada 2019.
Meeting Robert Bateman was one of the highlights of her career.
Kim is also an exhibiting member of the prestigious organisation Artists For Conservation based in Vancouver, Canada.
Her greatest achievement however was the birth of her daughter, Casey Elle, in 1992 and that is when Kim became serious about her direction as an artist, author and conservationist. She started writing and illustrating her multi award winning environmental children’s books.
In 2005 she started her own publishing company , Silkim Books , which has received several awards for excellence.
Kim travels extensively presenting at schools and festivals throughout Australia and Asia promoting her books and their environmental message.
In 2018 she presented at the famous Ubud Writers Festival in Bali and is planning to present a series of lectures in Canada,
where her daughter Casey now lives.
In 2018 , Kim won an Australia Day Award for Arts and Culture.
Kim also presents free art lessons for kids LIVE on her FB business page
Kim Michelle Toft – Artist.
She has her own gallery, Sea Silks Gallery, on the picturesque Richmond River, at the entrance of the Ramada Ballina, Northern NSW , Australia , where she recently installed a 10m x 4m mural,
My Ocean Home on the side of the building.
Kim regularly runs silk painting workshops from her gallery and is currently working on a new book and producing a video and tutorial on How To Paint on Silk. “I have a wonderful life. I am surrounded by nature’s beauty and I am free to do my art, writing and travelling. I also have the unconditional love of my daughter and a whole lot of lifelong friends to support me.”
Kim currently lives in an old beach house overlooking Shelly Beach and the Pacific Ocean, on the east coast of Australia.