When you walk into Wilde Cigar Lounge in Dallas, Texas, you will see amazing pieces of art adorning the walls. When you get closer to the art, you will discover that they have been crafted out of cigar bands. No seriously. Portraits of Nolan Ryan (oh and this one is signed.) and John Wayne are just a couple examples of the work you can see in the lounge. What is even cooler, the artist actually works there. Her name is Kim Jackson and she has been creating these beautiful, unique pieces since April 2014. I was lucky enough to spend some time with Kim and discuss her artwork and history in the cigar world.
Jean: Kim, such a pleasure to meet you! I love your work.
Kim: Awesome to meet you as well! I really appreciate it!
Jean: What was your first piece?
Kim: The first piece I ever did was a portrait of Shakespeare that I made for a friend’s birthday.
Jean: What is your favorite piece?
Kim: Oh man… it’s really tough to choose a favorite but I would probably have to go with one of my earlier pieces of the Vitruvian Man. One of the most challenging and detailed pieces I’ve done to this day. Definitely gave me a feeling of accomplishment.
Jean: Anything special you are working on?
Kim: I am working with a humidor company to put original pieces on quality, handcrafted table top humidors. May take sometime to figure out what I want to create for that but I’m looking forward to working on it sometime in the near future.
Jean: What drew you to the cigar industry:
Kim: I started smoking cigars in 2001 when I was in college. I was a theater major and I would go to the local cigar shop, The Leaf, to smoke cigars and run lines for the plays we were working on. Since then, I’ve loved the community around cigars and the social aspect of it.
Jean: How long have you been working in cigars:
Kim: I’ve been working in the cigar world for almost 8 years now. Mainly on the bar side of things.
Jean: As we know, being a female in the cigar industry can have its challenges. How has your gender played a role in all of this? Or has it?
Kim: I mean… I’ve experienced a little bit of judgment or unwelcome attention being a female in the industry, but I’ve honestly had a really good experience for the most part. And that’s led to so many amazing friendships that I’ve had for years now. Doesn’t hurt to have a little sass and attitude as well when you’re navigating the cigar world haha!
Jean: I can totally relate with you on that one!
Jean: What inspired you to create with this medium?
Kim: I had a friend, a cigar buddy, whose birthday was approaching and we had been saving cigar bands for a year together. I couldn’t think of what to get him for his birthday so I decided I should be creative with the bands we had collected. And since he’s a big Shakespeare fan that was my inspiration for the first piece. Plus, I love the idea of taking used or old things and making something new out of them.
Jean: Do you work with any other mediums:
Kim: I enjoy drawing with ballpoint pen. Something about not being able to erase it is really exciting to me. And I love sculpting with clay as well.
Jean: Tell me about what you do with Wilde outside of showcasing your talents on the walls:
Kim: I’m the Bar Manager at Wilde. It’s led to a new form of being creative. We have a full craft bar where we create cocktails and make our own mixers and syrups from scratch. We even make our own sweet vermouth and coffee liqueur. It’s a ton of fun getting to work with other people’s creativity.
Jean: What is your favorite cigar:
Kim: Also a very tough question, and definitely depends on my mood but a favorite go-to that I never get tired of is the Nica Rustica from Drew Estate. It’s what I call my “desert island cigar”.
Jean: What do you like to pair your cigar with?
Kim: Surprisingly, I’m not too fancy when it comes to pairings for myself. I love a blended or single malt scotch to pair with cigars but most often lately it’s been just iced tea. I don’t know who’s in this camp with me, but cigars make me very thirsty. Haha! I need something refreshing to go with them.
Jean: Do you take commissions, and if so how do we get in touch with you for this?
Kim: I do take commissions. I would say the BEST way to get in touch is to DM me on Instagram @kjackart. I also have a website www.KJackArt.com but it’s going through a facelift in the next 6 months so I wouldn’t want to overlook anyone’s message.
Jean: Kim, thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions.
Kim: Absolutely! And thank you for inviting me!
If you want a chance to win a print of one of Kim’s outstanding pieces of art, go to the Cigar World IG here and check out our contest!
301 W Hidden Creek Pkwy,
Burleson, TX 76028