Image Credit: Kev Howard


In 2021 Kim received a Developing Your Creative Practice (DYCP) Grant from Arts Council England. Field Journal will activate her sketchbook, allow her to spend time developing ideas, designing characters and experimenting in animation.

This project starting as 6 pages of a ‘Necronomicon’ book of illustrations for a local short film but she didn’t want to stop there, full of ideas, she’s been adding pages since 2017 between commissions. She now has 109 pages of character illustrations.

This opportunity, allows Kim to focus on her characters, take time to experiment with making armatures, digital animation, creating sequences, character development, stories, direction and self-evaluation.

She has received mentoring from Natalie Scott – Writer and Paul Millar – Rory Studio to explore and develop storytelling and animation skills.

Kim’s an artist, she’s also autistic and experiences pareidolia - she sees faces everywhere which can be very intense for Kim who can experience an immediate connection with and empathy for the character peeping out from the knots in a tree or the marks on a path.

If she sees one when she’s out and about (in a blotch on a pavement, or in the knots on a piece of wood for example) she filters it through her imagination and develops it into a character in her sketchbook. Although detailed, her illustrations don’t aim for hyper realistic “portraits” of the faces she sees, but rather they are a starting point of inspiration.

Kim sometimes struggles to know how to fit in the world so she invents characters and spends time in theirs.

Using hand prints to give the paper texture is a technique she uses to help create

layers and set a character into its environment.

Mark making in this way creates very personal connection. Not only has she seen the characters, part of her is there with them.

Field Journal allows her to hold her characters and meet them proper (in 3D)

The exhibition is about difference and vulnerability. The hybrid and weirdos, the overlooked and discounted become central, taking up space, prints curl off the walls. The trouser press, a tribute to my work in costume becomes a magical printer, artwork pushing out, rebelling and, again taking up space. Not flattened, no frames. Perhaps in the white clinical gallery, rust and imperfection can become beautiful and the unusual can be accepted.

I guess it’s autobiographical. Never feeling like I fit in, using a business name. Suddenly, it’s my own name on the wall and through the characters I am also taking up space. I am in good company with them.

  • Information About the Artist

    Established in 2003 Greener Lavelle is the business name for Freelance Creative Director, illustrator and puppet & costume designer/maker Kim McDermottroe. Kim is most well-known locally for the fantastical creatures she brings to life for the flagship Northern Festivals. Yet Kim’s work is deeply rooted in the real. For Kim, as a child, drawing was a way to get closer to the fascinating world of animals. Naturally Kim was drawn to work with animals but she soon realised that her true passion was in art and the creatures she could capture, create and bring to life on paper and through sculpture. Soon she was creating new worlds of her own and imagining the creatures which could populate these worlds. Kim sees worlds behind our own world which describe our internal landscapes and dreamscapes.


    Kim’s formal education took her to Cleveland College of Art and Design in Hartlepool which was a veritable sandbox of different disciplines, techniques and resources. But it was her Fashion Tutor who recognised her flare for transforming the mundane into something wondrous. She went on to specialise in costume design and construction.


    This degree seeded the creation of Greener Lavelle, for which she won Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2003 and has been going strong for the past 19 years. Greener Lavelle has provided historical and fantastical creations for museums, theatre, carnivals and short film.

    She has worked for museums throughout the UK and her work can be found locally in The Captain Cook Birthplace Museum, Preston Park Museum and parading the streets during Stockton International Riverside Festival. She was also commissioned to produce Captain Cook Costumes for the 1770 Festival in Australia.


    In 2016 Greener Lavelle was selected as one of Small Business Saturday’s Small Biz 100. A national campaign to showcase small businesses, raising their profile and encouraging consumers to shop with independent companies.


    In 2019 Kim was selected as one of the F:entrepreneur #ialso 100. A campaign showcasing 100 female entrepreneurs who multi task in their business.

    Kim is dedicated to sharing her skills and inspiring future generations of designers and creators. She is an accomplished workshop leader and delivers sessions ranging from costume design to constructing large scale structures. She works with people of all ages and abilities in various settings such as schools, colleges, museums and community centres.


    In September 2017 she received a grant from Arts Council England to develop her outdoor carnival work which included having work placement opportunities for 10 students from Cleveland College of Art & Design and working with other artists, musicians, dancers and community groups to create costume and puppets for the Magical Middlesbrough Parade. In addition, she now has a lease on a small studio in Hartlepool and has added to her work that is available to hire.


    Kim’s method and process when responding to a commission is rigorous and client centred. As her background is in drawing, this is where all ideas begin to take root. Drawing is a form of thinking for Kim.

    Her work runs, hoots, flies and climbs straight out of the boundary between the real and the imagined – a menagerie of impossible beings.