KUM Streetwear

Show your Passion

With our KUM streetwear collection, you have the perfect outfit for every occasion.
Whether you’re meeting up with other artists, relaxing or spending long evenings in your creative space. Our hoodies are also perfect for a “campfire session”!

Created in collaboration with artists

The designs are our own creations and come from collaborations with artists.

Sleep peacefully – everything is sustainably produced

The materials used for our shirts and hoodies are organic cotton and recycled polyester.

Kiara Maharaj

@kiaraintheforest

Durban, South Africa

When and why did you start painting?

I started painting as a kid in primary school to show my friends the characters and creatures I created for my written stories. It was a way to visually share my stories, and get other kids interested in reading the adventures I wrote. 

What inspires you?

My brand name “Kiara in the Forest” is a nod to my biggest inspiration: nature. My art is heavily inspired by the comforting yet gloomy aspects of nature such as mushrooms, tombstones, faefolk, dark forests and spirits. I often find this sort of comfort under a canopy of trees. Greenery and vegetation makes me feel immensely creative.

What is your favourite painting technique?

I primarily paint with gouache, and instead of blending colors together, I love taking my time to mix the colors I imagine, and then placing them beside each other to create layers of paint. From afar, the illustration looks seamless and blended, but when a viewer takes a closer look they can appreciate the rough brushstrokes and texture.

What are your experiences with social media?

I am happy to say that I’ve had pleasant experiences on social media as an illustrator. Being able to make content about my work, both educating and entertaining, and inspiring other creative people, has been a huge asset since I’ve decided to become a full-time artist. Through social media I’ve also learned so much from other professionals. 

What is your favourite KUM brush?

My favourite KUM brush is my KUM Faded 0 brush. I often paint very small details in my illustrations, like thin bark lines, mushrooms, and leaves, and this is the perfect brush for all the magical little details!

Imagine you are Aladdin and you have 3 wishes.

The first thing I would wish for is a cosy little cottage or hut in a secluded forest area, surrounded by beautiful views and nature. The second thing I would wish for is a lush library, vegetable garden, and art studio space in this cottage, with all the art supplies and entertainment I’d ever need. And the last thing I’d wish for is to never be disturbed by humans again!