Kia Hinton née Herman is the creative mind behind Black Gryphon Designs. Her vision and unbridled creativity have taken her to her current path as a Production Designer for a myriad of internet videos and short films this past year. For example she has done a lot of work with Player Piano, for which she and Megan Burns were nominated for an IAWTV award. Her Etsy Store features some of her best leather work to date. And when she’s not working on some NDA protected project her Instagram is full of glorious shots of in progress and finished works. She also has done a great deal of costume and prop design for her local Larping communities.
I first met Kia almost five years ago. I was new to the SoCal Larp community and had no idea that I would find myself surrounded by the enchanting and detailed work that she and so many others put into everything they touched as part of that community. She was a beaming and boisterous and her work has inspired me from the day I met her. From thrifty but impressive Greek inspired costumes, leather wallets and belt pouches, immaculately designed corsets and armor, to fantastical pianos, I doubt there is a thing that she cannot make if she can hold the idea in her mind.
Kia’s dauntless acquisition of new skills and driven pursuit of professional recognition has been as deeply inspiring as her work itself. While the physical things she makes inspire new and varied ideas to form around them, her passion and drive and courage daily inspire me to push my edge. Creation isn’t just a thing to be relegated to hobbies, while you “get a real job.” Her work and career has shown me that there is as much legitimacy to the things I love doing as there is in any other career. And It’s not just one that you have to have 100% of the right contacts right when you start. Contacts, just like the skills and vision that drive creating, are just another thing that has to be developed along the way too.
That’s enough gushing, here’s some of my favorite photos of Kia’s work. And if you like what you see, find more of her work and give her some follows on whatever platform you use, her homepage, shop, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.