Latina filmmaker Kim Hoyos was supposed to move to Los Angeles. So being in her childhood home in northern New Jersey was a stopover — where she slept and ate between trains to and from Manhattan, where she was growing her career. And then the pandemic hit — and she found herself living in her old bedroom, day in and day out.
Plans change, says Hoyos. "I wasn't interested in investing so much into this space," she explains. "I thought, in August, I'm out. I can't buy more things." But with the coronavirus flaring up on the West Coast and the wildfires raging across California, she decided to wait — and to reimagine a space so familiar. "I felt inspired to make my room reflect more of my interests now," she says. "I'm recharging and working on myself. I'm figuring out other ways to push forward in my life."
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HUNKER: Where is that space, or spot, in your home that is uniquely your own … where you feel your most you?
KH: My bedroom as a whole — my desk, bed, and then, otherwise, some art and some book arrangement to inspire me around the room. I'm very big on self care, especially as an artist. I've worked corporate jobs that burnt me out. I've worked passion projects that burnt me out. I try to keep in reach things that are calming or soothing.
HUNKER: And what do you do there?
KH: It's where I am working on my small business, The Light Leaks, for female and gender non-conforming filmmakers. It's a lot of Zoom meetings and making sure my Zoom background is calming, relaxing, with a bit of a personality. I'm also working on creative projects and screenwriting endeavors. I would say, it's both a business and creative art space — both sides of the brain are going on.
HUNKER: Why does this particular space have meaning for you?
KH: It's seen a lot of change, when I think of it. I've lived in the same apartment complex my whole life, although we did change apartments about 12 years ago. So, I'm in the same room I had when I was 13, when I was 18. I like to think how I've decorated it — you know, chalkboard walls with song quotes and band posters. This room has always been a reflection of how I am. There's no age attached to it.
HUNKER: What is something you like to do in that space that might surprise people?
KH: I'm very open online, and I'm also never really embarrassed. Right now, I'm bingeing Gilmore Girls. Maybe people have things to say about that.
HUNKER: What do you like to surround yourself with in this space? And why is it important?
KH: When I wake up I don't want to see anything jarring. I want to wake up and be in a relaxing space and feel really safe. I want everything in my eye line to be soothing and relaxed.
HUNKER: What are three things in your home that hold the most value to you? (Excluding people or creatures, because of course!)
KH: One, I would say, is my laptop — because it's my space of creation, recreation, information, and connection with friends.
I would also say my vision board. It's interesting, my vision board is from 2020. I made it in January, when we didn't know how the world was going. I held a vision board event for my company and it was such a hopeful, meaningful night. Midway through quarantine, I was so frustrated about not being able to move to LA, I had to move it out of my line of view. I was seeing all the things I wasn't doing. For some reason now, when I look at the goals — like change jobs — specific things on there did happen, just in different ways.
The third thing — it's frivolous — it's my Ava DuVernay Funko Pop! I bought it a couple months ago. It's cute as a desk accessory. But I also think that Ava DuVernay is a model of how a black visionary, or a personal of color, could really be in Hollywood. As a creator, it's so incredible. She's built her brand, her name, while building authentic stories, mixing in documentary with fiction with Disney, figuring out her lens and creating art that's impactful.
HUNKER: Finish this sentence, "Home is where …"
KH: I rest and create.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Being Home is a series that focuses on spaces in people's homes that genuinely reflect who they are — a dedicated spot where they go to recharge or to "tune in" — where they feel their most creative, safe, joyful, or true. Where they settle into the act of "be-ing."