We had the good fortune of connecting with Aaron Kim and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Aaron, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk drives progress. It’s simply a part of the job as an artist, whether a potentially career-changing business decision or a creative leap in a personal project. Big or small, successful or otherwise, these challenges we face on a near-daily basis open new pathways and push us in all sorts of directions. I’m a strong advocate of the saying “if you want something you’ve never had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done.” Not that long ago, I made (what I believe to be) one of the most important decisions I’ve ever faced: I withdrew my admission to art school to pursue a very different future as an athlete. I ultimately forewent a position of security as an aspiring artist to live out a childhood dream. While the trajectory of my future shifted dramatically, from that left turn arose incredible experiences and new opportunities to grow. Yes, I often wonder how the view is from the other side. Every day, to be honest. But there isn’t a single thing I regret. All I expect of myself is to take that next step toward a place I haven’t yet been.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My work at this moment is heavily influenced by organic experiences, relationships, and occurrences. To me, this means absorbing natural beauty in everyday living. I materialize my ideas through painting and drawing—more specifically with oil on canvas, pencil on paper, or digital software. Because I’m not professional yet, I’ll approach this question with my work specifically in mind (I hope that’s okay). Above all, I want to spread love. A lot of my recent works have interacted with this as a theme, whether it be love as passion, love as romance, or love as memory. But through this process I began to explore love as a two-sided coin; love is also heartbreak, loss, and failure. It’s so beautiful yet so volatile and I feel like it’s at the heart of what inspires my creativity. After all, love is the driving force for the most authentic and genuine of entities. It’s contagious—when we witness love, we begin to feel it ourselves. Watching someone win, it feels like we won. Watching someone grieve, it’s like we lost. I make it my job to catch and hold on to these feelings, process them, and share them through my own lens.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a little new to the area and have only been exposed to so much, so bear with me. I would definitely plan a tour around food, starting in Westwood with vampiros from Tacos 1986 and really anything from Gushi. Sawtelle Boulevard is essential, and for one of the most unique places I’ve ever eaten at, I would take them to Gol Tong Chicken in Koreatown. Dessert after would have to be Bumsan Organic Milk Bar. If anyone reading this has other recommendations please put me on!!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The name immediately coming to mind is that of my lifelong friend and fellow creative, Leonardo Vargas. Leo and I grew up together and even attended the same studio classes as kids, but it wasn’t until our junior year of high school that we were able to really connect as committed artists. I’m always running ideas by him and applying his feedback; there’s honestly no one I trust more in that regard. Not to mention watching him work and think is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. A true artist and visionary. But what I admire most is his fearlessness and devotion to a goal—no project is too big for him or task too far out of reach. An inspiration and one of the most supportive people in my circle, dedicating this shoutout to my brother is a no-brainer.

Website: https://aaronkim.art/

Instagram: @aaronbkim @__aaronkim

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aarnbkim/

Image Credits
Jeremiah Amaya

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