We had the good fortune of connecting with Eunbi Kang and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Eunbi, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
One of the things my first painting teacher said was that painting teaches life to artists. I don’t remember anything else about the teacher, but her words sometimes come to mind when I am painting. When I first heard it, I didn’t understand. I thought it was a typical and incomprehensible figure of speech. While I was cleaning my room, I found an old note from the class explaining the element of value. It said: A good painting comes from a well described value, and that is a picture that expresses light and darkness well. Light exists only when there is darkness, and darkness is only dark when there is light. Of course it sounds boring, but it’s also the knowledge that painters consider to be the most important visual aspect in their painting. Nothing changes when white is painted on a white canvas, dark colors will create the contrast needed for the painting to shine brighter just like hard work from my past made me and my painting more valuable.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Oh, it’s a difficult but interesting question. First of all, my strength that is different from others is that I constantly think and try to learn. There are always good references for painting around us. Artists have to observe them all the time and try to apply them to their painting. Even when I look at the same building, I have to see what color it has under the blue sky, how it changes when it’s cloudy, when it’s sunset. Also, I think we need to constantly explore why they look good when we see good scenes, paintings and photographs, etc.
For me, the difficulty is an attempt to make something different. It is a challenge for many artists to make colors and compositions that are different from the previous works. We all have our own comfort zone that makes us hard to get out of. But I think creativity is created when I try to get out of it. I also didn’t want to get out of my comfort zone. However, I was able to grow more through the sense of happiness and achievement that I gained from creating new things.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would take my friend to the Norton Simon museum located in Pasadena. Although it is not a large museum, it is rich with a lot of high quality work and incredibly well organized. It holds artwork from the Renaissance to the 20th century and contains the finest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist pictures I have seen in LA. The museum had a nice collection of artists like Canaletto, Giovanni and Louis-Léopold Boilly. There is also a quiet and beautiful outdoor garden in the back, which is great for a stroll. It is nice to sit and relax here after viewing the work and also great for plein air because of its natural scenery with numerous sculptors.
It is also a very budget friendly location, with the ticket for adults for $15 and free entry for students with a student ID.
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?
It is very hard for me to name just one person, so I would like to give a shout out to all the people around me who have supported me. The first person is my mom. She is the best mom I could ever ask for and she has taught me many life lessons that I still use to this day. Next, I would like to mention my friends who have always helped me; Phoebe (phoebehorselover), Yuja, Jonathan(Jofacha), Courtney, Sojin, Jay, Joshua, Jasmine, Haily, Ivy, Sabrina, Sebrina, Lulu, Zo, Reena and Fion. And last but not least, my artistic inspirations; Rebecca Shieh, Younhyung Ku, Simon Baek, and Celine Kim. They are my favorite artists and a big driving force in my work. I have not met them yet, but just by observing their work, I have learned how to capture tone in my illustrations and various painting techniques. I hope one day I can meet them and talk about art.