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

Hi Helen, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Growing up I’ve always been enamored for storytelling of any form, whether if it is books, comics, tv shows or films, I loved them all. I felt they added so much more color, dimension, and above all, excitement to my demanding, hard childhood life. They gave me an escape to a whole new world and become close to characters that felt like real family to me, and I think that got me through a lot of lonely days. Then when I got a little older, I became more and more determined that I wanted to be part of that world, kind of like to get my foot into the candy factory, and make my mark for the future generations to come. It was rare career choice for people in my grade, and my parents were certainly against it but I fought through it all, and inched my way into a successful artistic career that I have today, but I’m still very excited for the many twists and turns ahead of this wonderful journey!

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.
I’ve had a variety of production work so far, including commercials, shorts, tv shows and film. I’m currently working on some longer high profile film productions, which I’m pretty excited about. I specialize in dynamic effects, meaning creating abstract, environmental effects animation stimulated by a computer program, which has endless possibilities but classic examples would be creating fire, water, dust and smoke.

This niche area of expertise requires a delicate balance between the technical and artistic mind, where most people are either one or the other, I’ve found my perfect mix in this specialty, and I thrive in working within the limitations and interpret different art directions for effects that help complete the story.

It hasn’t been an easy journey to get to this point, it took a lot of trial and error to find out what exactly I feel most satisfied to do day in and day out. I would say the biggest challenge by far is to get to know yourself, and identify a clear goal that could be attainable and fulfilling for you. I think by going to art school, it provided me an opportunity to explore many things, as well as giving me a good network of industry professionals to get my foot in the door and test my abilities, which helped a lot. So to the people out there contemplating on an artistic career, I would suggest to never rule out any possibilities, just follow your heart and try everything that you can get your hands on!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Los Angeles is definitely a very dynamic city, and it’s also really big, so there’s such wide range of stuff to check out. Some awesome cosy neighborhoods to check out would be Silverlake, Los Feliz (I particularly like the Los Feliz theatre for a local movie experience). For nature stuff, Solstice Canyon in Malibu is a great, enjoyable hike, Griffith park is also great for a night view of the city, then of course, there’s the Venice beach boardwalk that is always bustling. For good eats, there’s some cool brunch spots in Santa Monica, then for more cultural foods, there’s Koreatown, San Gabriel, Pasadena, Thai town, Sawtelle, the list goes on 🙂

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shoutout to my parents! Despite having our differences, they always come to support and trust me in the end, and they are a main force that drives me to be successful, and allow me to forge ahead with confidence knowing that they will always be there for me.

Shoutout to all the wonderful people that I’ve worked with along the way, especially my mentors, I’ve received a lot of encouragement and help from them, it’s never about what we can achieve individually but we can achieve together as one unit and make awesome stuff everyday!

Website: https://vimeo.com/user15225535

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/helenkwok74/

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