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

Hi Jenny, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I founded two very different businesses with a similar goal in mind – to foster a vibrant and inclusive community where art becomes accessible for non-artists and sustainable for artists.

Drawwing Cabinet, an artist-run educational studio, was founded in November of 2020 by LA-based artist Jisoo Chung and me. We wanted to create a pluralistic platform where a multitude of creative thinkers intersect and mutually inspire and support one another. Currently, we offer regular classes for K–12 students (future artists) and artist-led workshops where (present) artists can share their passion and expertise with other artists or non-artists. We wanted to create an active and engaged learning environment for our students so that they had a chance to interact with contemporary art from an early age. We hoped this would help them utilize art as a tool to combat various life situations as well as partake in the conversations that are happening in the art world, allowing the art audience to expand. We also wanted to create jobs for emerging artists so that they are able to sustain their own practices. So far, we have hosted about 25 artist-led workshops (ceramics, woodworking, printmaking, color theory, incense, tea, grant writing, etc.) and have 7 amazing artist-educators on our team teaching classes on a weekly basis.

My other business GOBI is an art brand that presents works and collaborations by artists, designers, and cultural producers of Korea and diasporic communities. Through our online art shop, pop-up exhibitions, and collaborations, GOBI aims to build an inclusive and sustainable model for emerging and underrepresented artists. When I was a practicing artist, I found that the current structures that make up the art world was one that was extremely difficult for an emerging artist to navigate and many times, it felt almost impossible for someone like myself to even begin my career as an artist. At the same time, my non-artist friends would always complain to me about the inaccessibilty of art. I founded GOBI so that I can provide space for my fellow artists while facilitating an accessible gateway for novice collectors to find meaningful art objects and experiences.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Both Drawwing Cabinet and GOBI feel like an extension of my art practice. People always ask me if I ever plan on going back to making art. While I enjoyed having a studio practice, what I do now as a Creative Director doesn’t feel that different from what I was doing in the studio – thinking creatively, researching, immersing myself in this process and finally making ideas become reality.

The most exciting thing at Drawwing Cabinet is seeing the growth of our students. Students who used to fixate on drawing realistically have now developed their own style and art language. Their works go through many transformations and as an educator, it is extremely rewarding to see them explore freely in their art journey. With GOBI, I am happiest when I’m meeting new artists and learning about their works. I am always astonished at how there is so much amazing art that remains undiscovered and I feel enlivened just by the thought of working with these artists.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
LA is an interesting city because every neighborhood has its distinct characteristics. It’s got the mountains, the beaches, as well as the desert in its proximity, which is something you don’t find often in other large cities. When my friends visit from out of town, I always encourage them to stay for as long as they can so that they can experience these different faces of LA. Ideally, I would take them to the desert for a couple days, visit AZ West if possible, I would drive them up the Pacific Coast Highway for another few days, maybe have lots of oysters and uni in Santa Barbara, and for the rest of their time in LA, I would take them to restaurants and food stands that are run by various diasporic communities in LA.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
With both businesses, I was so lucky to have amazing supporters along the way. This would truly be a never-ending list, but here are just a few that I feel deeply indebted to.

Monica, you really stepped out of your comfort zone to push through the hardest times
Jisoo, couldn’t have done it without you, I am so grateful to have your back
Jin, you literally “built” the foundations of our studio, thank you for always being there for me
Susan, your generosity and passion is an inspiration for life

Website: drawwingcabi.net / gobi.la

Instagram: @drawwingcabinet / @gobi.losangeles

Facebook: www.facebook.com/drawwingcabinet / www.facebook.com/gobi.losangeles

Image Credits
Portrait Image: Luke Im Installation View: Coffee Kang Please let me know if you need me to specify which images

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