We had the good fortune of connecting with JiHee Nam and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi JiHee, we’d love to hear what makes you happy.
I think happiness really does come from the simplest things in life. For me, it’s just being able to do what I like to do. It could sound uncomplicated, but the opportunity is not always given and present to everyone, so I think it’s really precious. Being able to do what you like, even if you experience failure, and to feel any type of emotions, all these things are what makes me happy, because it proves that I am alive. I am grateful for the fact that I can feel emotions and empathize with people, and to know that I’m breathing and living onwards, especially at a time like this, living day by day. I think everyone should give themselves a pat on the back.
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 mainly work with 2d traditional animation and digital animation, and I tend to focus on the timing and rhythm of the pieces. They are basic and general elements of an animation, but they largely affect the mood of the subject matter portrayed in the film. For example, going back to the same scene repeatedly creates different impressions of the same scene each time it’s revisited.
I am still at that stage in life to get myself together and work toward becoming a better artist, so I don’t really know if I’ll ever claim myself to be a professional animator. I have obstacles that I have yet to hurdle through, but I think that’s one of the exciting parts about discovering yourself within your profession.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There’s a lot of good places in California to visit.
I’d say the Getty Museum would be a good place to visit first. The architecture is built with marble, and the grid-like formation of the buildings are interesting.
Food would be nice to get in Korea-town; everything there is great.
There’s a lot of record shops around that are a gem, and if you like records, Gold Line, a vinyl bar, is a must to visit. There’s also free music shows at Highland Park, and if you’re a filmmaker or an animator, there’s a lot of film screenings at Echo Park, downtown LA, etc.
There’s a good place to take a drive near the Castaic Lake, as well as experience nature. My friend drove me there once during a light storm, we brought snacks and tea, and sat in the car and saw the mountains covered in fogs. Something about it was really mesmerizing. Once the rain eased up, we got out of the car, and there were still fogs and winds, but it was still nice. My grad school was located in Santa Clarita, and Castaic Lake is nearby. It’s a really nice and quiet place to just have a good time. 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 life I am living now and who I am is influenced by every single person I’ve met since day one. Each interaction contributed to the gradual growth of who I’ve become. But one of the bigger turning points, especially with the work I do now, was when I went to grad school and met all of my peers. Even though our occupations are the same, the way we approach our own work is very different. Being in that environment really helped rethink my interests and led me to various routes of opportunities.
Image credits are owned all by me.