We had the good fortune of connecting with Juni(Junhee) Kweon and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Juni(Junhee), why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Art is proof of who I am. When I make an art, I first figure out what I think, and express them physically. I usually show them using a storytelling method, and short animation or video is my favorite format to use. All of my stories contain my experience, life, thinking, and feelings, and they show my identity and prove who I am. There’s still tons of stories that have not been out of my head yet. I want to pursue my artistic career until I have nothing left in my brain.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have a weird obsession with my childhood. Even some of my friends said that they think I am living in the past, and I cannot deny that. My personality was quite different from what I have right now when I was in elementary school. I was brave, cheerful, and energetic. Now, I am a coward who is afraid of the whole world. For example, I have a fear of flying, so it is really hard for me to travel with an airplane. But when I was young, I wasn’t afraid of flight, and even enjoyed the thrill of turbulence during the flight. I think it all happened because of the amount of news that I have consumed about the plane crash. As I grow up, I get to know more about cruel reality, and it prevents me from adventure to new things. I know it is just an excuse, but it is still true that I cannot go back to the time when I didn’t know anything about the world and all I did was just being happy and imagining about the bright future that I will have.

If I had to choose a role model, I would choose my younger self. I see the world differently from what I used to. I am too afraid to challenge, and always think ‘is it possible?’ before ‘I want to do it!’. I want my brave and pure soul back, and expand my world full of my dreams.

In my art, the giraffe represents my childhood.The reason I chose giraffe was really simple, my dream was to be a giraffe when I was young. Which is a little weird, but I think I could think of that because I was innocent and didn’t really know about the reality yet back then.

The giraffe character that I made has a gigantic body that can fill up the city next to the skyscrapers which shows bravery. Moreover, the giraffe has a really long neck that can be even stretched up to space, which shows the curiosity and fearlessness that I had as a kid. For me, making art is also the process of bringing back my childhood heart, and giraffes play an important role in that.

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?
If you like to stargaze, Joshua Tree National Park and Griffith Observatory are the best places. At the planetarium in Griffith Observatory, you can observe artificial milky ways and stars as if we are looking at the real one. The stars were so beautiful and vivid, even though I knew it was fake. Even if it is not a real star, it really is worth visiting the planetarium to stargaze.

One time, one of my friends told me that the best time to stargaze is when there’s a new moon in the sky. Since there is no moonlight in the sky, we can observe all the possible stars without any interruption. Moreover, at Joshua tree park, there is no artificial light at night except for the headlights of cars, so it is really a perfect setting for stargazing. When I arrived at Joshua Tree National Park, it was so quiet and dark that it almost felt unreal. While looking up into the sky, I counted almost five shooting stars within four hours. The stars weren’t as clear as the planetarium one, but the sound, smell, temperature, and atmosphere of that place made the stargazing more meaningful.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have always had a love for rock bands since I was little. The charm of rock bands comes from their own world they have created. All the rock bands have different stories and identities, and it always has inspired me to be an artist. The band who gave me the biggest inspiration is a Japanese rock band called ‘Bump of Chicken’. They make songs about different feelings they have experienced in a metaphorical way which allows everyone to put themselves into the song with their own interpretation. Their songs motivated me to make art that can be interpreted in a millions ways by different people, and this is my goal that I want to achieve as an artist.

Website: https://www.junikweon.com

Instagram: @ ju.__.nie

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/juni-kweon/

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