We had the good fortune of connecting with Reena Kim and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Reena, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
I learned how to develop patience and lay the foundation throughout my career.
I’m originally a very impatient person, and it showed in the work. When people looked at my middle and high school paintings, they would assume that the brash and rough lines are just a style choice, but I had hoped to be more refined than that. I thought to myself, “What if I could slow down and observe?” Those older artworks looked as though I was creating under pressure, as if I was being chased by something. Which I was. I was being chased by the fear of needing to discover my dreams, and that fear grew as time passed. Though I liked painting, it wasn’t my dream, but it was something to do.
When I did find my way to my dream school, I was faced with many doubts that added to the pressure that plagued my work. When I eventually discovered a subject that I loved to create, architecture, the process forced me to slow down and approach my work cautiously. Naturally, this didn’t fix all my problems, but by finding a new way of creating, I found a new confidence in myself.
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 enjoy making a variety of things that just look cool, but drafting architecture is my favorite. There’s something gratifying about being able to represent a structure that can tower over humans. When you see a monumental intricate cathedral, castle, or church, doesn’t it sometimes make you speechless? That’s the same kind of awe I want to evoke with my drawings. I fell in love with architecture easily because I wanted to excel at perspective, something most of my peers hated. The process to create one of these drawings isn’t an easy one, but that became the appeal to me- the more difficult it was a problem to solve, the more satisfying the outcome was.
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.
On the topic of food, I can talk indefinitely. These days, I’ve been hunting in Koreatown. Bumsan has a delicious milk flavored ice cream, Shinjeon has incredible tteokbokki with curry aroma, Magal BBQ’s spicy dak-galbi, and Momo Paradise, an amazing Japanese shabu shabu (though that one’s not in Koreatown). This isn’t a commercial, I swear.
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’s a cliche answer, but I want to give credit to my family who supported me and made my dream life a reality. I didn’t know when I was around, but only when I came to a foreign country did I realize how abundant their love was. I’m grateful that they could put their faith in me to trust that I could find my own way on the path to my dreams.