We had the good fortune of connecting with Shai Kim and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shai, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Starting my own personal brand has always been on my mind. It was always one of those options on the table that have been there but never chosen when I was deciding what to do with my life. Once Covid-19 hit, and the industry I was working in stopped to a standstill. I had to take a step back and take a look at my current career path and figure out how to progress next. I decided that the desire to focus on my own personal vision for what I wanted to create and spend my time doing outweighed the risk and fear.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As an artist I utilize Graphic Design, Photography, and Fashion Illustration with a focus in popular culture. My art is definitely heavily influenced by my hobbies and interests. Creating for myself has always been my main motivator for my personal art. While my design process is trying to find my own personal perspective that can visually relate to with people that are close to me. Currently, I am really excited to see the progression of my career as an artist grow. Since finally deciding to go all in as an artist and creator this past year focusing on expanding my own personal brand and business. Deciding to commit to building my brand has been the biggest challenge for me personally and career wise. I’ve had to overcome a lot of my personal insecurities and fears when it’s come to my art. Second guessing myself if my art is good enough to support my life. If I am talented enough to actually achieve personal success and overcome the risks that come with pursuing a business. I naturally always choose to play it safe with the decisions I make in life. Taking a leap of faith and putting my all into is all I can really do. To just believe that I can tackle any obstacle that comes about. My brand and my art are aesthetically me in a physical manifestation.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
When it comes to grabbing a bite to eat, Koreatown is always the first stop. Going to either KBBQ at Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong or Quarters, or the bars for banchan (korean small dishes) and beers before a night out. If we were to stay in Koreatown it’d be Mo’s House of Axe or Boba Bear for boba & hookah. If it’s a straight night out to the bars it’d be out in Silver Lake at the Cha Cha Lounge, The Friend, or Tenants. Throughout the day it’d be days out going thrift shopping around melrose and la brea. area or going gallery hopping in the Arts Districts. 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?
Charlie Kendall, an artist and designer from Maryland currently based in Los Angeles. He has been a close friend and supporter for the past 6 years. Been there to support me through the good and the bad. His work ethic and creativity within his craft has always been a huge inspiration to me. Influencing me to work harder on my craft and motivate me to be a better artist. You can check him out on his website charliekendall.studio and ig @charliekendall.studio .
Other: portfolio: www.bentotrap.com