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

Hi Simon, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I held a steady job after college for about two years before deciding to go the entrepreneur route. Mainly because I was feeling bored working for someone else. I built web sites for 10 years before deciding to pursue a full time career as an artist at the age of 38. And I just became a dad at that time. I have always loved art since I was a kid, but it had always been just a hobby. I never went to art school so the idea of pursuing an art career never entered my mind. Parenthood changed that. Looking at my newborn son, I realized how precious and full-of-hope life could be and should be. So I decided not to waste my life any more and started building a career as a professional artist.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My path as an artist was very unorthodox. I was born in China and started sculpting when I was 6 years old. I never went to art school so sculpting was always just a hobby, and the idea of becoming an artist never really crossed my mind. When I was 21 I came to the United States to receive my college education. After graduating from the University of Southern California with a degree in marketing, I worked in the computer industry briefly before opening my own web design and programming company. I did that for 10 years. When I was 38 years old my son was born. And that experience changed my entire perspective about my life. I decided to pursue what I had always loved. I decided to built a career as a sculptor and a professional artist. But as the father of a newborn baby boy, and at 38 years old, that endeavor would have to be fruitful on both the personal level as well as the financial level. In other words, I had to make things work quick, and failure was not an option. I used every knowledge that I’d learnt in school as a marketing major, every trick that I had acquired as a web specialist, every bit of tenacity that I had developed as an entrepreneur, and unleashed every ounce of my artistic creativity that I had bottled up for more than 3 decades. Luckily for me and my family, it worked. All the puzzle pieces that I had been collecting all my life fell into the right places. I was able to break into the film industry and worked on some high profile film projects. My self-taught knowledge allowed my style to stand out from other industry professionals. In retrospect, the dots of my life connected.

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?
Most of my closest friends these days are all artists, so if a couple of them were to come visit. I would take them to the city Alhambra, where my studio is located. There will be a lot of art talk and artjams (I coined the term artjam to describe the gathering where multiple artists meet and create art together like musicians jamming in a band). There are a lot of wonderful Asian cuisine nearby my studio, so there will be plenty of good restaurants to visit afterwards. Before the pandemic, my studio had become a popular visiting place for many artists visiting L.A.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to give a shoutout to Brandon and Jarrod Shiflett, known as the Shiflett Brothers in the collectible statue sculpting world. In my previous career I was a web designer, and one of my last web projects was the Shiflett Brothers’ Sculpting Forum. Building that forum gave me the opportunity to meet other artists, sculptors, and collectors for the first time. That connection showed me what was possible beyond coding software. And I also want to give a shoutout to Guillermo del Toro, who was the first director to hire me as a concept artist for the film Pacific Rim, and that project jumpstarted my career in the film industry.

Website: https://www.BigBlueTree.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/spiderzero

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/spiderzeroSimon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SimonLeeSpiderzero

Image Credits
Image credit: Simon Lee

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