We had the good fortune of connecting with Yeon Soo Kim and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Yeon Soo, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Art has always been part of my daily life. I love observing people and objects. Even though I did not think of art as my career in the beginning, I have always interpreted what I think or imagine into drawings or doodles. Until junior year of my high school year, I only considered art as my hobby, because paintings and drawings I saw from my friends who were taking advanced class were overwhelming and I thought I was not at the level to consider art as my career. I enrolled in the class because I still had passion to learn about art, and my first assignment was to develop a self-portrait. When my instructor saw my work, he laughed and remarked, “You really like art, don’t you?” He made me realize that I should have thought, “how much I enjoy doing art” instead of “how other people are better than me.”

From this point, I seriously thought of art as my life career. I purely enjoyed creating artworks, and my parents happily supported my decisions. I started going to an art studio, built a portfolio, and now I am enrolled in Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, and am currently studying in the Entertainment Arts track under the Illustration department, focusing on character design and visual development.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a character designer and visual development artist based in Los Angeles. In my work, I focus on delivering clear messages and images to the audiences. I love observing people and expressing moods through different personalities, character poses and unique designs.

When I entered school, I was interested in becoming a traditional illustrator. I loved watching animations but I did not look into the art process in depth; however, I started reading art books from various studios, and started to understand how delicate and fascinating the process of making animation is, and specifically, I was fascinated by character design. At that time I also started going to figure drawing workshops hosted at my school, and I enjoyed expressing human poses and gestures. The biggest challenge that came to me was finding my own style. I still think about what defines my style, but I kept practicing and studying figure drawings to strengthen my basic skills.

My goal as an artist is to make people curious about my work and deliver my experiences in a clear, pleasing way.

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.
I know the situation right now is very hard for any outside activities, but if my friends visit me after all this situation gets wrapped up, I would like to take them to Pasadena since I stayed in Pasadena the most for school. Old Town Pasadena had been very useful for me since shops, restaurants, and cafes are all close together. I frequently visited a cafe called, “Cafe 86.” It has a quiet and nice atmosphere to read books or sketch. I wish I can invite my friends and visit places soon in the future, after everything is settled down. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to shout-out to my family members for supporting my decisions. As I explained in the previous section, I did not really know what I wanted to do until almost the last minute in my high school year. When I suddenly realized how much I wanted to do art as my career, I first worried how my parents would react. I knew my mom and sister had always asked me if I wanted to do art as a long-term career, but I always replied that art was just my hobby. Despite my hesitation, my mom was very happy to hear about my decision, and she thoroughly researched art studios around my area.

My mom and sister always supported me whenever I had a hard time in terms of worrying about my artistic styles or long-term path. They would always hear me and advise me. I still always have a comfort zone thinking about my family, and this helps me a lot going through any of my concerns.

Website: www.soooookim.com/

Instagram: www.instagram.com/soooookim_/?hl=en

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/soo-kim-a58116204/

Twitter: twitter.com/soooookim_

Image Credits
Yeon Soo Kim

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