Artist of Month: Soonju Kim

The Oracle: What type of art do you do?

Soon-ju Kim: I draw and paint. I like to do acrylic painting and oil painting most of the time, and sometimes I do collages.

TO: Who or what is your inspiration?

SJ: I don’t have a specific inspiration, but I am inspired by people who are passionate and they motivate me to continue my passion and pursue my interests. Additionally, from visiting museums and reading books, I find inspiration from artists such as Gustav Klimt and Basquiat.

TO: How did you get interested in art, how old were you?

SJ: I started being interested in art because of the different pictures of paintings by artists that my mother put around the house. From such interest, I signed up for art classes and that led me to where I am now.

TO: Do you have a common theme in your art works?

SJ: Generally, I always end up painting about people and human emotions.

TO: What art piece are you currently working on now?

SJ: Currently I’m working on a painting with a collage incorporated to it.

TO: What’s your favorite aspect about drawing and painting?

SJ: My favorite aspect about art is that when people create an art piece they let go and do whatever they want to do and don’t think about the pressures and insecurities people have. It gives you the freedom to do whatever you want.

TO: What made you interested and committed to this specific art medium over others?

SJ: I took art spectrum in ninth grade and after completing that class I realized I liked painting a lot. It was easier for me to express how I’m feeling through painting. I also got interested because a lot of people around me were painting; I went to classes outside of school and it eventually took off from there.

TO: What is your proudest artwork?

SJ: My favorite art work so far is the most recent one I did. It’s called “A Stagnant Anonymity” and it’s about how thoughts can overtake people. I really liked this art piece because I just started painting right away and ended up really liking it.

TO: Would you want to pursue an art career?

SJ: Definitely, I want to pursue art in the future, and even if I don’t, I would always paint in my free time.

TO: What do you hope people to see or experience by seeing your art?

SJ: I hope that people will be able to understand my messages and are able to make connection to what they see in my art work to life experiences.

TO: What challenges have you faced with your art, how did you overcome them, if you did?

SJ: When I first started painting I didn’t know what brushes to use, what paint to use, or how to make a gradient. It was really hard for me to overcome those challenges and it took me a long time to learn how to paint. I’m still in the learning process because there are always new approaches to painting.

TO: If you could have any model, what or who would it be and why?

SJ: I don’t have a certain object or idea that I always focus on, rather my paintings come from a myriad of observations and experiences that I encounter throughout my life.

—Compiled by Wonhee Park

Photo by Wendy Qiu


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