Artists of the Month: freshman Joseph Kim and senior Bona Kim


Photo by Alexandra Ting


Written by Deiana Hristov

The Oracle: What style of art do you guys do?

Bona Kim: I usually paint and draw. A lot of my artworks use gouache and charcoal, so those are my main media.

Joseph Kim: I usually do designing, which requires pen and pencil, and I paint also.

BK:  So he’s more into design and I’m more into fine arts.


TO: Do you guys have a regular subject that you like to express in your art?

BK: I’m interested in a lot of social issues, political issues, economic issues. I try to communicate a lot with my paintings. I talk a lot about wealth distribution and constructive beauty.

JK: I usually take a car that already exists and I try to make it better.


TO: When and how did you first get into your art styles?

BK:  I actually started art my junior year. I’ve alway been interested in art but I couldn’t tell my mom that I wanted to do art because my brother was more talented. It was sort of normal for me to not do art and focus more on academics, and then I realized my junior year that it was my last chance to tell my mom that I want to do something [with art]. I started painting, I took classes here

JK: I just like drawing in general when I was young and I really started liking cars and I started around third grade drawing cars, and then I got into designing.


TO: Would you say that your style has evolved over time?

BK:  At first, I was painting a lot as a form of realism, which means you draw as real as possible. But over time I studied a lot more impressionism, expressionism and different sectors of art. I had a lot of influences from my peers and that led me to expressing myself a lot more through my paintings.

JK: I always drew cars, and skill wise I definitely got better. When I was young I would usually draw unrealistic things like pencil cars, but now I’m moving on to more realistic cars that could actually be invented. I’m design, so I have to go in a more realistic direction.


TO: What are some struggles you guys have had to overcome with your art?

BK:  The biggest struggle was learning to move on. At one point I realized that my work can never be perfect and that I could work on one painting forever. I was constantly dissatisfied with something. Eventually I built confidence in just completing my work and being done with it. Sometimes just knowing when to stop creates the beauty of the work.

JK: For me, whenever I don’t have ideas for designs I feel really bad at myself because I think I’m losing my artistic abilities or something, so that’s my biggest worry.


TO: What are your plans for your art in the future?

JK: I would like to major in car design, transportation, but I would also like to be able to be good at fine art and all art in general.

BK:  I am planning to go into the field of design, but I would like to also study social science, because I am interested in economics and psychology. I am hoping to be able to combine design and liberal arts and make my art more powerful.

TO: What advice do you have for aspiring artists?

JK: Pay attention to little details. And draw everyday, even doodling can help you. Practice will take you far.

BK: Joseph does not draw everyday… My advice would be to find something that inspires you, something that you are passionate about. Or, just look around what’s going on around you. My friend Advait once told me to put my phone down and to look at the color scheme around me. It’s difficult sometimes, but I think it’s really important