Thursday, November 19, 2015

DPW Spotlight Interview: Jiyoung Kim

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings.

To enter to win Jiyoung's painting, "See-Through" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Jiyoung's DPW Gallery Page:

Hi, my name is Jiyoung Kim and I was born and raised in South Korea. Now I live and work in a small studio in Burnaby, B.C, Canada. I usually paint one or two paintings everyday unless life gets in the way. At the corner of my studio, there is a small table which I call it 'my painting stage' and there, I set up a still life objects and paint them from life. My current interests are the things around me like cups, fruits, wrapping papers, ribbons, bowls, plates........ and those that I use and see everyday. I find the beauty of ordinary objects and like to paint them. I am inspired by light, shadow, colors, reflections and the mood created by weather and many many more by nature. Sometimes even a single word or quote does wonder for me. (click to read more)

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

As a child, I made a wish to Mr. Claus on Christmas Eve. I grew up with my three siblings (four kids including me: three girls and one boy) and only my father worked at the time so my parents always had tight budgets. I kept begging them to buy me a set of paints. We had crayons, but there were four kids all sharing one set and many were worn out or missing. I wanted something that was my own. Their answer was always 'I am sorry, honey. We can't'.  They had to say 'no' because if they bought something special for me, they'd have to buy something special for each of us and you know how the story goes.

One day however, my parents asked all of us what we wanted from Santa. We all had never-ending lists.  They smiled.  On Christmas morning, we each received one gift.  I got color markers instead of the paints and brushes that I had hoped for, but for the most part, that didn't mater. It was the start of my art career with my very own tools.

(click to view)

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Jiyoung's interview.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

During high school, I attended an atelier for a year to prepare for an entry test of art universities.  To enter a university in Korea, students were required to finish one drawing and one painting within a given time as well as complete a written examination similar to SATs. (I don't know if they still do it the same way. It was almost 23 years ago.) For a year, I attended the atelier Monday through Friday and sometimes weekends as well. The daily practice greatly improved my work and I was able to obtain an art major. I majored in Metal Art (which is sculpturing and crafting with metal) so during that time, I did very little painting. I still had some drawings or renderings for school projects, but very few. After graduation, I was unable to find a decent paying job in my field, so to pay the bills, I kept the job that had put me though school and the painting stopped.  Years later, I moved to Canada and married my husband and had a son. Once married, my full-time job became home-maker and it wasn't until my son became old enough to go to school that I started to take a few community art classes and start painting again.

However, my true passion for painting emerged when I bought Carol Marine's book 'Daily Painting'. I had an extreme thirst for painting and her book was an oasis for me. It showed me how and where to start. I knew that daily practice truly works from attending the atelier so I jumped right into Daily Painting Movement.  I felt lucky to discover her book at a time in my life where I was ready to pursue my passion. Without her book, I would have strayed longer.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

It's little notional to explain but I will describe it this way:

One of my favourite art quotes is from Charles Reid's book titled ' Watercolor Solutions'. On page 56, he wrote:

'I recommend having a book of John Singer Sargent's watercolors on hand to study each evening before going to sleep. Beyond his amazing skill as an artist, Sargent had lessons to teach us. His message to us: Keep it simple, keep it fresh, don't correct, don't over paint and let the viewer finish the painting. He made us use our imagination.'

The phrase - 'Keep it simple, let the viewer finish the painting' has given me answers about why I like certain paintings more than others.  I would love to explore how to create the scenes in front of me in a simpler form and allow the viewers to use their imaginations and(or) tell a story.

(click to view)

Who or what inspires you most?

[Moods influenced by weather such as rain, water puddles, fog and snow creates]. Light and shadow, reflections, colors, shapes. Ordinary objects like mugs, glasses, bottles... and the list goes on and on. I have to say everything - even a single quote does wonders.

I also inspired by other artists' works. There are so many talented artists out there and I am thankful for this internet world which makes it possible to discover them.

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination happens to me when I am physically or mentally exhausted (or sometimes both). I often find that it happens when I am lacking nutritious foods and sleep. So when it happens, I take care of myself by having regularly scheduled and healthy meals, taking warm baths with scented bubbles, having a glass of wine (normally I don't drink but I do when I need extra rest), listening to music and dancing like nobody is watching me (I'm not a good dancer so it's always at home alone - well, sometimes my son watches me but I don't care) and getting enough sleep. Usually It refreshes me for the next day. If this doesn't help me to get things done, I simply wait until I feel like I do.

Standing on the Edge
(click to view)

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

I always leave my easel and brushes ready in my studio even though I am not painting. So when the creative moment strikes, everything is ready. When the moment comes, I don't wash my hair, I don't care about cooking or cleaning and just keep painting until I get exhausted.

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

I am told that some people get their best ideas when they walk, some when they take a shower, some when they hang out wet laundry, do dishes or clean house.

All these seem to work for me as well, however, I often get my best ideas when I am sitting on a comfy chair and doing nothing but enjoying trees or clouds moving slowly through my window and hearing children chattering and giggling in distance. It doesn't mean that it works every time (often it makes me fall asleep), but my light bulb often lights up when I am doing generally nothing but just emptying myself.

Also, sometimes I go out 'prop hunting' to a mall. I often come back with nice items to paint.

Green Glass Bottle
(click to view)

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

My brushes go on a strike often. When they started to yell at me ' Hey, we aren't getting enough vacation days or sick days. You're a horrible boss!! if you don't provide great benefits for us, we're gonna sue you! Then I stop,  give them a good rest and stay away from painting until they say they'll work for me again.

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

I am exploring how glass and water cause objects to appear distorted.

(click to view)

What makes you happiest about your art?

The moment when painting becomes meditative and I reach 'the flow stage'. It doesn't come often, but when it does, everything feels peaceful.  It feels as if the stresses of life fall away and I find my true self.  It's therapy for my soul.

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

The fear of 'what a fresh surface - how can I ruin it' syndrome has fallen away. Whenever I buy a good quality sketchbook, canvas or panel, I admire the fresh surface so much that I am afraid to make a mark on it. Now the fear has lessened.  I try not to care about how good they are - they are made for creating art and would be meaningless without any expression on them, so I just get the ball rolling.

Thanks, Jiyoung!

© 2015 Sophie Catalina Marine

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