Instagram: @melaniekim.art Website: www.melaniekim.photography
1. What's your story? Where are you from?I'm a third-generation Korean American girl from Orange County, CA. I go to school at Biola University, and I'm majoring in graphic design and photography.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.My aesthetic, whether I'm designing or shooting, is always clean and concise. If I can make a photo that's a nice little package but give it a punch of color, you bet I'll do it.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?Digital photography, and the studio. The freedom to control almost everything in my photos speaks to my soul.
4. What is your artistic process like?I am very comfortable with artificial light and photo editing, so you'll see me working more with my lights and in post than pressing the actual camera button.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?A lot of Instagram artists in the #candyminimalist movement started me on this kind of colorful minimalism, and I've simply put my own twist on the style, straying away from pastels in favor of more bold, vibrant colors. As for the subject matter, my art is inspired by my own experiences as a very Americanized Korean, not feeling like I can fit in with Korean-speakers as well as I'd like to, and not feeling like I can go to certain parts of America without sticking out. My life as a whitewashed Asian informs much of my artwork.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?Art is a daily practice for me, both my hobby and my mindset. I discount nothing when I look at the world because even the most boring things can be art if you want it to be. I've been taught that art goes far beyond what is pretty or colorful, but extends to gratefulness for everything around me. As an artist, I appreciate everything as it has been made or how it has landed in a particular moment and the potential for change that lies everywhere.
7. Where did you study?Biola University in La Mirada, CA. Shoutout to the amazing art department!
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?I'm hoping to be married by then, and actually as a missionary's wife overseas with the Missionary Aviation Fellowship (MAF.) My boyfriend is a pilot, and he's called to use his passion to fly supplies to mountainous and island villages, where trucks can't easily reach on roads. Yeah, I know it sounds pretty unusual, but I want my life to be put towards something purposeful. I'm hoping to practice photography as a journalistic discipline overseas, but I intend to continue studio work as well.
9. What about in ten?By then, I'm hoping to have started a family, and honestly who knows how my art practice will have evolved by then. I definitely intend to maintain a practice, even when I have kids, but I have no idea what that would look like.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?I hope to use art as an attractive visual way to get a message of deep meaning across to my audience. I want to make nice looking art, as a personal preference. But more than that, I want to say something. Whether that be communicating my struggle as an Americanized Asian, or if it's raising awareness of those in need across the world and those serving them, I want people to think and feel about my work.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?Korean BBQ. Hands down.
12. Favourite book?It's currently The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis. A very entertaining, honest read about humanity and salvation. Did you know that not everybody goes to heaven, and not everybody wants to? Pretty crazy stuff. Really fun to read.
13. Favourite genre of music?Catchy punk rock songs.
14. What are your hobbies?Hammocking, going out for food with friends (food was meant to be social!), shopping at the Dollar Store and Daiso, and watching HGTV.
15. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?I'd probably be in show business, honestly, but as a writer or producer. I love telling stories and helping behind the scenes with that stuff.