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Kaye Kang

Kaye Kang

Meet San Francisco-based artist, Kaye Kang

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hey! I’m a Korean artist based in San Francisco, CA. I’m also a full-time butler of my cat, Gigi. We got here 4 years ago from Korea, and have been through a lot of stuff together. I’ve never pictured myself I’d be a visual development artist, so I just like to call myself an “artist.” When I’m not drawing, I love making short videos about my friends’ funny moments, reading books about feminism, and building something in Minecraft.

 

Describe the city you’re living in and what it’s like to live there.

I spent my teenage years in Ulsan, Korea where you can smell the sea, and then, moved to Seoul to study motion graphics. Currently, I’m living in San Francisco, and I’m always amazed at how blue the sky is here. So far, the people I met have been super kind and I love San Francisco’s chill weather.

 

I spent my teenage years in Ulsan, Korea where you can smell the sea, and then, moved to Seoul to study motion graphics. Currently, I’m living in San Francisco, and I’m always amazed at how blue the sky is here. So far, the people I met have been super kind and I love San Francisco’s chill weather.

 

What is the best and worst thing about living in your city?

The best thing is diversity of people and an easy access to public transportation. But as an artist who has the shittiest stamina, I must say the hill in San Francisco sometimes gives me a hard time, haha. Also, the rent fee here is insanely high.

 

Give us 3 words that describe what it’s like to be a creative in your city.

Diverse, impassioned, charming

 

How did you start your career in art?

I did doodle when I was young like every other artist did but I was not into drawing that time. When I was young, I played Go pretty seriously and became a young Go player. I won several state championships and I wanted to play with boys as well as girls, but they didn’t allow it. I felt very disappointed by that sexist rules and just quit playing Go. After that, I was in a hurricane to find what I’d like to do. I had tried playing drums, making an app game, writing a novel, and making a short film. I certainly knew that I like doing something creative but wasn’t sure what I wanted. Then, I saw the Rise of the Guardians, directed by Peter Ramsey and I felt a great wonder that 3D animation could convey a character’s emotion this close to the real human’s. Since then, I’ve been fascinated by the endless possibilities of 3D animation and got a desire to work in the animation industry. So I dropped out of college where I was majoring in Motion Graphic. Then, I prepared my portfolio and got my first animation gig at Locus in Korea.

 

I saw the Rise of the Guardians, directed by Peter Ramsey and I felt a great wonder that 3D animation could convey a character’s emotion this close to the real human’s. Since then, I’ve been fascinated by the endless possibilities of 3D animation and got a desire to work in the animation industry. So I dropped out of college where I was majoring in Motion Graphic. Then, I prepared my portfolio and got my first animation gig at Locus in Korea.

 

Were the people around you supportive of your decision on working as a creative?

Not really. Both of my parents are teachers and they wanted me to have a more stable job because they thought doing art is the fastest way to die in hunger. I remember that my father used to point out homeless people and whispered to me, “That’s what you’ll become when you do art.” And when I decided to do art seriously, every adult said I started drawing too late. So I’m really grateful for my friends who believed in me and supported me, and I’m glad I decided to come to America for an art school where there are people having the same dreams like me.

 

What are some goals and ambitions you have for your future work?

I’d love to explore something more other than visual development. I want to do 3D modeling, directing, animating, storyboarding, and making graphic novels. One of the ambitions I currently have is that I want to travel the world, and do art diaries, and publish a book out of them.

 

I’d love to explore something more other than visual development. I want to do 3D modeling, directing, animating, storyboarding, and making graphic novels. One of the ambitions I currently have is that I want to travel the world, and do art diaries, and publish a book out of them.

 

If you could collaborate with any person in the world who would it be?

I’ve JUST had a conversation about this with my friends. There are tons of people that I want to collaborate with but it’d be absolutely a dream if I could collaborate with Meryl Streep, Brie Larson, Melissa McCarthy, or Awkwafina. I’d also like to collaborate with Sogno or JappapTV, Korean Youtubers that make amazing entertainments with women for women.

 

What are the biggest challenges you face in working as a creative?

Being constantly inspired is the biggest challenge for me. I believe that art blocks come from a lack of references and a lack of inspiring energy so I always remind myself that I should do something fun other than just doing art.

 

EMPOWERING, independent, and ambitious. Women are the best. I learn valuable lessons from them every day.

 

How would you describe the women around you?

EMPOWERING, independent, and ambitious. Women are the best. I learn valuable lessons from them every day.

 

Were there any local female creatives that you looked up to when you were growing up?

Sadly, I didn’t know many local female creatives when I was growing up. But I looked up to my high school art teacher a lot. Whenever I had trouble drawings or finding my style, she always tried her best to give me a clear answer.

 

There’s something I really want to say to women especially those who grew up in Korea. Sometimes, you gotta just follow your gut.

 

Do you have any advice for other women who are aspiring to work in your field?

There’s something I really want to say to women especially those who grew up in Korea. Sometimes, you gotta just follow your gut.

 


What type of music do you like to listen to?

I listen to any kind of music like hip hop, indie, musical, 80s-90s rock band, jazz, heavy metal and more.

 

What’s your favorite local food spot?

I LOVE sushi and the place I’m currently into is Izakaya Kou that is located in Japantown.

 

Sungmin Choi asks: What are your ways of managing body and mental health for continuous work?

This was the question that I wanted to ask everyone. I’m really not good at managing my health but I’ve been doing yoga and playing tennis regularly to, at least, stay alive. And most importantly I’ve been trying to sleep before 1am these days.

 

Owi Liunic asks: Have you ever experienced creative blocks? What would you do to overcome it?

Of course I have. When I’m having art blocks, I usually try do other things that is not art-related.

 

What question would you like us to ask the next artist?

In the middle of a busy schedule, how do you manage to take care of yourself?

 

 

Photos courtesy of Kaye Kang

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