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Sarah Oh

Sarah Oh

Meet motion designer and illustrator from Los Angeles, Sarah Oh

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Growing up in a city most known for its auto park, many of my childhood days were spent feeding the neighborhood animals (inviting stray cats, a praying mantis, and at one point, a peacock into my home), as well as doodling up silly scenarios in my sketchbook. All that doodling eventually led to me enrolling at ArtCenter College of Design, where I’m currently studying motion design and illustration! When I’m not creating you can find me searching for deals on eBay, antique shopping, or walking my dog.

 

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

There’s a strange kind of warmth being near Koreatown for me: living surrounded by Korean food, the 노래방’s, and the saunas. As a Korean-American, it’s a comforting yet alienating experience being so close to the culture you feel so distant to.

 

There’s a strange kind of warmth being near Koreatown for me: living surrounded by Korean food, the 노래방’s, and the saunas. As a Korean-American, it’s a comforting yet alienating experience being so close to the culture you feel so distant to.

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

Best Things: Lots of ethnically diverse restaurants and foods, Access to the beach and hiking trails, Warm winters

Worst things: Impossible to find parking, Traffic, Summer heat, Fear of earthquakes striking at any moment

 

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

Fast-paced, Humbling, Inspiring

 

How did you start your career in art?

Like most artists, for as long as I can remember I’ve been labeled as the “Art Kid” by my classmates. I was always expected to handle anything creative for group projects, asked to design t-shirts and posters, painted classrooms, etc…  Looking back, I realize now that I shouldn’t have done most of that work for free, but the few projects that did pay dared me to consider illustration as a career. Senior year of high school, I applied to ArtCenter where I’m now surrounded by amazing faculty and peers who all push and inspire me to be a better artist.

 

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

Although many of my friends and both my parents were supportive of my decision, I did often get the side comment from others about how “art isn’t a viable career path” and that I would “be a starving artist”. As hard as I tried not to listen, I would be lying if I said that the comments didn’t bother me. For months, I stressed/cried over whether this would be the right decision or not. Thankfully, I listened to my gut and enrolled at ArtCenter, where I’ve since broadened my horizons and learned to debunk the internalized myth that art doesn’t pay.

 

Thankfully, I listened to my gut and enrolled at ArtCenter, where I’ve since broadened my horizons and learned to debunk the internalized myth that art doesn’t pay.

 

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

I want to be involved in a lot of projects! I may be studying to be a motion designer, but that doesn’t mean that I want to limit myself to only that type of work. I find that I have the most fun when exploring things that are new and challenging! Dream job, however, would be to be able to draw something for Ikea.

 

I find that I have the most fun when exploring things that are new and challenging!

 

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

Maybe it’s a bit of a reach but.. Nathan Fielder if you’re reading this, my inbox is always open for collaboration. More realistically though, I’d love to have a chance to collaborate with anyone who shares a passion for creating!

 

How would you describe the women around you?

Hardworking. Resourceful. Wise. Resilient. I owe so much to the role models in my life who have all offered me so much advice and support.

 

Hardworking. Resourceful. Wise. Resilient.

 

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

Being a creative student at a STEM-oriented magnet school, I consider myself really lucky to have such a supportive art teacher by my side. For the majority of my high school years, many peers and faculty would tell me that pursuing an artistic career would be a bad move, that I should pursue something more stable. If it weren’t for the drive and push I got from Ms. Sposa, I’m not sure if I would have had the confidence to pursue this passion and end up where I am today.

 

Are there any challenging aspects of being a female in your industry?

To my knowledge, I’ve been very fortunate not to have run into any mistreatment as a woman, but I have heard stories from friends and others. Although I personally haven’t dealt with any of these stories, I think it’s important to acknowledge how historically cis/white/male-dominated the industry is. Yes, in recent years there have been many strides, but there still is much work to be done in terms of representation and bringing marginalized peoples into positions of leadership.

 

Be confident in the work you create!

 

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

Be confident in the work you create! Don’t let anyone make you doubt yourself for doing what speaks to you (especially if those voices come from people who don’t respect the arts).

 

 

Photos courtesy of Sarah Oh.

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