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Sofie Lee

Sofie Lee

Meet graphic artist and illustrator from USA and South Korea, Sofie Lee

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Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hello! 반가워요 🙂 My name is Sofie Lee, and I’m a freelance graphic artist and illustrator currently working in the motion graphics and animation industry. I’m fond of art and storytelling. I love reading books about art history or about fictional stories that contain components of art in them. I’ve been on a creative journey to find the best way to express myself, seeking opportunities to broaden my horizon, and collecting past experiences in order to apply them to my artwork to interact with the world. 

 

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

I’m a big traveler and love to explore new places. Over the past decade, I’ve lived in Vancouver, Canada/ Rio de Janeiro, Brazil/ Los Angeles, California/ Savannah, Georgia/ Portland, Oregon and moved back to South Korea this January. I’ve been pretty much staying at home since I got back due to Corona, so I could probably talk about my past experiences living in Portland.

Living in Portland felt very magical where it had lots of beautiful scenery, and the city was surrounded by wonderful nature. I could still see the sunshine while it was raining and could find various plants and trees on every block of every street. Driving through a misty morning could be a bit intimidating at first but later on, I enjoyed it, as it made my mood very calm and cozy to start the day. Portland also had the best weather for drinking coffee at a coffee shop with a small journal to just write out my random thoughts

 

I’m a big traveler and love to explore new places.

 

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

One of the best things about living in Portland is that work-life balance is pretty achievable. At least the people I’ve met cherished their own time seriously as much as their job. I also like to stay at home during the weekend which I’m not sure it helps with my mental health, but there is a wide variety of outdoor activities in Oregon that reinforce me to take a break and to breathe in the fresh air. As an Asian though, I felt like the community was a bit too small compared to the other cities like LA or Vancouver. So I often craved home-cooked meals from Korea. 

 

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

Exploring

Challenging

Learning

 

How did you start your career in art?

When I was a teenager I wasn’t sure what I wanted to pursue in my career, nor did I have a specific dream of whom I wanted to be. I knew I wanted to work in the creative field, and I was interested in working for streetwear brands so I began by studying graphic design in LA. My interest and curiosity toward art and design grew more and more, so I decided to transfer to Savannah College Art and Design (SCAD) where I found my love in animation. At school, we have a student-led conference called CoMotion where you get to meet and speak with the creatives from the industry. So I took baby steps by putting myself out there at the conference. I then got an internship which led to a staff position at an animation studio and recently embarked on a freelancing adventure.

 

At school, we have a student-led conference called CoMotion where you get to meet and speak with the creatives from the industry. So I took baby steps by putting myself out there at the conference. I then got an internship which led to a staff position at an animation studio and recently embarked on a freelancing adventure.

 

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

Fortunately yes. I was raised and grew up in a way that I could freely express myself and encouraged to be outspoken with my opinions. I think my parents really tried to understand me when I was a kid. I remember how often I was exposed to the creative environment where I got to communicate through art and music with the people around me. I got my artistic talents from my dad, and he also wanted to be an artist but he couldn’t because of my grandfather. So my parents were very happy and supportive of my decision to work as a creative, which I’m really thankful for to this day.

 

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

Definitely keep learning and growing as a creative. I also want to be a good listener, and have been having fellowships in mind as a goal for this year. But most importantly, I want to sustain my passion and love for art and animation regardless of the situation until I die.

 

Definitely keep learning and growing as a creative. I also want to be a good listener, and have been having fellowships in mind as a goal for this year. But most importantly, I want to sustain my passion and love for art and animation regardless of the situation until I die.

 

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

Honestly, I’m very thankful for anyone who trusts and appreciates my work. So whoever believes in me and shares the same interests or visions, I’d really welcome them with all my heart. I do have a surreal and dreamy list in mind… that are; Joe Wright and Wes Anderson. 

 

How would you describe the women around you?

Strong, assertive, smart, lovable, passionate, independent, motivational, genuine

 

Strong, assertive, smart, lovable, passionate, independent, motivational, genuine

 

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

Yes. My art teachers back in my elementary and middle school. I’m not sure if I was subconsciously driven by strong and thoughtful women while growing up, but I’ve always had very charismatic and wise women around me who were way older than I was. And I genuinely loved having conversations with them. 

 

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

Luckily I haven’t faced any situations where I was treated differently because of my sexual orientation in the industry. 

 

Yes! Whenever I have had any moments of uncertainty or doubt as a creative, I remind myself that there is only one of you in this universe and that nothing can be more authentic than who you are. 

 

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

Yes! Whenever I have had any moments of uncertainty or doubt as a creative, I remind myself that there is only one of you in this universe and that nothing can be more authentic than who you are. 

 


What type of music do you like to listen to?

It varies depending on my mood. When I feel good or want to feel better, I listen to old school Jazz music. When I’m a bit stressed, I sometimes find random heavy metal music on Youtube.

 

What’s your favorite local food spot?

Needless to say, Hat Yai – My favorite Thai restaurant that serves the best fried chicken and curry in Portland.

 

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

Do you think AI would replace us in the future?

 

 

Photos and videos courtesy of Sofie Lee
Work 5 & 6: Design by Sofie Lee Animation by Lykke Dalum
Work 11: Created at Oddfellows

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