To Top

Art & Life with Joanne Ji Young Kim

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joanne Ji Young Kim.

Joanne Ji Young, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I was born in Seoul, Korea, and I moved to California when I was in fourth grade. Growing up, I wasn’t a child prodigy that won all the art competitions in town. I didn’t have any family members or people around me who were working in the creative field. With my limited knowledge of the art world, I thought all the artists were unhappy and died young.

I was a very average kid that went to school and took multiple classes my mom signed me up for afterward. My mom always had to force me to go to these classes, but art class was the only one that I didn’t quit and looked forward to attending every week. I think my interest in art grew from then. Throughout middle school and high school, all the electives I chose were related to drawing and painting. My interest always lied heavily in art and design. I realized that art could be pursued as a career when I started attending ArtCenter College of Design. Studying illustration at school, I found my love for making images.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
Most of the time, I’m drawing on paper with colored pencils. For my personal work, I draw about my childhood in Korea. I’ve never went back to visit ever since my family and I immigrated to U.S, so the places and the towns I went as a child are vaguely reminiscent in my brain. I find it fascinating to draw from my own memories rather than working from one specific photo because my drawings look the way I remember rather than looking exactly like the photo. Drawing from my memories enables me to incorporate my own nostalgic feelings about the places, and I would like to share these memories with the viewers through my work.

What responsibility, if any, do you think artists have to use their art to help alleviate problems faced by others? Has your art been affected by issues you’ve concerned about?
I think that it has always been the role of artists to make people see things or places differently through their work. My personal works are drawn heavily from my memories of the past, so I would say they are not highly affected by the current events. My illustrations, however, are mostly about what is happening around the world. Often current issues and events become the topic of the illustrations I make for projects and for clients. I always try to focus on how the events are affecting the people and whom are affected by these issues. My goal is to help the viewers grasp a sense of how the people are affected and how they would feel.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
My works can be seen on my website ( or on my Instagram (@joannekimie).

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Francis Yang

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in