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Check out Karen Hong’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karen Hong.

Karen, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
My mom was a big influence in carving my passion for illustration and design. She wanted to pursue a graphic design career when she was pregnant with me!

As a kid, I painted and used a lot of pastels in my “work”. As I entered high school, I grew an interest in using digital tools to create communicative art, which led me to pursue a professional career in graphic design. During college, I became more interested in motion and animation. After graduating from CalArts in 2016, I was lucky enough to intern and work with Brand New School, an amazing motion studio in West LA. I got to work with talented, humble people on a lot of cool commercial projects like Google, T-Mobile, Twitter, etc. From that experience, I learned to push myself in illustration and character design in my personal work. Now I’ve been Headspace’s (a personal meditation guide app) editorial designer since last July, making fun and meaningful illustrations and animations.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
Back in college, I really enjoyed creating abstract and surreal landscapes that were inspired by sci-fi movies. My style has definitely changed in the past couple of years. Now I really enjoy making silly characters with a small backstory to them. I try to create work that will make me happy, hoping it will also make others smile too. I get inspired by video games that are great at communicating sentimental feelings through simplicity (ex: Earthbound, Journey, Animal Crossing, Pikmin).

I also like to play around with clay and make figurines based on my doodles. I grew up watching lots of claymation like Pingu and Pat & Mat; I love the nostalgia that comes with playing with clay.

What do you think it takes to be successful as an artist?
I think an artist is successful when 1) the clients reach out to them for work in the artist’s style and 2) when the artist’s work is recognizable and loved by many others. Being a great artist is helpful, but I think having your own style and voice in your work is key! How boring art would be if everyone had the same style and technique. And of course, most importantly, is to love your work!

Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I have a website, but I am more efficient with uploading recent work on my Instagram! I am also currently setting up an Etsy shop to sell my clay figurines and am contemplating about selling prints.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Karen Hong

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