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Meet Joy Lee of Joydraws in Pasadena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joy Lee.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Joy. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Well, I was obsessed with tv animation since I could walk. I remember I used to sit by the TV with my little 2$ sketchbook, pause the tv, and draw the characters I saw. But pursuing art as a career never crossed my mind as an option especially coming from a Korean family. I originally planned on being a dentist. My mom eventually let me go to an art academy after she realized that artists can actually make money. I was in that academy for three years starting from my junior year of highschool. I decided to go to Art Center college of design entering as an Illustration – entertainment arts major and from there, I fell in love with background design.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It definitely hasn’t been. From the first year of college, I took the workload for granted. My grades were so bad I ended up getting academic probation and risked losing my scholarship which would mean no more art school. I managed to get my act together and raised my grades, but funnily enough, I got an email telling me that I actually lost my scholarship. After freaking out for 10 minutes, it turned out to be a mistake. But not before my mom received a letter informing her of my scholarship loss. She almost disowned me. Another thing that was a pretty big issue was that I didn’t know how to draw/paint digitally up until my junior year at Art Center. So about 2/3rds of the projects I worked on were trashed.

Please tell us about Joydraws.
Well, I’m not exactly a business. I’m just an art student. What I specialize in is background art and layout art as well as prop design. I design backgrounds for new scenery and draw/paint those backgrounds for the final animation and if a scene requires a rusty shack where the main character lives, that’s where I shine.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Honestly, just not having to worry about anything. I miss not having responsibilities and just being able to go outside to play with my neighbor’s kids. Now I have to worry about my stupid future. Being an adult sucks.

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