Today we’d like to introduce you to Luke Ge.
Luke, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was born and raised in San Jose, up in Northern California and right by Apple. I spent a lot of time keeping to myself, playing video games and chatting with online friends.
In elementary and middle school, I always had stories brewing in my head. I initially learned how to draw because I was terrible at writing and wanted to show off how cool my characters were somehow.
My very first drawing tablet was a 60 dollar Wacom Bamboo Tablet. It was cheaper to buy this than traditional art supplies, and I poured countless hours onto the tiny 4 by 7 inch working space.
I attended Lynbrook high school and it was here I started cultivating art as a serious career path. Surrounded by a high-pressure academic setting, I couldn’t find myself fitting in or keeping up with the kids who were dedicating their high school years to beefing up their application for when they eventually applied to an Ivy League.
I escaped and became an ‘art kid’. The ones who loiter in the art room during lunchtime with the other artists and geeks. Mr.Akamichi, the advanced studio art teacher, guided me to create a portfolio to apply to art colleges. To this day, my most creative and fun projects were done in his studio. He gave me the resources to create things I was never able to have before. One of my most memorable projects in his class was creating a dress from leftover silk screen cloth.
Thanks to his guidance, I was accepted into ArtCenter College of Design, where I later received my BFA for Illustration.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The hardest part of my journey was definitely battling with myself throughout college. I grew up constantly surrounded by people smarter than me and was told that art wasn’t a viable career choice. Even after being accepted into ArtCenter, no matter how much work I put into my classes, or how good my grades were. None of it was acknowledged by my family and I had always felt I could do better.
I emotionally tanked at the start of my 3rd year at ArtCenter, the anxiety and fear I was running on ran out and I had to reevaluate what I truly wanted to do in the future. I’ve considered dropping out and pursuing a career in social services several time but never followed through.
It was thanks to my friends that I pulled myself out of that hole. Seeing them working so hard to pursue their dream career still inspires me to this day! I didn’t want to give up when everyone else was in a similar situation and still fighting. I dragged myself through my junior year, but by the end, I found peace of mind and was ready to face the daunting task of preparing a professional portfolio for my graduation.
GhostRoots – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My independent company, GhostRoots, is a lifestyle and apparel brand I opened this year! The name GhostRoots [guǐ gēn] is a play on the Chinese saying, “落叶归根” [luò yè guī gēn]. It means that everything eventually returns to its roots.
This company is a passion project where I reconcile with my Chinese heritage through art. I want to make a space within fashion for people like me. The personal aesthetics I strive to achieve is combining old Chinese design motifs with contemporary looks that are easily accessible to everyone!
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Money is obviously important, it gives you peace of mind and the freedom to pursue your passion. But if I only drew for profit I know, I would eventually burn myself out.
Success to me is building life long connections with others and being able to create art that can convey my feelings to others.
I think my ultimate marker for success would be the opportunities to give back to my childhood. I grew up on comics and video games inspiring me to draw and create stories. I would love to work within the publishing side of the entertainment industry, be it designing posters or drawing comics; so I can inspire kids like myself.
- Website: lukege.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/strawbearrymilk/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/strawbearrymilk
- Other: https://www.ghostroots.com/