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Meet Will Kim

Today we’d like to introduce you to Will Kim.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I believe every moment of our lives has a reason for celebrations including being born and death, etc. Even though I was born in Los Angeles and raised in both Korea and the US back and forth, I spent most of my childhood in Seoul, Korea where I got exposed to visual arts in a very early age. My dad has been a big arts enthusiast since he was a kid and my mom is a custom designer. My parents fully supported me in preparing to enter the most competitive and renowned arts middle school in Korea when I decided to take the entrance exam in my 5th Grade.

In 90s, as a male, it was considered very rare for people in my parents’ generation to send their boys to an arts middle school. It almost required a very brave and serious decision making for my parents. I didn’t realize how serious it was until the first day of the school when I was among three boys sitting in the classroom along with 47 other girls.

Ever since I got accepted to that arts middle school, I have been drawing and painting non-stop and fell in love with a medium of watercolor in particular. So, my declared major during high school time naturally became Korean Traditional Art and Painting. As a result, I had drawn and painted many plants, animals, and portraits of people from different age and life.

Every time I put my brush down on a paper, my appreciation for life grew enormously. Fast-forward to today in my mid-30s, I have become an animation artist who paints and animates every moment of life 30 frames per second on countless papers.

Please tell us about your art.
I animate with watercolor, frame by frame painted on individual watercolor sheets. In this technologically advanced / computer generated animation era, I am going kind of the opposite of a trend. I animate this way because when I put together my animation paintings in a linear format, I can see colors of a movement changing almost every other frame, kind of like when you look at a water reflection with mild water wave. I feel different and things look different every second of the time I look at things. I want to do my best to celebrate those moments.

In terms of types of story I choose to tell, I tend to choose a story of love, despair, life, and death. Once again, I hope viewers of my animation will join me in enjoying and celebrating every moment of life.

Given everything that is going on in the world today, do you think the role of artists has changed? How do local, national or international events and issues affect your art?
I believe the primary role of artists has always been touching other people’s souls in various ways. In my opinion, that has never changed. Lots of political and social international events have influenced my art in one way or another. For example, I recently directed a short animated film called, “Glorious Victory” which is about two beetles fighting over a fruit despite other fruits and plants around them. I was inspired by the 2016 presidential election where I found the candidates from both of the parties not going anywhere and missing out what other important things/issues are around them. I wanted to criticize it and express my feeling in a poetic way. You can check out this film on this link.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I direct and animate an animated short film almost other year. Therefore, my shorts are screened at various international film festivals every time I complete a film and I announce all the screenings along with my freelance work stuff and exhibition news on my Instagram and I often post works in progress, doodles, and little animated GIFs on my Instagram as well. You can view some of my full length animated short films, demo reel, bio, drawings, etc. on my website

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Image Credit:
Will Kim

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