Oscar Flores-Montero: How did you know you were an artist? At what age did you start creating?
Jean Kim: I think being exposed to art at a young age has inspired me to become an artist. I started creating art in first grade. After that, I started to take art lessons and competed in art competitions as a child and never stopped painting or making art since then. It wasn’t until I was in highschool that I decided to pursue art as a career.
OFM: What does a typical studio day look like for you?
JK: I spend the day sketching out concept designs and use wire and playdough to create a miniature model. When I am fabricating the pieces, I am usually outdoors. I do a lot of research on the computer for different ideas and approaches.
OFM: Material choice is very intentional in your practice. What inspired your material choice for Standing Tall?
JK: Standing Tall is the first piece that I created in aluminum. This is because of the durable nature of aluminum in comparison to downspout. It is wind resistant and lasts longer outdoors. I wanted to be mindful of where my pieces were being exhibited during the pandemic so that people can enjoy the art without worry and to brighten people’s hearts.
OFM: Did the pandemic affect your approach to creating art? If so, how?
JK: Before the pandemic, much of my art was designed for indoor exhibition. Many galleries, artists, and audiences were left in isolation. I shifted my focus from indoor to outdoor and my approach and materials used changed naturally. I love playful colors and wanted to provide a space and a moment to enjoy without worry.