Seven Questions for Kanghee Kim - Interview series by Sunshine Frère
Greetings fellow Thrivesters!
I've been invited to share a recent series of interviews that I completed on the Thrive Blog. Recently, I asked 7 artists 7 questions about their careers. Each artist comes from a different practice and each artist also uses very different media. It was a great way to compare and contrast the variety of creative approaches to an art practice. Some great insight is on offer in this series, I hope that you enjoy it! - Sunshine Frère
ARTIST 1 OF 7 - KANGHEE KIM
KangHee Kim is a Korean artist who lives and works in New York. She completed a BFA in Painting in 2014 and over the past two years her practice has shifted towards photography. She has exhibited in the USA, Canada and Europe and her work has been featured in Vice Magazine, Ignant, Boom online and Trendland. In addition to her lens based practice, Kim also continues to paint. http://kanghee.kim/
WHAT TYPE OF SOCIAL MEDIA DO YOU USE TO PROMOTE YOUR WORK, AND WHY DO YOU USE IT?
I use tumblr and Instagram. I feel like both sites are easy to use and put works up on. I prefer Instagram. It feels more personal to me. I like how my work integrates with other things that I post. Some people prefer to have two accounts, one for their art and one for their personal posts. But that's not me. I got into photography first through Instagram.
HOW DO YOU BRAINSTORM AND COME UP WITH NEW IDEAS FOR PROJECTS?
I never start with a very specific idea. I start with vague ideas and figure out what I am interested in. I often start by taking photos on the street, photos of everyday life. I have also been doing a lot of collages lately. I also really like the happy accidents that occur during my process, I play a lot with those accidents. I try to keep things really broad, make a lot of work, and then edit things down. I slowly figure out what I am trying to do and say.
HOW DO YOU MANAGE YOUR TIME IN ORDER TO ENSURE YOU COMPLETE PROJECTS ON TIME?
I not very good at this. I try to pace myself, but also try had to finish everything ahead of time so that I don't panic to finish things by the deadline. I make small goals over the course of the week and try to finish these goals on time.
IS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU WISHED THAT YOU HAD LEARNED EARLIER IN YOUR CAREER THAT WOULD HAVE SAVED YOU TIME AND EFFORT?
I started by studying painting in college. I still paint, but now I do a lot of photography. I wish that I had pinned down more technical skills, like studio lighting etc. As an artist, you have to often balance commission work and more commercial work to cover your costs while you make the work you are passionate about. A lot of my commissions involve studio lighting skills. I feel like I missed out on learning some valuable skills when I was a student. I am slowly catching up now, but it would have been helpful and saved a lot of time if I had learnt it in school. Also, I haven't done a lot of interning or assisting, but I think it would help.
WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVOURITE PART ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
Being in front of the computer more than I want to be, I don't like that too much. I feel like people often thing that photographers spend a lot of time outdoors. But if you think about it, editing takes much more time than the actual shoot. Also, organizing all of your archives, all that kind of stuff, that is the least favourite part. It's a lot of work and you need to be organized. I'm not so organized....
WHAT IS THE MOST FAVOURITE OR THE BEST PART ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
It is the making of the work. Being freelance is great, I have worked in a lab before, you spend a lot more time in the office. I realized that I value my freedom more than money so I now have more freedom. Being an artist is often solitary, even as a photographer you often work alone, but one of my favourite things is engaging with the outdoors and nature. And actually interacting with people!
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE INTERESTED IN A CAREER IN PHOTOGRAPHY?
Whether you are a painter, sculptor or photographer, it is really important that you believe in yourself and keep seeking out what inspires you the most. Also, try to really have fun! If you love what you do, you'll make a ton of work. Also, forming a good peer group of people who inspire you, it's really important for your career. Enjoying life will also influence what you try to make so try to be open and engaged with what you are doing.