Recently, I’ve realized that I can have an impact on people with my artwork.
I was always an artistic person, even in my childhood. I drew my 5th grade yearbook cover, the 8th grade yearbook cover, and also designed T-shirts and sweatshirts for my middle school.
I had learned of the airbrush while I was in high school by coming across the Airbrush Action magazines and I was immediately drawn to it by how easily gradations could be created with an airbrush.
After buying my first Vega airbrush and a Badger compressor at Coast Airbrush in Anaheim, I began using this tool in my high school Studio Art AP class mostly painting portraits of people and cars on any scrap illustration board I could get my hands on.
I continued to practice using my airbrush and a few years later attended a class given by Noah at Coast Airbrush. There I learned to properly use the airbrush and purchased my first Iwata HP-C airbrush, the crème de la crème of airbrushes that I use even to this day.
At UCLA, I started my college life by pursuing an undergraduate degree in Economics – the default major for most students that didn’t want to become a doctor, lawyer, or an engineer (not that there’s anything wrong with those professions).
During my second year I wanted to take a few studio art classes at UCLA, but soon found out that I couldn’t unless I was in the major. After cutting through some bureaucratic tape and submitting a portfolio, I added Fine Art and double majored with Economics to keep the parents happy
Throughout UCLA I continued to perfect my expertise, and profoundly improved my skill set. Although Realism and Figurative art was not particularly popular over Abstract and Conceptual art in the Fine Arts program, I believe I left an impression on my professors and my peers.
Fast forward several years and after working in the real world, I decided to airbrush a wedding portrait for my friend, Justin. I had not picked up my Iwata Airbrushes since I started working full-time in the family business, but it came back to me like riding a bike. The additional years of maturity in my life, the improvement of my observational skills, and more importantly, patience, had made my work better than when I’d left it.
A few years and a few projects later, I decided I’m ready to share my artwork with the rest of the world. I realized this is what I do. Friends are one thing, but when complete strangers who have seen my work tell me this is what I should do, I’ve realized that I am on the right path.
I’m inspired by the reactions I’ve receive. My hope is to inspire others in any way that I can through my artwork.
-Sulmo Kim | email@example.com