Shana's Artist: Kimchi Kawaii
When did you start making art?
I've pretty much been making art since I knew how to make marks on paper as a kid. I always knew I wanted to be an artist. I originally thought I was going to work for Disney. I think that was partly cause where I grew up, artist = work for Disney, lol.
What made you move into product design?
I think for me it was just a natural progression as I came up with 2D designs and wanted to have them come to life in various mediums beyond print. I would see something and think, 'Hm, that medium could work for X design that I have!' and then I give it a shot. I also knew that I needed to diversify my product line. Like not everyone was going to want or have use for prints or stickers, so offering the design on multiple options could help draw in more people. I know once I started doing plush, that's when Kimchi really started to take off.
You love a good pun. Why are you so punny?
Lol, I've always had a mind that will snap to a pun. If I was a dad, I'd be the daddiest of dad jokers around. I'm sure my kids would be experts at rolling their eyes.
It must be challenging to have plushies made, especially through kickstarter. Any thoughts or advice about that to aspiring plush designers?
One of the things that annoys me is when people say that outsourcing plush is taking the easy way! It's still a lot of work to get your 2D design from your head to a diagram that can then be understood by someone half a world away in addition to the possible language barrier. And you have to be so patient too as there can be lots of edits back and forth until your vision is a satisfactory plush. One of my most complicated designs took a year and a half to get right!
Plush outsourcing is definitely an investment and so I've turned to Kickstarters to fund these things that I otherwise wouldn't be able to do on my own. A Kickstarter in itself is a lot of work and requires full attention. It's an emotional roller coaster, but when it works, it's so rewarding to finally have that item in your hands and know that enough people believed in your idea to put money towards making it happen! I've done 15? 16? Kickstarters now, so always willing to answer questions about how to set up and run a project.
You've been working with Shana Logic for over a decade. What is that like? Spill the tea ;-)
Wow, it's been THAT long? It's been awesome! I think you were my first retail opportunity outside of my own efforts through cons and my online shop. I remember seeing the stuff you sold and thinking it would be so cool to have my own things in there with all the other super cool artists! I think I still have the heart sprinkle necklace I bought from your shop way back in the day too.
Normally this is the time I ask you about your pets, but I have something more important to talk about. You and I both love BTS! #ARMY!
YES!!! Also, I don't have pets so I wouldn't have anything to talk about here otherwise, lol. My allergies make it hard to have one.
When did you first get into BTS and do you have a bias?
Is there a word limit here? LOL. I kind of casually discovered BTS a few years ago. I got into kpop with groups like SHINee and Super Junior way back in the day. And then since I was listening to them, when Spotify came around, it would suggest other kpop groups. I really like EDM and so I think it was 'I'm Fine' that was the song that made me pay attention. And I was always looking for more kpop groups to listen to anyway. Then I saw Carpool Karaoke with them and that was the start of the rabbit hole. I remember liking 'that kid in the red'. I didn't know their names at the time. That was Jimin. He was my bias for a while, but then Taehyung came in Dynamite era and wrecked my bias so hard. He just has the best expressions and knows how to play to a camera and his voice is so smooth, both singing and speaking. I do really love Jimin's crystal clear voice as well and he just seems so magical at times. I'm actually working on a Dynamite Tae cosplay to wear once cons start up again.
Do you have a favorite song or performance?
I love a bunch of their stuff across their library. I like Paldogangsan (also known as Satoori Rap), Jump, Blood Sweat and Tears, DNA, Filter, Dynamite and Butter just to name a few. The video for BS&T remains a favorite. I also can't get enough of Butter. Tae's looking hot in the orange and also Jimin's unicorn hair is seriously underrated! Plus, the Hotter remix video is a BTS chaos in the best way. I mean who wasn't waiting for Jimin to take a fall when they saw him within range of a chair??
Anything else you'd like to add?
I can't believe I've been doing this for 14 years now! There are so many more things I want to do with Kimchi in both designs and products so here's to many more years to come!