Joanne Nam is orginally from Korea and currently lives and works in Los Angeles
How long have you been working in your medium/ as a painter? How did you become interested in oil painting?
Joanne: I have been using oil paints for about a year. Before then, I explored different mediums. I like oil paint the best because it gives me some time and space to think. Oil paint is the perfect medium for someone like me.
What is your first memory of creating art?
Joanne: When I was young, I really liked the characters from Disney films. I asked my dad to draw them on paper so I can play with them. I had toys too, but I really liked to watch my dad draw. One day, he got annoyed and told me to draw by myself. That was my first memory of creating art. The character I drew was not even close to the original. However, I remember that I played with that paper doll for a long time. After that, I never asked my dad to draw again because I realized I could also do it.
I noticed a lot of the subjects in your work have a somber, maybe even sad, distinctions about them. Why do your paintings reflect such unhappy facial expressions?
Joanne: It was because of the subject matter. I like to choose a memory that is mysterious, haunted, lonely, curious, and somehow depressed. I love the mood they creat when I bring them on my canvas.
At first I couldn’t tell if the facial distortions were intentional or not. Could you describe a bit about your creative process?
Joanne: The world that I wish to create was not a perfect world. I am not a perfect person, therefore my life and my memories were not even close to perfection. The girl in the painting titled “Light” has a distorted facial expression. I hope to make the audience wonder why. I believe it would eventually create mystery.
How do you choose the subject of your painting?
Joanne: Until now, most of the subject matter of my paintings were from old memories. When I was young, my house was located in the middle of a forest. It was an isolated place. My parents were always busy so my sister and I had to spent a lot of time together at the house. There are good memories too, but only the depressed memories seemed very attractive to me.
What are your goals as an artist, what are you working towards?
Joanne: I want to become an artist that people remember.That is what I always keep in mind whenever I work. It helps me to stay fresh and bring me back to my work.
What are some of your favorite Asian films?
Joanne: I love Asian horror films such as Ju-On(directed by Takashi Shimizu, Japan, ) and Hansel and Gretel(directed by Philsung Lim, Korea).
What do you believe is the key element in creating a good oil painting? Is it execution or the ability to manipulate?
Joanne: The most important thing that I always look for in paintings is curiosity.
“Mud” occurs when there are no color relationships, temperature relationships, and/or the values are just way off. What advice would you give an amateur oil painter to avoid this particular pitfall?
Joanne: I think it is important to know what kind of image they want to create. Mud is certainly a hard subject to paint. However, we should also remember that we do not have to exactly copy the original image. Mud always can be a very interesting subject matter if we mix them with our imagination.
What surprises do you have in store for the remainder of 2013?
Joanne: I am currently working on a project called “Night out”. It is based on the impression I get from living in modern times. I am trying to invoke the mysterious feeling and heart flutters that night gives you on my canvas.
Want to see more of Joanne’s work? Visit her site below: