Wednesday, October 28, 2009


I recorded my first song, called "listen" a couple of months ago -- the day Michael Jackson died. I know this because at some point I checked my phone and I had text messages from my friends informing me of the fact. My song doesn't sound anything at all like Michael Jackson, but MJ is one of my fave artists of all time.

anyway, please check it out on my myspace:

violins/vocals: Janet Kim
guitar: John Chambers
recorded & mixed by John Chambers
mastered by Tim Boyce at Masterdisk Indie

If I were a wayward man...

Often creative people have more than one creative outlet. For instance, the lead singer of one of my favorite bands, Franz Ferdinand, constructs furniture in his free time.

I have a few different creative outlets that are constantly competing with each other. I have developed an analogy of a wayward man to illustrate my relationship with each of them.

So, if I were a wayward man...

Fine art (and specifically painting) would be my true love, the one who captured my heart at an early age, but who I didn't have the balls to pursue. When I was a wee lass, I told my parents I wanted to be an artist. They told me that artists were poor and discouraged me from pursuing it as a career. All through growing up, the one class I looked forward to was art class. I took classes at school, sometimes after school, but I never really developed it in the same way I developed my academics.

Finally in college I realized I needed to let myself really study it, even for a few years, as I'd probably never get the chance otherwise. Senior year, when I was working on my thesis (mainly in painting), I started to wonder what it would be like to do it for real -- try to be an artist -- but I chickened out.

One thing that is so difficult about being an artist, other than of course, the financial realities, is that it's hard to know when your work is "good" because there's so much subjectivity involved. I'm not talking about technical skill, because most talented artists could be trained to do the type of photorealistic work that wows people. Work that's not only true to yourself, but also keeps pushing the envelope. Ultimately, I decided not to push forward on that path. I still try to make time to paint once in a while, and I tell myself that if I ever get rich, I will retire and just paint a lot. I probably idealize a career as a painter because I've never tried it.

Fashion would be my wife. She was so glamorous and exciting when I first met her (when I was a teenager), so I decided to commit to her (and become a fashion designer), but there are times where I really wonder whether we'll work out. We have our ups and are downs, but for now, I'm trying to make it work. Since college, most of the things I've done have been in pursuit of my fashion career. If you've read the other entries in my blog, you know that my life is designed to make my fashion career work.

Then there is music, who would be my mistress. I was introduced to music at a young age. Whereas my parents didn't support my interest in art, they made me start playing the violin at a young age because they believed that it would help me get into college. I spent a great deal of my time growing up doing music -- I had private violin lessons once a week, orchestra rehearsals twice a week, plus theory lessons, group lessons, and chamber music rehearsals. In addition, I played violin with my school orchestra and chamber group.

My mom, who is a talented singer and plays guitar and piano, would teach Korean folk music class to us kids when I went to Korean school (from K-5th grade or so). That was probably my first experience of singing. Then there was singing at church, and singing in elementary and middle school, when everyone took chorus. My family always told me I was a bad singer, but I still enjoyed it.

So music was that girl who was always around, so we hooked up. I liked her, but I never felt like I could commit to her forever. But I got used to having her around, so we never stopped hanging out. As I got older, music went from being something I felt like I had to do to something that I enjoyed doing, especially as I transitioned from my classical training to playing in a more improvisatory style with bands and singer/songwriters. I play violin once in a while with friends in bands, and the band at church. I've also been learning the guitar and starting to write songs. I'll post the link in a separate post.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Whenever I go shopping...

I have two thoughts:

1) I should spend the time designing/making clothes for myself instead

2) I need to work out.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Emmanuelle Alt quote about success in fashion

opening look from his spring 2010 collection

For the past few seasons, Christophe Decarnin's star has been rising with his rock star collections for the French house, Balmain. Cathy Horyn wrote a profile on Decarnin last year for T magazine. I thought the following quote by Emmanuelle Alt (an editor at French Vogue) was apt.

From Couture Dude by Cathy Horyn written for T magazine 10/19/08:

His rise at Balmain seems improbable for another reason. I asked Alt, who has known him for 15 years, why she thought it had taken Decarnin so long — he is now 45 — to get noticed. ‘‘I think success in life is half your personality and half your talent,’’ she said. ‘‘He has the talent, but the personality. . . .’’ She smiled. ‘‘You know, if you always stay in the shadows and don’t have the connections, it’s more difficult. Some people have a lot less talent, but they push themselves and go out and meet people.’’ Decarnin said he never goes to clubs. He once went to St.-Tropez but it was years ago, he said.

hanging with his pal julia restoin roitfeld