«An artist is as good as
his point of view»

Joseph Lee:
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Step-by-step demonstration of creating a female portrait using a free technique with elements of unique style.
Demonstration of creating a female portrait from reference with detailed comments and conversation with the Artist, questions from the audience and honest detailed answers.

American abstract artist of Korean origin Joseph Lee shares his views on success, creativity, inspiration, and the importance of cultural identity.
About the family
My family is originally from South Korea, but I grew up in a rural town in Indiana (USA). My parents worked all day, so most of my childhood was spent alone in front of the TV. He was my first teacher.
in my city, art was almost inaccessible. The only source was illustrated books in the local library. My mother would drop me off at her place after school, and there I would spend hours exploring how big this world really was. I'm an only child, so I learned to entertain myself early on. I remember locking myself in the storeroom and playing for hours, inventing characters, and storylines.
You don't have to be self-taught to become a successful artist. But the fact that I learned everything on my own gave me the freedom to create without looking at examples. I was not bound by any rules.
I draw because it's my natural reaction to everything I feel. I live in my head most of the day. I'm constantly processing thoughts and emotions that I can't put into words. Painting is my language.
I wouldn't want to meet my idols. Most of them would probably like to be left alone.
About success
When I was 25, I worked in a restaurant and barely made ends meet. I wrote at home every day after work. I sold the first painting for $ 1,500 in cash, and the money covered two months of rent for the apartment. when it happened, I was speechless! I've never seen so much money before. then I felt the confidence I needed to quit my job at a restaurant and start writing all day.
I do not know what the art world was like before me, but in our time, art is a business. You don't have to follow fashion or trends, but it's important to know them. The words "artist" and "hungry" are synonymous for me: it is important for us to be hungry for life.
Success is a subjective concept. Some people want to create a masterpiece, while others just want to scrape together the rent. Everyone has their own idea of success.
For me, this is a way to paint pictures and not work at the same time "for my uncle". In that sense, I'm living a better life now.
About creativity
The most difficult and admirable thing to do is to balance all your creative energy into real life.
If I don't draw, it's hard for me to stay in one place. My mind is always looking for something to do. If I was only allowed to draw with one thing, it would be a pencil. Priceless material that costs nothing.
The artist is as good as his point of view. In the age of social media, it's easy to get lost in the material overload and vision of others. Always concentrate on your work, keep creating, and your own feelings will naturally develop.
Last year, I was invited to star in a Korean TV series, and I went to Seoul for three months. This coincided with stagnation in my work. The incredible opportunity to leave the studio for a while, feel like an actor and invest my energy in other activities beckoned me. But soon I found myself painting in a hotel room. All my senses were overwhelmed by the surrounding architecture, fashion, customs, local aesthetics. I wanted to fully immerse myself in this culture and learn about my own ancestry. It was this experience that made me realize how ambiguous my personal and cultural identity is between the two cultures. Therefore, my work began to take a more abstract, ambiguous direction.
About inspiration
I believe in the words of Chuck Close: "Inspiration is for amateurs, the rest just work." I don't rely on inspiration to draw. I like the process of creating a picture. everything else comes by itself.
I like to listen to hip-hop and jazz. They awaken in me the confidence of a rebel as I write.
Also at our website you can find a fascinating demonstration lesson «Contemporary art» by Joseph Lee, which was recorded at the international interactive festival ARTLIFE FEST.
Online class
At the course you will learn the secrets of the unique style, working in the technique of oil painting. During his online class, Joseph Lee shared the secrets of his work in the technique of oil painting, and consecutively demonstrated the elements of the unique style.
If you are interested in oil painting portraits, then you can go to our site, where you can learn more about the artist and his unusual technique.
Online class