Ji Young Lee


Ji Young Lee was born and raised in Seoul, South Korea. She came to the U.S. to study economics at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. After working in the financial industry for several years, Ji Young Lee returned to her childhood love of art. She was trained at The Atelier School of Classical Realism in Oakland, CA and is the author and illustrator of several picture books. Ji Young Lee now lives and paints in San Francisco. Her current works include a graphic memoir and a series of large canvases that seek to convey her love of the female form in water.

Artist Statement

I like to start painting without any preconceived ideas of what the end image should look like. I am just playing with colors and shapes adding each stroke at a time to reach the point where I feel it’s right. Painting is like dancing. When I am painting, I am experiencing the lines, forms and colors.

In a way painting is a complement to my drawing practice. I have been drawing everyday since the pandemic. It was a way to keep myself centered. I draw nine panels of images as a way to recount my day. This often leads me into quite delightful surprises as a narrative.

As narrative drawings can be too representational and restricted, painting really expands the possibilities beyond my thinking.

I am interested in combining these two practices together to create the right expression of these two separate modes of how I relate to the outside world.

Selected Work

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