Interview with Painter, Seonna Hong

How did you get started doing what you do?
I’ve been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember. Where it officially left the refrigerator door and into a world that I thought I could possibly occupy was when I started entering art contests in school, grocery stores… wherever I could and sometimes winning! And at the very least getting a ‘thanks for participating’ ribbon or sticker- sometimes even a pencil. Score!

How would you describe your creative style?
My style is constantly evolving but there are some general themes. Because I cull my narratives from my personal life, I code things in symbolism based in the natural world. Children are often the protagonists, giving context and perspective to the landscapes they move through.

Interview with painter, Seonna Hong on Jung Katz
Interview with painter, Seonna Hong on Jung Katz

What’s your inspiration?
I find inspiration in so many things… music, my daughter, conversations I’ve had or wished I could have.

What is art to you?
Art to me is anything that communicates and engages people to connect to an idea, an emotion, a feeling, a specific time and place.

Interview with painter, Seonna Hong on Jung Katz
Interview with painter, Seonna Hong on Jung Katz

What does your typical day look like?
I don’t have a typical day but an ideal one is one when I can spend time with my daughter, get work done in my job as a visual development artist in feature animation, get some personal creative time in and that can include anything from painting to ceramics to baking, spend time with a loved one, exercise, and lots and lots of snacking.

How long does it typically take for you to finish a piece?
Having experience as a production artist has made me a fairly fast painter. But I’m as slow as a turtle when it comes to thinking and working things out conceptually. It doesn’t help that I may paint something one day and the next day completely paint it out or paint over it. There are a few paintings that probably have 5 or 6 different versions underneath the final piece.

Interview with painter, Seonna Hong on Jung Katz

How do you keep motivated?
It’s hard to stay motivated sometimes and I end up checking my refrigerator every 20 minutes to see if anything new appeared since the last time I looked. But once I’m working on something that feels right, it’s effortless and time flies.

What do you want others to take away from your work?
I always prefer the stories that other people come up with when they look at my paintings. So I guess that’s what I hope someone would take away from my work- that even though it originated from something personal to me, that someone could relate to it and identify a narrative that is personal to their own life and experience.

What art supplies do you use?
Right now I’m painting a lot in acrylics and absolutely love Nova Color. It stays perfectly consistent even over years and years and it’s got the most beautiful buttery consistency. And I love that it dries matte. I also use a lot of paper in my work and am collecting pieces all the time. I also use spray paint, tape, and lots and lots of brushes that I try to take care of but is impossible sometimes.
Interview with painter, Seonna Hong on Jung Katz
Interview with painter, Seonna Hong on Jung Katz

What’s your process like?
My process has evolved from something super planned out to one that is more spontaneous. I used to not only start with a sketch, but a fully realized (albeit tiny) version of my final piece, and painting the final piece would be an execution of that early concept. But now I just start with an idea, a color field or wash and then dial it in from there. I like to start with the broad strokes (literally) and then get tighter and more specific as I go.

Follow Seonna Hong on Instagram.


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