Atlanta IV


It’s been almost a year since I’ve last written anything. My last blog was about expecting my work to transition, I didn’t know what it was, but I was confident something would happen soon. Champaign kinda locks me down - I don’t know if it’s the cold, the academic responsibilities, social culture, or what- but I spend a lot more time just thinking about what I like, what i don’t, what I want to do, etc. whenever I’m on campus. In the moment it feels awful/stale, but as summer came I had a lot of drive & new excitement to just create.

Leading up to summer, I applied to ~52 internships in LA & NYC & didn’t get a single one. Granted I applied to random positions - all paid too. I applied to merchandising jobs, production assistant positions, even event coordination roles. As much as I feel like I’ve done, I look weird on paper - an architectural student with work experience in photography applying to merchandising / production / event coordination. First question in every interview was “What do you wanna do?” as in, “What the heck are you doing?” I’m not sure, tbh. I love visual content, music videos, music, inspiring people to wonder. It’s simple, but I labeled myself as “Content Creator,” “Visual Artist,” & “Art Director.”

So I went to Atlanta to..

A. Figure out if I’m good enough to make my interests and skills a real career

B. See if I really do love what I love while I’m on campus

C. Revamp the portfolio/resume

D. Meet artists

E. Eat Korean food

First week I moved in to my best friend’s apartment, with a duffle bag of clothes, backpack & 2 blankets to make a bed on the floor. At the same time, I was actually without a laptop, camera lens & house keys (due to repairs & delays) - it felt awful. I woke up day 2 after moving in literally having no idea where to start, even if I wanted to -  I literally didn’t have the equipment to make anything. I sat at a cafe for two hours looking at my coffee & phone, then walked around Mid-town only because I literally had nothing else to do. I wasn’t depressed or anything, but those 48 hours of ambiguity made me hungry, to do anything I could that would mean growth and/or productivity.

A few lunches, house-parties, & informal meetings later, I was overwhelmed with how many people I met. It was a domino effect, meeting one person to another. Everyone was so warm, inviting, & had someone they wanted to introduce me to to help me get started out. The demographic was shocking too - youth pastor, chef, DJ, singer, rapper, producer… so many creative people doing what they loved - and all such good people. Within 2 weeks I had a family, within 3 - all my gear; & I was ready to get moving. I honestly can’t remember every project I did, but here’s a general list of what I did this summer..

1 - Creative Director of Atlanta Run Club, directing photoshoots, building social media content/boards, meetings with potential collaborators, hosting a rooftop social, helping expand the groups & incorporating new members, designing merchandise, etc.

2 - Conceptualized & directed a Music Video (FILA) with Uzuhan, with John Song (PA/mentor), Dior Choi (DA), & Paul Mun (Lights)

3 - Conceptualized & directed another Music Video (Timezones) with GU with Zak Campuzano (Producer)

4 - Random gigs (weddings, events, product shots) for cash, (thank you Johnny 삼춘 & IG brands)

5 - Collaborative photo/graphic design work for events/digital packages

6 - Personal Photoshoots with new friends/artists & experimenting with different formats & styles

I wish I could articulate into words just how many good people were introduced to my life & helped me make a real home in Atlanta. From buying my broke-ass food, bringing me along to their events, revising my resume & building my portfolio, trusting me to create this & that, building opportunities for me with the resources and people they know, & yelling at me when I drank too much - I’ll be forever grateful for the chapter in life my family in ATL helped me write & the lessons they’ve helped me learn.

It was a short but full 3-month sprint of just shooting, editing, meeting with people, observing & learning from older brothers & sisters, attending events & playing with new friends. I felt like I learned so much in sooo many aspects of life. How to deal with good & bad relationships with other creative people, the difference between wanting to be the best & being your best, balance with work & people, learning how to drop inhibiting preferences, how to love people, how to support people, how to be a part of community with its weaknesses, the list goes on. Looking back, I don’t know how I could be prideful of a season like this if all of this knowledges & experiences are literally gifts & offerings from other people, shared with the intention to love & build me up.

Writing this blog makes me realize how ironic of a summer this was. 

1 - I was rejected from every opportunity I applied to, but experienced the most growth & productivity I have in any other season in my life.

2 - I feel that I didn’t give God the amount of my heart that I wanted to give, but He blessed with so much more than I would’ve even asked for.

Honestly, it’s that unexpected paradox & relationship that really makes me feel so dumb & wanting to repent. I realized my truth of this summer is a perspective, and really not an objective re-collection of it. There’s other lenses I could’ve filtered this summer through & seen less value than I expected out of this summer, but I would be missing out on so much clear blessing & provision that made its way to me in these fast 3 months. I think that thought/possibility is scary when thinking about the future. After a summer like this, more than anything to do with career - I really hope to not give such little heart as I did to God, in hopes to see more of my life’s journey in relation to His doing & character. 

I honestly didn’t feel right in sharing this, because if you knew me this summer I went to church like 1.5 times & probably went out 4-5 nights a week, fml lmao. My summer was the epitome of “work hard, play hard”… ATL’s Koreatown scene finessed me… but somehow this truth made it into my heart before school started & I know it’s my responsibility & desire to share.

I don’t know what’s next. I’m back in school with my last semester studying Architecture. I’m currently applying to positions in LA… but I’m really looking for opportunities in Korea to work in anything creative/visual there. It’s all still fresh & new, & if you know of any opportunities please let me know, haha. I’m still clueless & naive, but finally I feel a little more happy with what I’ve put out as an artist, still with so much hunger to see what my hands can make. I want to learn everything I can. Whatever it takes…

Anyways, for everyone I met this summer, thank you all for such a dope summer. I literally didn’t meet a single person I wasn’t fond of & my only regret were the short-comings on my end regarding time, summer wasn’t long enough. & I didn’t get to spend nearly the amount of time I wanted to with everyone there. Atlanta is honestly a bigger home to me than any other city, now. I have applied to a couple of jobs that have branches in ATL, so I might be back! LMAO!! But foreal, Atlanta has the best creative community I’ve ever experienced. Collaborative, loving, supportive, genuine, humble & hungry. Thank you to everyone who’s been keeping up with my journey ~ I hope you’ve enjoyed the content I’ve put out,  as much as I’ve enjoyed creating it all. Hopefully I won’t get too into my head in Champaign & keep putting stuff out.



Los Angeles

My final week of winter break was spent in LA. After finding a $97 round-trip ticket from ORD with Frontier Airlines (Lol), I finally saw America's western coast. The week was a trip, constantly teetering between headaches and enjoyment. I made a 12 hour drive from North Carolina to Charlotte, a few days after driving up from Clearwater, FL...

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After ATL, I got to tour East & West Florida. Photos are from St. Petersburg, Orlando, Tampa & Clearwater.

Thankful for the variety in seasons- both with friends & weather (lol). I love the borderline-euphoric feeling you get waking up in a new space. Still don't know how to write to such a public audience.

Accidently took the backdoor to the Dali Museum trying to figure out how to get in & swerved on the $24 admission...

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Charlotte x Atlanta

This gallery is a couple of weeks old & I just never got around to writing about it. There was a lot I wanted to write about- opportunity, circumstance, friendships, travel- but I've been a lot more reluctant to write about personal things online... so I'm going to leave my writing out of this gallery. All in all, I'm so thankful that I can owe this trip to a series of unexpected events.

Don't assume too much of anyone if you don't know where they come from....

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A Week Away: PHL, CHI & NYC

Break was great- got to move around from city to city. I don't think I've had such a dynamic gallery over a short period of time since my Africa trip. I don't have much to say, just because the week was too dense & personal- plus, I'm still struggling with how much transparency is appropriate for this sort of social platform. Anyways, it was so cool to meet up with friends I haven't seen in years & I'm so thankful for all the new friendships made in PHL & NYC...

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Walk With Me (O'hare Int.)

Finally got to take a step away from campus today. I feel like November is that momentous month in the Fall semester where the weeks just fly by and you get behind on everything- like, everything. Whether you relate or not, that's just how this past month was for me, so getting away felt good- even if that meant walking around O'hare for a few hours. Because I spent so much time at the airport (I overestimated Thanksgiving travel traffic), you can see the daylight transitions through my photos & sort of experience the entire journey with me...

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Foci & a Slammed FRS

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Balance of Thoughts

I'm finding myself itching to write about so many different things on this journal- friends, spiritual journey, photography work, desires & frustrations. Each time I begin writing about any of the prior, I find myself hesitant. I consider all of the different people who would be reading my work, all of the potential misunderstandings/misinterpretations of my writing, and the balance between privacy and appropriate disclosure...

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"... and Deeds Left Undone" [Article]

This Medium article is twisting my heart left and right. 

American abolitionist and author, Harriet Beecher Stowe, once said, “The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.” At first I liked the quote, then I didn't, and now I do. At first I thought it was profound, which it is- but then I began interpreting it how I'd imagine our generation would... as an excuse to follow pleasures, simple goals, etc. It was tempting to illustrate parts of my future under this quote. What will be the words that may go unsaid, what deeds may be left undone? I didn't like it...

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More B&W in Simple Scenes

Being on a campus like UIUC, I've realized I can't be picky about what I shoot. My environment isn't going to change anytime soon, and I need practice. I want to bring my camera around more- considering a new lens, but who has money for glass- definitely not me. Saving up for a hopeful Alaska trip this upcoming winter break. Also, accidentally deleted all of my raw/unedited photos from the past 4 months, already over it...

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Family Trip in Chicago

Got to take urban-setting photos a couple of weeks back when I met up with family in Chicago. Urban photos are awesome and people approach them so differently.. I'm just always tied to capturing moods of settings, the photo style/aim is both a curse and a blessing. I take urban photos with movement, just to engage with the feeling of being in said setting. Even studying Architecture, i can't get into photographing architectural form- just doesn't appeal to me...

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Curtis Apple Orchard

Took a trip to the Curtis Apple Orchard with my Bible study group. It was fun because I got to edit chasing a specific aesthetic-  All of these were edited on my phone, which is quick/efficient/simple, but I feel like it definitely took away from the quality of my phone. Overthinking this. I've been encouraged to be more involved in church- can't ignore the value of a community...

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Lightroom Post-Processing

People always give me a weird look when I tell them I only edit through VSCO- and that I give only 15-20 seconds per photo. I don't know if it's a good things, or I just am too complacent to go deeper into photo editing. I just feel that when you spend too much time looking at a single photo, you overthink the aesthetic. Time spent contemplating aesthetic just never works out for me...

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