Esther Loves You Studio Tour
Photography by Katie Neuhof.
Hi Esther! Tell us a little bit about yourself...
I am a self-made artist/character creator/business woman
Were you always interested in art and illustration?
I was lucky to live in Tokyo during my teenage years and absorb so much visually. Art felt very mysterious and far but the pull towards fashion and expression was always there. Also I just always had this dissatisfaction. I wanted to create and confirm my existence and I began to draw in my last year of college not knowing anything about becoming an artist.
What’s your cultural background and did it influence your work in any way?
I am Korean-American but spent my teenage years in Tokyo attending an American school. They call people like me third-culture kids. I was always too aware of the differences in the cultures I grew up in and was always accommodating others needs over mine. Sometimes I feel like I wasted so much time because of this but I have to think that the uncomfortableness led me to want to create my own world. It was the only place I could be myself and as I grow as an artist it feels so good to be creating the life I want.
Esther Bunny is definitely me. She is very sensitive and always observing others."
Where did the Esther Bunny come from, (is it an alter-ego of yourself)?
Esther Bunny is definitely me. She is very sensitive and always observing others. She is peeking sideways and listening with her giant ears trying to understand the situation. I want to use her to comfort and help others. I think there is a little of her in all of us.
What’s the story behind the good bunny vs the bad bunny that we see in this range?
Where do you find your creative inspiration, do you have any muses when you’re drawing?
I want to create things that I want to see in the world. I love fashion and I love cute and I always try to merge the two.
Favourite piece from the ‘Do Not Disturb’ collection and why?
I love the pink vinyl skirt! I love Courreges vinyl pieces so this feels a little like that but with my cute bad yellow bunnies on them!
How long have you lived in LA?
I have been in LA for most of my life. I spent my teenage years in Tokyo and a couple years in New York as a kid but otherwise LA!
Whats a typical day like for you?
I am at my studio from 9am-7pm. First, I have oatmeal, look at emails and check my planner. Usually I am working on multiple projects at once. Doing concept sketches, rough sketches, inking, cleaning up the image on photoshop, coloring it in, taking it to illustrator, invoices, legal things, doing approvals, editing art, sending out packages, bookkeeping. I force myself to mostly stop at 7pm because there is always something I can be doing but I don’t want to burn out. I am the business so I have to take care of me! I do mean to hire an assistant though.
5 favourite things to do in LA?
1. Shopping: we have great boutiques and vintage.
2. Hiking: we are so close to so much nature.
3. Working out: breaking a sweat and getting an endorphin boost is the best.
4. Go to see art at museums, art galleries: I am in awe of the great museums and artists we have in LA.
5. Hang out with my boo.
What are your favourite things, trinkets or corners in your studio?
The giant window facing out over East LA. A really rare Fafi figure (a gift from a special person but that is another story). She is one of my earliest inspirations. When I first discovered her in the early two thousands I was deeply impressed by how feminine and unabashedly girly she was in the very masculine world of graffiti. I felt it gave me permission to be girly. Another thing I love that I got recently is a booty workout machine called the DB Method and this really helps me when I am drifting and unmotivated to work I force myself to do a hundred or two of these and I get a boost of energy.
Where else would you love to see the Esther Bunny in the future?
In every department store in America! I need to make things for my US audience.