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Spotlight Artist Ji Hyang Ryu

Thalo loves to promote artists and each month we spotlight a member of our community! 

This month we are pleased to have Ji Hyang Ryu as the thalo Spotlight Artist for June.



Thalo Team:  Can you give an "elevator pitch" of your work?

Ji Hyang Ryu: I was lucky enough to learn how to paint when I was a little girl. My mother sent me to private art schools until  I was 17 however I had to give up my dream to study fine art in University when my parents went bankrupt, but I never stopped painting. I usually teach, how to paint, as a second job and produce a lot of teaching materials for my students. I enjoy seeing my students artistic abilities grow. artwork.


TT: What is your artwork about and what do you want people to take from it?

JHR: I suppose my work is about showcasing the many kinds and varying types of beauty in our world. I hope for others to see the beauty in the world that I see.


TT: Which artists do you feel have influenced your art the most?

JR: There are so many amazing artists in the world. I cannot pick one but mostly l like impressionism artists like Van Gogh and Monet. But recently I enjoy Vladimir Volegov’s art work.


TT: Do you have a preferred method of presentation for your artwork and why? (Examples: workshops, gallery shows, Instagram, etc.)

JHR: I most enjoy public outdoor exhibitions as it gives me a chance to showcase my work to people who may not normally take time to view artwork. This gives me a chance to talk to many different people and to, just maybe, introduce others to the world of art.



TT: Out of all of your creations (or bodies of work) which one did/do you find the most cathartic in creating?

JHR: My recent work, it is called  ”Korean Beauty” showing a woman wearing a traditional custom surrounded by traditional animals and nature. I realized that l love my culture and it’s beauty while I was painting and made me think about the my home country.


TT: When was your “Aha!” moment that led your work to where it is now?

JHR: I don’t think I have had an “Aha!” moment yet I am still working on a lot of areas and practicing different techniques every day. Perhaps my “Aha” moment is still ahead of me.


TT: How has your work (or technique) changed over time?

JHR: I started with realism and now I am working on more creative art works. l was studying a lot about shapes and color but now I tend to more focus on how well balanced on the canvas after I finish each piece.


TT: How do you promote yourself and your art?

JHR: I don’t ..and I should. I just post on social media  and hope people like them, but I want to have more exhibitions in the future- or perhaps my own gallery.


TT:  Do you have any tips or advice for fellow artists based off of your experiences thus far?

JHR: I don’t think I’m in the position to give any tips or advice but I would  say  practice and create what gives you joy or what’s cathartic for you.


TT: What are you working on right now and why?

JHR: I am working on mixed media now for an experiment and I kind of enjoy doing it. I usually do portraits and sceneries but I found mixed media gives me more freedom and a feeling of relaxation and creativtiies.

TT: What would you consider to be your "biggest achievement" with your work thus far?

JHR: I don’t know about achievement but I am happy that I have my own studio to paint in and have more time to paint thanks to that. And I will look forward to where this will take me.


TT: What was your first work of art that you were proud of? Where is it now?

JHR: My father in law asked me to paint horses for my sister in law. That one is my one of my first works. and it is on the wall of my sister in law’s home.


TT: Do you take commissions? Why or why not?

JHR: Yes, I do take commissions. Why? Because people ask me to paint things that are important to them  and I am honored to do it. I take it as another challenge and I enjoy being challenged.


TT: What do you do when you aren't working on artwork (hobbies, job, etc.)? 

JHR: Well I have 3 very active kids and I work in the city Hospital as medical laboratory Assistant/ Phlebotomist. I used to teach at the local college and before that I was a teacher in South Korea.

I do a lot of physical activities like doing Zumba and Kickboxing.


TT: What is an area in your work that you feel weak in that you want to improve upon and how are you going to get there?

JHR: I believe there is room for improvement in every area of my work. Practice and experimenting every day is the only way I know to achieve personal improvement.

TT: How do you overcome art blocks?

JHR: With a leap, volley or jump. Ha ha, but seriously I just step away, focus on something else and /or look at other art until something clicks and the light bulbs goes on. 

TT: Where do you see your work taking you in the next 5-10 years?

JHR: Perhaps not in 5-10 years, but sometimes I hope to be able to support myself financially with my art. Someone once said “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”.


TT: Is there something that you would like to share with us that we have not covered, that pertains to you and your work?

JHR: Not really this interview made me realize I need to paint more every day.



TT: If you have links for your website, Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, etc. that you would like to share, please include these addresses below.