Hee-ang Kim, a very talented polymer clay artist focuses on mushrooms as a motif and creates a series of works influenced by them. Hee-ang’s experience includes teaching as a lecturer at college, participating in both solo and group exhibitions.

We are very grateful that she prepared an article for the Society readers about her private inner life as an artist, source of inspiration, dealing with anxiety and other topics that every one of us is standing against sometimes.

It is always nice to know there are others who know what we are going through and don't mind sharing their experience with the world. Enjoy the article!

I have been working as an artist since 2015. It cannot be said to be a very old period, but it is not very short. As a freelancer, I have to do all of the work I have done by myself in a large company, such as promotion, design, and branding, in order to sell my work or product. I have a lot of work to do, so it's slow, but at the same time I've been doing other things for a while.

I lectured as a teacher, wrote as a writer, and designed as a designer.

Working alone has distinct advantages and disadvantages. Each of these will be different, but the great thing about working alone for me is that I can decide what kind of work I want to do and how fast it goes. And the fact that I plan everything and lead my business is both an advantage and a disadvantage. Because I can do it my own way, but I don't know if the outcome will be good or bad. And the responsibility is entirely mine. The downside is that the income is not constant. That's an anxious factor.

Living every day is like a wave, so sometimes good things come and bad things come. A good thing becomes a bad thing, and a bad thing turns into a good thing.

Freelancer is like a job where you need to know how to ride and enjoy this wave of anxiety like a surfer. I think I've been doing well for about six years. Whether it's unfortunate or fortunate, it's hard to say that a particular time was difficult because my memory wasn't so good. However, because I am a person, I periodically feel ‘anxiety.’ Sometimes I ask myself. 'Am I living my life well? Or what will happen to my retirement in the future?” Anxiety about the “future” engulfs my mind.

Most of the time, when such anxiety engulfs my head, all I have to do is move my body. It's best to move my body to distract my thoughts. Or go to sleep. When I wake up after a good night's sleep, my anxiety is already gone. And thinking of the future too far is not good for my own mental health. This is a cheat key that I have gained from working as an artist over the past six years. Life without long-term plans may not look good to someone. But, at least for me, it was very stressful to face the uncertain future itself.

There was a time when the fountain of my creation felt like stagnant water. I was bored myself because I couldn't get new water in. It was a time when it was difficult to make

something new and my hands couldn't move.

In that case, my head knows I have to force my hand to move, and sometimes it works. But there were times when everything was out of hand. Burnout seemed to have come from an unclear anxiety. I decided not to do anything to rest while I fell down.

I was curious about the lives of others. In particular, I was very curious about the stories of people living with the same job as me. I wanted to know if they were anxious like me or if it was just me.