“I focus on joy over success.”
Rami Kim × Rami Kim Studio × Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Rami Kim is a Los Angeles-based artist, maker and award-winning animator whose practice focuses on sculptural and functional ceramic objects. Her sculptures were most recently featured in Oprah Magazine.
We met Rami through a mutual friend and felt an immediate connection with her whimsical work. We’ve also come to admire her focus on joy, in a world obsessed with winning.
RE: ADVICE FOR ASPIRING ARTISTS
I’ve been doing this for over five years now. In the beginning, I didn’t even care about making a living. I just knew I wanted to do it. But part of running my studio requires that I make the same objects over and over again. At first, this can be enjoyable but over time, like anything repetitive, it can get old.
In order to stay inspired and maintain joy, I make sure to leave time for innovation. I started making Blobby sculptures for fun, and people told me they liked them. I spend time sketching new ideas, which is how I discovered my new series of lamps. I will always remember the joy I had and never let it go!
RE: OVERCOMING DOUBT AND INSECURITY
To be honest, I don’t really think about it. If I really hate something I made, I won’t show it. But most of my work, I just show. I don’t really think about what people will think. I’m not a planner. Mugs, sculptures, lamps — in the end, everything is still me.
RE: WHAT SHE’S READING NOW
Blue is my most favorite color and it appears A LOT in my work. A while ago, one of my friends, Saehee from Tenzo recommended that I should read Bluets by Maggie Nelson when she found out that I love blue so much. It was the most beautiful nonfiction I’ve read in a while. I carry it to my studio and my home all the time.
RE: SPARKING JOY
I recently bought a handwoven basket pendant light during a trip to Mexico. It was handcrafted by locals from a small town called San Pancho, Nayarit. The open weave creates beautiful light patterns around it.
It's not perfectly made but I love its imperfection. Each time I look at it, I think about all the good times I had in Mexico — it brings me joy.
RE: WHO WE SHOULD BE PAYING ATTENTION TO
I love the work of Katie Thompson, a ceramicist based in LA. She makes gorgeous side tables and sculptural vessels that feel alive to me. Her work is so beautiful.
RE: HER IDEAL ENVIRONMENT
I run a ceramic studio, so it can get pretty messy. I think I find comfort in the mess. When it’s too clean, it makes me feel tight, like I can’t be free. A little bit of clutter can be good for me. To be honest, my home can sometimes get pretty messy, too. No matter what though, good music and positive energy are crucial.
RE: WORDS TO LIVE BY
Georgia O’Keeffe said, “Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant — there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing — and keeping the unknown always beyond you.” I think she meant that as an artist, you should always explore. It’s more important to be adventurous, explore the unknown, and keep evolving. Don’t just chase success.
RE: HOW SHE USES CALDERA
Right now, my Caldera table is at the studio because it’s a good way for me to test how my ceramics look on top of furniture. But I’m bringing it home soon! Since I have a small living space, most of my furniture is minimal. Caldera is perfect for my space — it’s beautiful and simple. I’ll probably use it for my table lamp at home. The lamp is short so the height is perfect for the table.
For more on Rami, head here.