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Disruptor Series

Jane Kim: Muralist and Disruptor

June 17, 2020

Jane Kim, muralist and founder of Ink Dwell studio, is disrupting the way we observe the natural world. Through her larger-than-life scientific illustrations, she's bringing the beauty of nature and it's creatures to urban settings where they might typically go unnoticed. We recently hosted Jane for another virtual session of our Disruptor Series  to discuss her background, process, and sources of inspiration.

A few things we learned from Jane about who she is and how she likes to work: 

  • She's always been a maker - Even as a little girl, Jane was intent on pursuing her creative ideas. She had a deep love for bears as a child, and actually learned to create her own teddy bears.
  • She was almost a professional musician - Deciding to go to art school at the Rhode Island School of Design was a major turning point in Jane's life. She started playing the violin at age three and had always expected to pursue music. Another pivotal turn came when she went back to school for a master's degree in scientific illustration.
  • She uses a brush in her paintings - Despite all the technology available today to help create large-scale art, Jane prefers to use a paintbrush for her massive pieces. She has a physical relationship with her work, and the movement of her physical body and hand is important to her process.
  • Her pieces are monuments to the natural world - Jane's work often features animals that are on the brink of extinction, so her work serves as a reminder that without action, the murals could become a memorial of sorts. She hopes to trigger enough people’s interest in the animals that conservation efforts increase as a result.
  • She wants people to notice nature - It's less important to Jane that people appreciate the actual mural she's created. Rather, she wants people to be more open and aware to noticing the featured animals in nature after seeing her murals. 
  • She's inspired by... Every naturalist she has had the chance to work with. Artist James Turrell, who's work is experiential and well crafted. And simply being outside, in nature.

Jane will bring her work to New England for the first time in late summer 2020 with the next installment of her Migrating Mural campaign. The new project, called Glitch, will be presented in partnership with MilliporeSigma and will remain on view throughout the fall on the side of a building adjacent to the HubWeek 2020 site in the Seaport neighborhood of Boston. Stay tuned to our blog and social channels (TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and Instagram) in the coming months for previews of the design and updates from Jane about her progress!

If you weren't able to join us for the event or simply want to relive some of the magic, we invite you to press play on the recording of the session below.

Want to know more about Jane Kim and her work with Ink Dwell? Read our recent Change Maker interview on Boston.com.

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