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January 09, 2019

Five Questions with Julie Kim: Mother, Writer, Editor

Mother, Writer, and Editor Julie Kim first knew she needed to be in a creative field when her boss handed her a Rolodex and told her to “digitize it.” She started her career in the publishing department at San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and as a contributing writer for The Architect’s Newspaper. For the last 12 years, she has been working in communications roles at nonprofits and tech companies, including Slack, where she served as Editorial Director for two years. These days she’s devoting herself to freelancing, co-chairing the City Arts & Lectures board of directors, and caring for her disabled daughter, Izzy.

Julie shared a bit about her creative process when she answered our questions below. Come meet her—and other inspiring creatives—at the 2019 In/Visible Talks conference.

What is your relationship to the creative process?

“When I was five, I told my mom (an immigrant and doctor) I wanted to be a painter, ‘just like Picasso.’ She told me I would starve to death, and that sounded scary, so I chose to do other things. But I kept having pivotal experiences with art and literature and music, so I eventually ended up writing, and at design school. I’m still figuring out how to make a living doing what I love, always tweaking the balance between creating and money-making.”

How or where to you find inspiration?

“Getting together with crazy, open-minded, entrepreneurial women.”

What was one of your biggest creative challenges?

“Going out on my own, experiencing constant imposter syndrome, and surviving the long hours and cut-throat culture of architecture school.”

What drives you to create?

“Can’t sleep otherwise.”

Favorite color?

“I’m embarrassed to say that right now, it’s millennial pink.”

BONUS ROUND: What’s on your desk?

“A million open browser tabs. And coffee.”