TED KIM

“Back in the early 2000s my friend had a local zine called AK Ink and she asked me to do a comic strip for it. I came up with this story that a corporation needed an idea for a soda, one that kids got addicted to. And so the comic strip played out the idea, the hype and a kid getting addicted and later dying from stomach-related issues. It was actually inspired by a friend of mine that was a Red Bull distributor and got really sick from drinking like 3 a day.

So I think from that I held onto the soda can drawing and it became Good Drink: a soda company that goes so big that it wreaks havoc on the entire world. Most of my drawings are of this world at different stages: before the storm, during and after. It’s sort of like a corporation out for profit and in its path destroys pretty much the world. I guess it’s sort of a post-apocalyptic scene with most of my drawings. Often times I see images or hear stories that show me I’m not drawing too far from the truth of what is happening in the world today. People often think Good Drink is a beer can. But it is a soda. I think I also got a lot of inspiration from simply riding around on my skateboard. From the East Coast to the West Coast I would see or experience things I wouldn’t normally if I hadn’t been skating. The skateboard will let you meet people and take you places you might not otherwise. I think when you drive around in a car you surely can see a lot but on a skateboard it’s like you can feel it.

I think way back when I watched a few environmental documentaries and they weren’t ever reassuring. It was always this theme of doom around the corner. They made me think more about how humans behave. It’s like you put earth under the microscope and clearly humans are a cancer. Don’t get me wrong, I love humans more than anything. I even support countless corporations. I guess my drawings just tell it like I see it?

It’s funny how a drawing of mine will appeal to people as peaceful or beautiful but there is a dark or morbid thought that often inspires the piece. That being said, I like how people will have their own interpretations when they look at my art. I’m not so focused on telling a story or making a statement. When sharing my art I’m really just trying to put out a good vibe, spread some love and hopefully influence someone to do their thing. At least that’s what I hope is happening.”

—Ted Kim