We had the good fortune of connecting with Chloe Kono and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Chloe, what is the one piece of conventional advice that you wish you didn’t listen?
The one piece of conventional advice that I disagree with is that we always have to plan and stick with the plan. I believe that creative minds share a common trait- we are extremely idealistic and often incredibly harsh on ourselves. We think a bit too much, plan a bit too much, and tend to worry about a million ways of how things won’t work out. That overthinking habit becomes unnecessary road blocks that we place onto the path of our already challenging unconventional lifestyle. 2020 was a year that taught me to work against that particular mindset. I am not saying that we should not have a plan, but the plan should be a guideline instead of a rulebook. And what we should really stick to isn’t the plan but the goal. A plan should merely be a tool to get us to what we want to achieve. If a tool doesn’t work right, switch to a better one. Sticking to it only leads to frustration and frustration sometimes leads to a sense of false failure which is dangerously destructive.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My work is mainly composed of three themes. The first one is what I called my Little Big Top. It is circus inspired. It is bold, colorful, quirky and nostalgic. Modern society complicates us in every single aspect to a point that we are not even in touch with our 5 senses any more- Seeing is no longer believing; we only hear what we choose to hear and we shut the world out; we no longer stop and smell the flowers; we chase artificial taste instead of appreciating what nature provides, and we either neglect our needs for touches or we get addicted to an excessive amount of it. I aim to have this line of work served as a reminder of how life is like a fun fair. Joy should be simple, primitive and universal if we only let go of our worries and truly enjoy ourselves. The second component is a whimsical take of similar ideas, without the carnival aesthetics. It depicts the beauty I see in the world in a lighter dose. Playing with textures, colors, forms and various untraditional and sometimes experimental medium. Finally, the third part is custom work. Using my torch, blades, hammers etcs… I tell people’s stories. It is entirely different from the other two. It is all about them. Whether it be a love note somebody uses to propose with, or a memorial piece one wears to ease their grief, my job is to turn their emotion into a wearable piece of art, and I am always honored to be a part of that. I don’t consider myself successful in any way, at least not quite yet, and it certainly wasn’t easy to even give myself a chance to try to achieve that. However, if I have done anything right, it would be the fact that I finally ceased to give myself excuses to not live a happy life doing what I truly love to do. I wish it didn’t take me so long to listen to my callings and to put my mind into it, but boy, am I glad that I did!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I reside in Los Angeles. My favorite areas to kick it with my friends would be DTLA, where plenty of underground bars are to be discovered. For shopping fun, I would go to Highland Park and Silverlake, where small businesses full of characters are thriving. But if we’re talking authentic good food, San Gabriel Valley for the win.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to express my gratitude towards a truly inspiring jewelry artist Kit Carson, who I consider my mentor and my role model. I met him at a craft show years ago and even though I wasn’t a customer, he saw that genuine admiration and curiosity I must have shown in my eyes and shared everything with me with such friendly and welcoming attitude. He then invited me to a lecture that he held a while later and continued to encourage me to pursue my dream as a jewelry artist ever since. His constant empowering compliments and clever advice have helped me improve as an artist as well as a person. And his generosity in sharing his knowledge inspires me to do the same for other fellow makers.

Website: https://www.chloeography.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chloeography/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Chloeography

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Chloeography

Other: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Chloeography

Image Credits
Chloe Kono

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