Stephanie Windham

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Quick Facts
S. Korea
Birth year
Lives in
Orange County
Works in
Long Beach
School of Visual Arts New York (SVA), 1999, MFA
Laguna College of Art & Design, 1995, BFA

I was born on June 10, 1971 in Seoul, S. Korea, and emigrated to the U.S. in 1978. I showed artistic aptitude early on and was always "the kid who can draw," but it was drilled into my head that good smart Korean girls do not become artists. It wasn't until my senior year in high school when I learned that art school could be a viable option. I attended the Laguna College of Art & Design and graduated with a BFA degree in Illustration in 1995. After graduating, I found a job in the marketing department at Canon Computer Systems in Costa Mesa. I enjoyed my time there, learning a lot and making great friends (including my now-husband Curtis), but after two years I felt it was time for me to move on. Working for a large corporation just wasn't for me, I found.

I'd always wanted to get a master's degree, and there was only one program I was interested in: the MFA Illustration program at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. It was chaired by an Illustration legend named Marshall Arisman and he'd made a big impression on me at a talk he gave in Laguna. I wasn't expecting to get accepted, and considered the application process a "test run." When I did get accepted, however, I figured I had to go, since there were no guarantees I'd ever get accepted again. I spent two great years there, made some wonderful friends, and got my MFA degree in 1999. After graduation, I came back out to CA to settle down with my long-suffering fiance. I now work full-time as an art director at JDA Inc in Long Beach and draw and paint on the side. My parents were worried about me when I told them I wanted to be an artist, but everything turned out OK.