artist of the week: Jaybe Lee

We first discovered Jaybe on Instagram. With a combination of interests revolving around cycling, fashion, art, and culture, we knew we had to reach out. We're always looking to progress contemporary culture through combining cycling, design, art, and coffee. That's why we resonated so much with Jaybe. We sat down with him to talk about his pursuit of art and how he draws his inspiration.



As an artist, I make what I want to make.


Where did you grow up?

This is the question I hate the most. I was born in Cologne, Germany and lived there till I was 6. I moved to Seoul, Korea and lived there till I was 14.



Then, I moved to Chicago. To be more accurate, I moved to this small neighborhood called Northbrook - 40 minutes away from downtown Chicago. I lived there for 4 years.

After high school, I moved to New York and lived there briefly. After all, I made my way out to Los Angeles in 2007 and been here ever since.



When did you get into art and why?


I was into skateboarding and the culture around it when I was young. I was into artists and brands that are associated with the culture. I knew what I like.

I didn't go to college after high school. When I decided to go to college, I just wanted to study business - I just wanted to make money.

When I was applying for schools, my best friend - who was studying fine arts at that time - suggested me to pursue art. I was like, f* it. Why not? So I put up a portfolio a month before the application deadline.

I got into art school and this became my everything.



Taking a look at your work, it seems to us that you use multi-media to express moments in your life. Can you speak a bit about your creative process?


Because I had zero knowledge in art when I first got in to art school, I had no idea what I was making. Professors would teach me how to mix colors and how to do a figure drawing. I hated it.




I just started making what I wanted to make. It was completely experiment based. I didn't like the fact that I had to choose my emphasis as an artist. As an artist, I make what I want to make.

I don't like categorizing myself. Though, photography is my main medium and this is the medium I enjoy the most.


How do you take your coffee?


Caffeinated Black in the AM / Decaffeinated Black in the PM. 




What's your daily ritual?


Breakfast with my family. Cycling for few hours. Handles email/web stuffs. Lunch. Hang out with my daughter. Work (I teach High School students at this after-school art program). Shower. Dinner. Watch Korean TV Shows. Lights Out.



when I'm on my bike or driving to work, I think about my art.


How does your rituals play a role in the art you create?


After I got married, having a child - completely changed my work ethic. Family comes first - so I need to grind. Meanwhile, either when I'm on my bike or driving to work, I think about my art. I try to find time to work on it.

I haven't been making much art lately because life got really crazy. Though, I just got back into it recently and it's a pure joy.


What type of music do you listen to? What is your favorite song now? 


All Kinds. Mostly; old school hip-hop, R&B, Blues, and Jazz. I also listen to rock bands. I just can't keep up with new rap artists these days. Their name gets crazier every year!

My current favorite song has to be.. My Babe by Little Walter. 



Any big plans in the future you'd like our audience to know about?


Probably grad school. More shows. and keep my cycling brand Team Too Late rolling.


Thanks to Jaybe for chatting with us. For more with him, feel free to swing by his portfolio.

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