art of Mi Ae // about
Mi Ae Lipe
Born in South Korea and raised near San Francisco, Mi Ae has been drawing since she was three years old. She specializes in pen-and-ink linear work that features a fantasy universe of animals, plants, and other elements of the natural world. Her trademarks include a circular format and the humorous presence of numerous “critters,” such as frogs, mice, hedgehogs, and snails, who often cavort throughout her scenes.
Mi Ae had her first public one-person exhibit at the age of seven. In 1983 and 1987, The Magical World Coloring Book I and II, respectively, were published by Price-Stern-Sloan Publishers of Los Angeles. She has had exhibits in California, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Washington, and her drawings have made their way to Australia, Great Britain, Germany, France, New Zealand, Japan, Canada, and throughout the United States.
She has illustrated commercially for clients such as the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Featherstone Fruits & Vegetables, and Big River Magazine. In addition, she continues to exhibit and market her noncommercial work as framed art, prints, and greeting cards. When she grows up she hopes to be a full-time freelance illustrator.
Ever since I can remember, I have loved to create. Indeed, creating is as essential to my existence as breathing, sleeping, or eating.
I started young and was extremely fortunate to have been vigorously encouraged by parents and friends, resulting in solo exhibitions when I was 7 and a coloring book contract with a national publisher when I was 9. Later, my drawings traveled to exotic places I could scarcely imagine, like New Zealand, Tokyo, and Wales.
But fame or recognition has never been important. What mattered most to me as a child (and still does) was that I could get lost in creating my own universe, where animals and plants grow fantastic and tall, critters frolic with a sassy humor, and beauty, excitement, and color reign supreme. Without a doubt, the second greatest reward is sharing these sometimes nutty visions with others, and making them forget their troubles and pain, if even for a moment.
In a world that is increasingly flooded with superficiality and relentless commercialism, people are starved for images of beauty. Not beautiful images per se, because these are packaged and mass-distributed ad nauseum, but dynamic, graceful worlds where one can relax and observe, and wander through jungles of color, fun, energy, and humor. It is my greatest hope that when a viewer sees my work, s/he will smile and remember the meaning of delight.