Audrey Ko

CREATIVE / OWNER - THINGS UNSEEN DESIGNS

I believe in the creative potential in each person, and my mission is to spark the creativity in all of us. When my grandmother (who was a watercolorist) passed away in May 2016, I wanted to honor her memory by trying out watercolors myself. I began taking time to explore what creativity really means for me. And I haven't stopped creating since.

What makes you stand out in the maker community?

I believe that as a maker, we have the power to create lifelong impact. Through my work with watercolor and calligraphy, I can inspire my clients and their circle of friends and family. When I teach in workshops and online, I can impact students on a global scale. I believe that this power is what motivates me to do my work. Once I realized this potential, it helped me carve my own niche and following. That's what makes me stand out in the maker community.

Tell us about your work and the projects you are currently working on.

Besides working on commissioned projects for clients and publishing classes on Skillshare, I've been working slowly on a project that will turn into a book. It will combine my love of nature, paintings, and calligraphy. In general it will be a coffee table book type featuring my paintings. I've tossed around a couple of different ideas--native plants of the Midwest, A-Z of flowers, nature through the seasons. Not everyone considers themselves as an "art person". So if they're not going out to see art, why not bring it inside the home? My goal is that readers, whether they're inherently art or nature people, will be inspired by what they see in the book, and go out into nature and spend time in it, appreciate it, and help preserve it.

Who is your favorite contemporary artist or maker?

One of my favorite contemporary artists is affectionately known as ""Grandpa Chan"" on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/drawings_for_my_grandchildren). I heard about him through a Buzzfeed article about a year and a half ago. He learned how to use Instagram so that he could keep in touch with his grandchildren. His son suggested posting on social media like Instagram. Although Grandpa Chan was not enthused by the idea, he changed his mind when he realized that he will not be around for his grandchildren when they grow up. And he wanted a way to show his love to them. He also collaborates with his wife and kids, who help in writing a touching story and then translating it into three languages: English, Portuguese, and Korean. Each painting is dedicated to his grandchildren and tells a unique story. He captures the essence of a particular story, and highlights them using his loose brushstrokes and vivid colors. Whether Grandpa Chan is intentional about it, he is creating a culture where people are connecting through art. Not only is he connecting with his grandchildren, but he's really connecting continents, cultures, age groups, and bringing unity all around the world.

What inspired you to become a maker?

I was inspired by my own grandmother. She never sold her artwork or had patrons or taught online. It wasn't about gaining recognition or fame. She painted solely because it fed her soul. As I grow older, I'm discovering that being a maker/creative is more than just making/creating. It's about sharing a piece of your soul. And through my artwork and classes, I hope to share that piece with you or be able to teach you how to unlock it for yourself.