Hello! This week I decided to take a different turn with this blog and interview one of my fellow classmates. I have had the pleasure of getting to know Chris Loree over the past few weeks, and I must say that he quite the unique soul. His kindness, meekness, and wonderful sense of humor, has made my time here at LAAFA so enjoyable. The interview only scathes the surface of how cool Chris is. If you ever have the opportunity to meet Chris Loree, I would highly recommend that you savor that opportunity because he is a man amongst men!
PALMA- Yes, you mentioned your mom was born in Korea, correct?
LOREE- Yeah, she was born in Korea into a very poor family. She later moved to Germany where she lived in a convent with nuns for a number of years. When she decided to make a way for herself, she move to America and took a job as a bank teller. She then opened her own business in real estate, and does that till this day. She is my main role model for a hard worker. She has worked hard all of her life, and inspires me to do the same.
PALMA- That is amazing! It’s always so refreshing to be reminded that people like your mom exist in this world. They are examples for us all. What about your father, where is he from?
LOREE- My dad was born in New York City. After high school, he drove his motorcycle across the country to California to start his own life. Through a series of many jobs, he found himself as a probation officer for a Juvenile Hall. I really learned a lot from my dad in regards to how to treat others with dignity and respect.
LOREE- I have always believed that we are all interconnected to one another. Believing that there is a oneness that exists amongst us takes away any pretenses and animosity that I may have towards others. It really keeps me centered while I am here spending a lot of time with people from all different walks of life. I can enjoy them for exactly who they are, with no need to receive anything in return.
PALMA- That is wonderful, as well as rare. That being said, what brought you here to LAAFA?
LOREE- I began taking an interest in art when I was a young skateboarder. I used to love looking at the graphics on the back of the deck of the skateboard and in many cases tried to design my own. I began taking workshops at 3 Kicks Art Studio as well as at LAAFA, but I noticed my work was not really getting any better. I was left with the conclusion that I needed to commit myself full time to my work. I also needed way more confidence in what I was doing with art. I had no confidence in myself as an artist because I never received any training. If I didn’t have confidence in myself as an artist, how could I move forward in a career in the arts?
PALMA- It would be almost impossible. There has to be solid level of self -assurance in the work you create. If you don’t believe in your work, how can we expect others to?
LOREE- Exactly, that’s what I love about this school. Its only been 4 weeks and I am already so much more confident in my work. I also love how the instructors share their professional experience with us. So as I am learning, I also am being prepared for the world outside, after LAAFA.
PALMA- What would be your favorite class here at LAAFA?
LOREE-I really have no idea. I wish I could say that I have big plans and bright dreams. But I have really understood the value in education and learning. I’ll be honest, I’m not thinking too much about the future. I’m just enjoying the now, the experience of learning and growing. I really think that growth can be stunted when we are not present in what we are doing. The only plan I have for the future is to keep learning and growing as an artist. Whatever career path comes my way as a result, then I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
My conversation with Chris Loree was more than rewarding for me. I'm reminded about how important it is to take the time to find out who some one is. When we meet people for the first time, we are meeting them in the middle of their life. When we take the time to find out some one's story, we are venturing back to the start. When I learned the story of Chris Loree, I grew such a respect and appreciation for him. It was honestly humbling for me. I began to think about all of the lives that surround me here at LAAFA, and how each of these individuals have their own incredible story to tell. Not only is investing myself in the curriculum here a great priority, I also am beginning to see that investing myself in my friends here is also a great priority. Part of what makes LAAFA the school that it is are the people. That is something I cannot forget. Thank you Chris Loree, you have allowed me to see you and many others in a completely new and fresh way.