Although she was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, fine artist and designer Sharon Lee derives deep inspiration from her family’s Korean heritage. Her grandfather was an artist in Korea and her mother is an accredited Korean Folk Painter, so as Sharon says, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
Having trained in fine arts from a young age, Sharon’s work is punctuated by her continued desire to learn and grow. After attending UCLA Art School, she received her Masters of Interior Architecture and worked as an interior designer at the offices of Michael S. Smith, but ultimately, her passion for painting led her to Korea where she trained in traditional Minhwa (a form of folk painting). Being surrounded by hand-carved block printing, gold and silver leaf, as well as lacquer and resin work was eye-opening for Sharon, and in 2012, she launched Krane, a line of hand-printed wallpaper and soon fabric.
After working her way up in the Los Angeles art scene, Sharon met her husband, Max, and last July after they wed, the couple settled into this 1930s Spanish-style home in the heart of Santa Monica, CA with their rescue Pomeranian Terrier Mix, Basil. In need of a major renovation, Sharon and Max saw the space as a beautiful blank canvas with endless potential, saying, “we fell in love with the Spanish architecture!” After spending a year overhauling the place, Sharon was excited to unleash her inner interior designer and create rooms that were functional and inspiring, a goal which also extended to her home studio.
Boasting tons of natural light and a patio door which leads outside to their herb garden and lemon trees, “it’s [the] perfect [spot] for my morning coffee and sketching routine and some plein air painting whenever the mood strikes.” Despite the rest of the home being covered in her own wallpapers, Sharon’s studio walls are fairly neutral, allowing her to “think clearly and work without color confusion,” — however, she couldn’t resist accenting one wall in her Painted Wave wallpaper in French Grey to give some “texture, depth and a reference for scale.” The room may not be large, but the challenge of minimalism is something Sharon enjoys: “I am not your stereotypical messy painter,” she explains, “I am quite neat and organized, putting things away and cleaning as I go, so for me, the small space turned out to be a gift.” Every square inch is an active zone, so the room is a very accurate snapshot of what it looks like inside of her colorful, creative mind. –Sabrina