We had the good fortune of connecting with Tae lee Lee and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tae lee, how do you think about risk?
No one can ever know for sure whether to continue or to give up. The only thing we know is that if we continue forward, either success or failure will certainly happen. However, I know for myself that once I choose to give up, I have effectively decided to never know what could have happened if I had continued. I might doubt the path I chose and the dreaded ‘what-if’s’ could haunt me forever. Therefore, I think that if it is something that we really want, we should trust ourselves and move forward with confidence despite all the difficulties. A movie I recently saw had a nice metaphor that stuck in my mind. In archery, if you aim your arrow at nothing, you will always hit nothing. In life, too, you have to choose a goal in order to achieve anything. Just like that I like to focus on my goal and not give up.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve been studying painting for 12 years. I still think I’m not good enough, and I’ll study until the day when I feel like can draw. I will tell you a story about me. I learned painting since I was young at an art academy, but I was scolded by my teacher for never learning proper technique and instead always drawing in a certain style. I didn’t know it at the time but I think my stubbornness to keep drawing my own way created my current tattoo style. What I love most about my job is that I get to engrave my paintings on a clients body which they can keep forever. There’s no such thing as an easy job in the world. But I always push myself and tell myself that I can do it. I think that makes me who I am now.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I live in Seoul, so there is obviously a whole lot to do. A great way to spend the evenings in Seoul is drinking Soju in a Pocha with friends (Korean style bar and restaurant) and then drinking more in a Karaoke room while singing old songs together. When I want to relax, I like to go to the Han river and enjoy the view at night. During the day I like to work on my tattoo designs in various cafes throughout the city. Seoul has many cafes so there is always something to do.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
This may sound strange, but I would give a shoutout to the anime character Naruto. One of the things he said always stuck in my head and had a big influence on my mindset growing up. He said “If I don’t believe in myself. It’s not worth any effort.”. That encouraged me to never give up and keep a positive outlook on life.

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Other: Open kakao https://open.kakao.com/o/sypZNyVb

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