Senior Charis Kim Artistically Expresses Herself Through the Creation of Original Characters

Senior+Charis+Kim+sketches+her+original+characters+Polaris+and+Aron+as+she+experiments+with+different+design+options.+Kim+draws+inspiration+for+her+art+from+media+she+consumes%2C+such+as+movies+%E2%80%9CSpider-Man%3A+Into+the+Spider-Verse%E2%80%9D+and+%E2%80%9CThe+Mitchells+vs.+the+Machines.%E2%80%9D

Sonia Wang

Senior Charis Kim sketches her original characters Polaris and Aron as she experiments with different design options. Kim draws inspiration for her art from media she consumes, such as movies “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” and “The Mitchells vs. the Machines.”

With short brown hair, an orange laurel crown and a mysterious shadow, the character Polaris slowly comes to life under senior Charis Kim’s careful strokes.

But Polaris isn’t just a character from a movie — alongside other characters such as witch’s apprentice Everbe and the shapeshifting shadow Aron, Polaris is an original character that Kim created in middle school. Her passion for drawing characters and creating art originated in elementary school when she started doing creative writing assignments and began drawing the characters she created.

Courtesy of Charis Kim

“I had so much fun writing that I also wrote at home in my free time,” Kim said. “And then I was like, you know, it’d be cool drawing my characters. Over time I realized the drawing part was what I looked forward to the most.”

Kim further honed her art skills freshman year in Drawing and Painting. Now that she is in AP Studio Art: Drawing, which allows students to choose their art assignments, Kim’s visual arts teacher Kearci Thompson said she has been able to see Kim’s skills flourish.

I’m pretty attached, so it’s hard to think about publishing the webtoon because once the story’s done, I’ll be done with them. There’s a point at which after the happily ever after, they’re still gonna exist; they just might not exist with me in the same way.”

— Charis Kim

“Charis’ best skills are not only art related, but just person related — she is so kind, so welcoming and makes friends very easily in every single class I’ve had her in,” Thompson said. “I think that community building that she does in the classroom, as well, really plays into her art making because she cares about other people. And so that’s an extension of her artwork, of caring for these people that she’s creating.”

Over the years, Kim has experimented with various art media, including paint, digital art and alcohol markers. Although Kim considers digital character art to be her speciality, she still aims to improve in other areas.

Courtesy of Charis Kim

“I think there’s still room to grow, but my creative process has gotten better to where I’ll have an idea, and I’ll stick with it long enough to make something that I can be proud of,” Kim said. “I tend to really focus on drawing characters to the point where my abilities with drawing in different styles or drawing buildings and surroundings could be better. But it’s something that I can still find fun because it’s part of the process.”

Kim said she wants to continue her artistic pursuits in college with a degree in entertainment design and hopes to one day animate TV shows or movies. She also plans to release an online comic on the platform WEBTOON, which will feature her original characters Polaris, Everbe and Aron.

“I definitely want to be able to create more stories in the future,” Kim said. “But I’m pretty attached, so it’s hard to think about publishing the webtoon because once the story’s done, I’ll be done with them. There’s a point at which after the happily ever after, they’re still gonna exist; they just might not exist with me in the same way.”