We had the good fortune of connecting with Mishi Lee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mishi, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
Classmates and colleagues could probably tell you they often hear me say, “Team work makes the dream work.” I truly believe in that quote, and it’s held true in my years at SCAD, where collaboration is key. Team work isn’t just about “working well with others,” either. It’s about being able to bring something to the table and contribute to a project in a way that uplifts everyone when possible. When there’s synergy and understanding between members a group, you can accomplish all your goals.
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 was always one to drive forward and excel at whatever I put my mind to. While I was spoiled and privileged as a child, I learned over time and through numerous hardships that one can only overcome life’s obstacles through dedication and rigor. I was raised to push forward, no matter what. For example, both of my parents’ health drastically declined during my junior year of college. I had to withdraw from a couple classes in order to take care of them and my mental health. Yet I managed to pull through and finish the year with all A’s, maintaining my 4.0 GPA.
Now, in my senior year, with graduation coming up, I can’t helped but feel excited about completing my senior thesis film. I’ve spent my senior year co-directing with my friend, Erin Truong, on our student film “Wasteland Delivery” as well as serving as art director for another friend’s film called “Son & Moon.” They’re both great films, and learning to be in a leadership position and directing role, managing bodies and delegating tasks, has been an incredible experience.
My grandmother was the only daughter of six children to go to college South Korea. My aunt graduated at the top of her class at her university. In May, I will be the first member from either side of my family to attend and graduate from a university in the US, and I will graduate as Salutatorian of SCAD Atlanta despite all the odds and obstacles that stood in my way.
I will always continue to push forward and pursue my passion in animation. The sense of camaraderie and community that I’ve come to know and love was unexpected, yet it has helped me grow as an artist and thrive in ways I never could have imagined. The connections I have been able to make with professors, fellow students, and industry professionals are what truly made my experience.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in a pretty heavily Korean-populated area, so the first thing I’d take them to is Korean BBQ for dinner on the first night. My favorite spot is a Korean restaurant called 9292 in Duluth. Taking precautions, of course, I’d take them sometime to the Round 1 Arcade in Lithonia. It’s a bit of a drive, but not far. There’s also Jeju Sauna on Pleasant Hill, Sweet Hut and Iron Age on the same street, and the Sugarloaf Mills mall. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to dedicate this shoutout to all my friends at SCAD. I don’t know where I’d be as a person or an artist without them. I also owe my brother for helping me take my first steps toward art. He first taught me how to draw by tracing Pokemon on cookie sheets. I never would have developed the passion and love for animation I have today if it weren’t for his influence and him exposing me to the medium.