It’s not unusual for sisters who are close to share experiences and do things together. But, the Sunwoo Sisters wrote a new chapter in the history of ArtCenter. Mindy, Judy and Ruthie Sunwoo all graduated from ArtCenter at the same time. And no, they’re not triplets. It took thirteen years.
Mindy: Judy and I are fraternal twins. From an early age, we had our own playful creative rivalry.
Judy: Mindy and I arrived at ArtCenter when we were eighteen with zero expectations. It was 2005. We were looking for a “traditional” college experience. Suffice to say, we had no idea what we had signed up for. Ultimately, we pressed pause. Our first ArtCenter experience didn’t last.
Ruthie: Judy and Mindy came back ten years later. I had started ArtCenter in 2014 and was there for a year without my sisters. You could say the vibe at the College changed since they were there: things were youthful, more diverse. I felt at home. Still, when my sisters showed up, I felt like I could breathe again.
J: Growing up, our parents took notice of our creativity. Ruthie was into illustration. Mindy and I were into design.
M: I am beyond blessed to have a family that’s creative: my own kind of creative sisterhood.
R: The first time we heard about ArtCenter was through a friend of our mother’s.
M: Our mom had a best friend who was a professor at Otis. She urged us to check out ArtCenter.
R: Our mother was into fashion. She has what I call “the magic eye.” That definitely influenced us.
M: Our father is 100% business-minded. Needless to say, he remains perplexed by us. Fascinated might be a more polite word.
J: Our first day, in 2005, Mindy and I were the only ones in our class who were 18 – everyone else was 25 or older. That was when we realized we weren’t quite ready.
M: During our time away, we gained maturity and a sense of perspective. We knew what we wanted, and what we didn’t want. Sometimes, to bring your goals into sharper focus, you have to take a step away.
R: A lot of instructors were always curious about the difference in our styles. Judy’s great at drawing details. Mindy’s all about capturing the mood of a certain piece.
M: Twins by their very nature are similar but fundamentally different. I’m into composition, Judy’s into colors, and Ruthie is the one we all looked up to. I think she’s just in love with the creative process. Go ahead and ask her yourself if you don’t believe me.
R: I have no self-discipline. Honestly. I spend way too much time on the “idea” portion of the process. ArtCenter helped me to hone a kind of laser-like focus on the actual process of work… even if my professors seem to prefer my rough drafts.
J: The difference in our styles plays a huge part. When someone commissions us for an illustration, I can pinpoint which of my sisters would be best for the job. Ruthie can do typography. Mindy is all about being consumer-friendly. I practice a sophisticated style that’s geared more towards adults, while Mindy has honed a playful and charming aesthetic that’s more readymade for children.
M: If I have issues with color, I ask Judy. If I have questions about line work, I ask Ruthie. We pass it off to each other, like a basketball squad. It’s pure teamwork.
R: We have another sister who’s not creative at all. Ironically, despite the basketball metaphor, she’s literally the jock of the family.
J: At the end of the day, it all comes back to ArtCenter and the connections we’ve made there. It feels like its own kind of family.
M: When we were at a recent graduation, it was a joy to reconnect with all our old instructors and former classmates. You’re just not going to get a relationship that’s that close and personal from a UC school, in my opinion. The professors are earnest, compassionate, and they want you to excel. Deep down, they know what it’s all about: finding something you love and riding it until the wheels fall off.
BFA 18 Illustration
BFA 18 Illustration
BFA 18 Illustration