Mei Kobayashi started taking pictures at a young age, and her family soon saw her talent. After touring ArtCenter's Grad Show, a showcase of graduating students' work, she made the decision to pursue photography at the College.
In addition to the faculty of working professionals, Mei appreciates the access to high-end equipment, including the black-and-white lab with an expansive dark room, as well as the photo stages.
At ArtCenter, I have access to high-grade equipment, plus the diversity of life in Los Angeles.Mei Kobayashi
"Students do fashion shoots, still life shoots — there’s always something going on," she said. Initially, Mei was leaning toward fashion or editorial photography, but since dipping into more ideas and environments, she's discovered an interest in product photography. "I'm still exploring what I like," she said.
Mei also finds inspiration in the diversity of L.A. life. "There's always something going on, and there are so many cultures here," she said. "You meet people from different backgrounds; that's what I love about Los Angeles."
Mei is also exploring the way she expresses her identity as a Japanese American through her work. "I used to be hesitant in expressing Japanese culture because people didn't understand why I did certain things," she said. "I did a self-portrait project and I was wearing my kimono — I'm trying to delve into that more."