A while back, while still trying to find my place as an artist after finishing college, a friend of mine introduced me to K-Pop (Korean Pop music) and to one group in particular, BTS. I fell in love with their music videos after being sceptical at first, and the vibrancy and sheer unapologetic saturated goodness that is K-Pop left me breathless.
My next thought though was, “My paintings would look spectacular in those videos, they’d fit right in” (I especially like “Fire”, “Blood, Sweat & Tears”, “DNA” and “IDOL” for my art) I put that idea aside though, daydreaming once in a while whenever those crazily talented seven boys released a stunning new video, but not doing much about it. How could I? I had no connections to the Korean music industry and knowing how rapidly BTS’ fame was growing by the day, my chances were practically non-existent at that point.
And who was I to think I had anything special to offer? I am a young artist from Berlin, trying to leave a colorful mark in this grey world. There are so many amazing, talented people out there. I might as well just be a tiny drop in the ocean of people that admire BTS and want to collaborate with them.
I was content to let them inspire me in my own work, such as my “Love Yourself” series which made me take a long and hard look at what I like about my life and what I am no longer willing to tolerate. I was content for a while.
But I never liked playing anything safe, and wanting something bad enough always made me find a way to make it come true in the end. So I had this idea floating around in my head for a while and I finally found a feasible way (to me) to give it a go.
Ok, so this idea (that actually came to me in the shower, go figure) is very far out there. My goal: I want to ‘collab’ with BTS. I want my art to be in their music videos. I think our color themes would match and I love the message behind their music. They inspired my “Love Yourself” series in big parts after all. So… my art in their music videos? Farfetched and nearly impossible? Probably. Am I still going through with this? Hell yeah! To accomplish this outrageous goal I decided to edit some of my favorite music video stills from BTS and also take some of their selfies on Twitter and put my art into the background.
How in hell are BTS ever going to see them? Here is the even more farfetched part; I’m simply commenting below each and every single tweet they themselves post. Yes. My edits will be among 30K+ comments and the chance that anyone of them has a change of stumbling across them is… 1:30,000? Slim. Let’s just say… slim.
But this idea and dream has taken up so much space already in my head and it just feels right that I am happy and I am at least taking tiny actions towards it. Should I ever run into someone who has connections or knows someone who knows someone in the K-Pop industry, I already have a folder full of finished edits that showcase my work alongside BTS – portfolio style. I also made it a point to tell EVERYONE who will care to listen about this. You never know when an opportunity may arise and I am just too stubborn to think this is a long shot, don’t even bother Julia…
Yeah, that’s what they said to seven young Korean boys when they decided they wanted to become idols, and now they sell out the huge New York Citi Field venue in a matter of minutes. I can’t give up.
To give myself an extra edge, I’ve taken up studying Korean as well and my biggest dream is to fly to Seoul in spring 2019 to see if it’s a city I might want to live in. I’ve been told it’s a lot like Berlin and I love living in Berlin. But now I want to reach further. To find new horizons and adventures.
… now I want to reach further. To find new horizons and adventures.
I want to be able to converse in Korean easily by the time I travel to Korea, and to finance my travels, I started a ‘100 paintings in 100 days’ challenge. What better time and incentive to share my colorful abstracts, one painting at a time with the world, while it gets progressively darker and colder as the year draws to a close?
Here is how this challenge works: every evening, 9PM German time (that’s 3pm EST for my American peeps) I published my painting of the day on Instagram. The first person to comment below the original Instagram post saying “mine“ or “me“ got to buy it for 250$ +shipping. You can see all Instagram posts for this challenge under the hashtag #100daystomakeamark and here you can find all the paintings that I produced for this challenge.
Each painting is an original on paper, 30x40cm/ 12×16” (A3), signed at the bottom right, titled and numbered on the back.
I never took part in a painting challenge this long before and I was so excited to try it! I was also curious to see how my style would evolve through those 3+ months. Many joined me over on Instagram for this challenge, and the feedback was outstanding. It’s fulfilling to know people enjoy my art, and even more so to present the opportunity to own it. I hope it brings joy to peoples’ lives. Furthermore, and another reason for participation, was that I also created so many new paintings that I could edit BTS’ photos with – everyday showcasing my art in an unconventional way. I’m chasing my impossible dream. What is stopping you from realizing your impossible dream?
And personally, I think those edits look sick! Do you agree? Do you disagree? Would you like seeing me collaborate with BTS? Where’s my fellow BTS Army at? I will make more of these and tweet them as often as I can. So follow me on Twitter @juliabadow to see more of these.
What is stopping YOU from realizing your impossible dream?
Oh and BTS, if you happen to read this: 안녕하세요! 저는 배를린의 아티스트입니다. 제 그림이 뮤직비디오에 정말 잘 어울릴거 같아 연락드려요. 문자주세요 (Heya, I’m a Berlin artist and think my paintings could work beautifully in your music videos. Text me! #letscollab #juliabadowxbts)
Julia Badow is an abstract expressionist painter from Berlin, Germany. Moved by her fascination for colors, female empowerment, and ultimately the love to tell stories, she creates abstract works of vibrant, saturated hues, using acrylics on canvas and paper. Check out her social media here: