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Jeana Sohn photo

closet visit

A beauty everywhere,
in everything,
in every person

interview: Kate Holley
images: Jeana Sohn

If you're in the market for a new super-hero, one who can travel through time, see through walls and anticipate the future, I've got a candidate for you. She's Los Angeles artist, photographer and fashion lover Jeana Sohn, whose Closet allows us to travel back to a time of rare and beautiful fashion pieces from the past.

We see through walls by peeking into the closets of some of LA's most creative women. We preview the future by tapping Southern California's foremost trendsetters and tasteful minds. She leads a life most of us would envy, without those inconvenient time traveling repercussions that Michael J. Fox had to face.

Just as enviable, the Korean-born Sohn manages to merge all the things she loves – art, fashion, photography among them – into a compelling, eclectic narration of creative women in Los Angeles for all of her blog followers to see.

Jeana (pronounced Gina) was born and raised in Pohang, South Korea. According to a brief bio on the Taylor De Cordoba art gallery website, her parents wanted her to be a concert pianist, but her fingers were too short for a musical career. Instead, she put those fingers to work by drawing and completed a program in graphic design at a Korean university before earning a master's degree at the California Institute of the Arts in 2004. At Cal Arts she studied animation.

Jeana, who lives in LA with her musician husband and three pets, started Closet Visit last year as a way to explore the lives of more than 30 of the most innovative and inspiring women who thrive in the design-oriented world of LA. Her subjects include stylists, screen writers, models, film directors, gallery owners and more. Accompanying Jeana's stunning photography are interviews with each of the women about their own fashion finds, fashion favorites and their personal style.

"I get a lot of e-mails recommending people for Closet Visit, but I usually go for people I've met in person or people my other subjects suggest," she said recently. "The Closet Visit shoots are very intimate, so I don't like the idea of going to a complete stranger's closet. That's one of the reasons I don’t do men's closets, even though a lot of people requested it."

I like trying different forms of art, and I feel like everything I do is connected.

The women Jeana interviews are accomplished and talented, but they're not slaves to fashion, which makes them all the more interesting to regular Closet Visit visitors. "People I feature are certainly collectors, but they are not fashion victims," she said. "They don't wear head-to-toe designer brands. They don't buy just because some celebrities wear it, and they don't follow trends too much. They know what works for them and how to mix vintage and designer."

Jeana told the Los Angeles Times last year that she started Closet Visit as a way to practice with her new camera – a Canon 7D SLR – but the project also allowed her to expand her already extensive artistic repertoire. "I like trying different forms of art, and I feel like everything I do is connected," she said. "I'm always curious about other fields, and I'm open to learn and move on to something new."

Nature in all its variety and unpredictability is her artistic inspiration. "I like observing things… I try to find beauty from everywhere I go, everything I see and every person I meet," she said, which is made evident by her own photography and diverse sense of aesthetics. Jeana remains current and finds inspiration from some of her favorite artists, including Kiki Smith, Valerie Hammond, and Ruth Asawa and she described her predilection to photographers "who can take photos that are a little off but poetic and beautiful in a humble way." It's no surprise that each featured profile on is full of the same subtle beauty that inspires Jeana — every coveted piece of clothing or distinguishing interior decoration on this site is rousing yet thoughtful.

One thing Closet Visit fans won't see anytime soon is Jeana's own closet. "Believe it or not, I don’t have enough stuff to show!" she said. "Every day I have nothing to wear, just like everyone else."

Even though she says she'd rather be behind the camera, Jeana was willing to answer the question that she always ends her own interviews with on Closet Visit.

The five things she cannot live without are:
1. her husband and three pets
2. spicy food
3. inspiring and supportive girlfriends
4. her camera
5. and Hope.

+ visit Closet Visit

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