Awake, Anxious, and Designing Pins

Hello, I'm Jamila. I'm originally from Alabama. I've been living in Korea since 2014. I am a self-taught artist and the founder of Anxiety and Kimbap. Through Anxiety and Kimbap, I design pins and other merch that are greatly influenced by Korea (food, objects, language etc.), mixed with pop culture and mental health themes. Usually things that I have experienced or have come in contact with while living here.

The idea to start A&K came to me during a dark period in my life. Towards the end of 2018, I hit a rough patch and my health was declining. I experienced tensed jaw muscles, tinnitus, and what felt like a frequent mini heart attack. After suffering alone for weeks, I finally found the strength and an English psychologist, to get help. I was told what I had been dealing with was anxiety. In the worst of it, I thought about random things to keep my mind occupied. Like how I could never find interesting Korea themed pins anywhere. So it dawned on me, “why not just make your own?”

Why 'Anxiety and Kimbap'?

I remember when I came up with the idea to create an online shop. I chatted with a friend about name ideas. Every name idea I came up with was forced. I knew I wanted to design Korea inspired pins and that’s it. I remember at one point coming up with a name that involved the French words for ‘black’ and ‘cat’! Ha! One night, I was joking to myself about all the convenience store kimbap wrappers in my trash when it hit me, “anxiety and kimbap.” It was perfect.

When people read, see or hear it, it makes them talk. “Why Anxiety and Kimbap?” Because it's perfect and it summarizes a slow growth period of my life. My goal for Anxiety and Kimbap is to create relatable and memorable souvenirs while spreading mental health awareness. 

If you're here reading this and have supported this little endeavor, thank you so much!