♦ As per my lawyer’s request, I cannot share the identity of the offender, all parts indicative of their identity will be marked out with *** ♦
Just a disclaimer– it’s not completely over yet. Currently, I am in limbo. I am waiting on a list of what items I get to keep, but once I receive that list, they will need to come by, pick up their things, and then we can consider it done. Originally it was supposed to be settled by the 12th, but complications on their end and my lawyer’s end have postponed this date yet again. It is excruciating, but I just gotta move on. Since the bulk of everything has been settled though, I can finally share why I left JisuArt. It’s a story of abuse, fear, and depression. I used to be afraid to share this information because of what it might do to my public image. It’s only through the support of my friends, my fans, and the courage of other victims that I can write this.
When I was just 15, I was essentially trafficked out of my home to live in California with *** My life at home at the time was hell. My family is highly dysfunctional, and even now I face daily troubles with them–however, they do not compare to the life I lived at ***’s side.
I moved out on the premise of making a game with them. To me, the whole idea seemed so glamorous and I perceived them like a sort of rockstar savior since they were an ex-pro in the Smash community and also my ticket out of my home life. Being 10 years my senior, they were publicly my friend/guardian, but anyone close to us knew that there were romantic undertones. They took advantage of this by emotionally, psychologically, and sexually abusing me.
From the very start, people warned me about them. That was already a red flag. In hindsight, I should’ve listened, but being young and new to the scene, I didn’t know any better. When I confronted them about these rumors, they obviously wrote them off as lies, and they told me that anyone who tries to warn me of them is only trying to separate our bond. This is a lie that they would forever chant throughout our partnership– but I believed them.
They were extremely controlling. They slowly took over every facet of my life. In the first year or so, my naivety allowed them to do so without resistance. They would say that their actions were only for my own good, and that since I was 10 years beneath them, I shouldn’t question it. Before we even started JisuArt, they would do everything they could to keep me under control without being legally at risk. This meant things like having my passwords and socially coercing me to only associate/hang out with them– but not actually say anything outright abusive. Anyone who knew us before I was Jisu of JisuArt would understand what I mean by this. A good example would be employing extreme guilt-tripping: “Jackie, you can’t hang out with those people. Remember, they said those things about me? They’re bad people, you can’t trust them. If you hang out with them, I have no choice, but to move you back home”.
They also gaslit me for years. We started JisuArt when I was 17, which was too young to have my name on any of the legal documentation. They promised me that we would fix this the moment I turned 18, but that never happened. Instead, they made sure that every single important aspect of the business was under their name and thus ultimately under their control. On the surface, they would pretend like the business is a 50/50 venture, but it was not. It was ALWAYS their way, or the highway. When I began to seriously resist, they would berate me, insult me, and even physically intimidate me into obeying them. But the next day, when I would confront them about these things– they would pretend that it never even happened. Either that, or they would take drastic measures like drilling 3 holes into my phone, or shutting the site down for months, and leaving me the task to put it back up. I also never controlled any of the money. Every purchase had to be approved by them. While they were allowed to spend the money as they wanted, I couldn’t. It was seriously backwards considering the brand was contingent on my ability as an artist. This always led to an empty bank account at the end of every month, despite all the hard work I would put in without return.
I was miserable, but I felt like there was no way out. 2017 became the lowest point of my life. I was somehow living a double-life where I was this happy, productive face of a booming art brand, but also the puppet and slave to this horrible person. Several times I thought to just quit, but all the current momentum and stake I already had in JisuArt kept me locked in. *** knew this, and they would add strength to the shackles by constantly spewing how invaluable or replaceable I was. Several times, I contemplated suicide. It’s only through the support of my dearest fans and friends that I could even make it through now.
Then one day, I stumbled upon Alice Glass’s statement: http://www.alice-glass.com/cc/ Never in my life has every word of a passage resonated with me so hard. I felt like I was reading a memoir of the past 4 years of my life. That’s when I knew I had to take action.
All hell broke loose. When I tried to end things civilly, it didn’t work. Since everything was under their name, there was no way to work things out unless it was their way. When I kicked them out of my residence, they took many of the things acquired throughout our time together. This included numerous personal items such as games, consoles, etc. Dealing with them and trying to end things civilly was pure torture. Since my parents do not speak English, I was basically facing this alone. I even went to their family and friends to try and see if I could get anything from this, to no avail.
Thus, I had to leave. I left JisuArt. I left my brand, whatever money there was left, sole-licensing to my work, tens of thousands of dollars of assets, 4 years of marketing and traveling, but most of all– I finally left them. After months of battling, once they finally realized that I was no longer under their grasp– they went full conservation mode. Their true sociopathic nature revealed itself as they seriously had nothing to say except for how much I screwed them over. Disgusting.
To start over, I am now just Jisu. My new links can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/JisuChoeArt/, https://www.instagram.com/jisuchoeart/, https://twitter.com/jisuchoeart, https://www.twitch.tv/jacquelinechoe/, https://www.patreon.com/JisuChoe) I’m still working on my new website. Anyone with outstanding orders from JisuArt should e-mail me (email@example.com) with your order information, and I will forward that information to ***. Unfortunately, once I left Jisuart, these orders were no longer in my hands, but I will do what I can to get them to the right place. For now, I have my personal PC as well as some boothing materials, but there is still a good chance I do not get to keep these things. Also, anything with ‘JisuArt’ on it is no longer associated with me, so please, if you see it in the future, do not support it. Technically, they still have the files to print my work as well, so if you ever see anyone selling my work that I have not officially endorsed, don’t buy it.
It took me 4 years to finally get out of this, and while recovery has been steady and fast, it will take a long time before I’m mentally and emotionally back together. I’m sorry to anyone who has ever felt uneasy around me, or felt that something was “off”. I honestly feel like because of them, a lot of relationships I’ve had with people or could’ve had were indirectly damaged. Having them in my life turned me into an anxious, stuttering, mess, and I ask for everyone’s patience as I relearn how to function. I know it sounds like an exaggeration, but even still they’re not completely out of my life, and sometimes I feel like their impact on me has left me warped beyond repair. I’m also still facing a lot of troubles at home, but I know I will ultimately overcome everything.
Artistically, this also means a new start. Even during this ordeal, I still somehow managed to churn out some of my most iconic pieces. I focused heavily on fanart for growth and relatability, but now that I am free to do as I please– I’m probably going to take a lot of time to explore. My end goals are much more vast than the sum of my life so far, and outside of JisuArt I feel like I have much to prove. Even as my work changes, I will always remember my roots, and knowing that so much of the money and time my supporters have invested into me went to waste destroys me. So it’s only right that I give it all back by becoming the best artist that I can be.
Thank you for reading. Thank you to all the friends, family, and fans that have stayed with me throughout this. Special thanks to my patrons who have seen the worst from this in my day-to-day, but still stayed to support. My fans are not just my fans, you guys are my family. I really mean it when I say that I take every like, follow, comment, share, etc to heart. Special thanks to Corsair as well for backing me up during this struggle. I am convinced that any success I had was largely through my own two hands, and through everyone’s support, I am convinced that I can do it all again.