On The Spot: Joohyung Seo

Soft, cloudy and ethereal, they are like dreams or prolonged-dropped childhood reminiscences. Joohyung Seo’s illustrations merge visible storytelling with impressionist spontaneity to provide out some of the most atmospheric artwork you will appear throughout. 

On the lookout at her mesmerizing performs, it is difficult to imagine that Joohyung has officially started out her inventive vocation only very last 12 months. In this week’s On The Place, the Korean illustrator tells us extra about her route so much – and how it all commenced with robots and pyramids.

Where do you live and what does your studio search like?

I stay in a quite chaotic port town in South Korea, but luckily for us my neighborhood comes about to be in the quieter part. My studio is also my dwelling, so the boundary among workspace and other “living spaces” is quite blurry. It is a compact, humble room with a messy desk, a lot of publications (half of them comic books), and tiny souvenirs I gathered from all the places I have frequented all-around the environment. 

It’s a great little space in which I can emphasis quite easily, nevertheless it would be even superior if I could also get a cat as a studio assistant!

How did you turn out to be an artist?

I formally started out as a freelance illustrator last year, after graduating from higher education. As a child, I experienced a pair of distinct dream careers in thoughts – one particular of them was a scientist (I desired to establish robots), and an additional one particular was an archeologist, as I have been fascinated with ancient Egypt archeology since I was younger.

Having said that, as the many years handed, I understood that what I seriously preferred doing was drawing the robots, and that I was especially quite interested in the artwork of historic Egypt. And so I uncovered myself investing a large amount of time drawing and portray, and imagined it would be magnificent to be ready to do this for the rest of my lifestyle. But even though I was making the most of generating artwork, I was not guaranteed if I would be able to make this operate as a job. It took me a though to make your mind up owing to fiscal worries.

Now, as you can see, the choice has been made. I just went for it and started working as a freelance illustrator. I started out out with private commissions, album covers, emblem models, and now I’m also managing a print store.


Do you paint just about every working day? What does your common working day search like?

I check out to paint most times of the 7 days, except if I’m having wrist pain. Soon after having what I would argue is a balanced and acceptable volume of caffeine in the morning, I comply with the options I set up the past day. I normally begin the working day by carrying out speedy studies or sketches, and the analyze subjects transform dependent on what I imagine I need to strengthen on, whether or not that be anatomy, colors, etc. Then I commence doing work on any ongoing jobs and consider care of my print store orders, which contains running to the post workplace on delivery times. 

When I have more no cost time, I like to commence the working day by going on very long walks pretty early in the early morning, normally for about an hour or an hour and a fifty percent. For most of the day, I draw and paint until finally the time comes to get completely ready for bed and plan out what to do the up coming working day. And the cycle carries on!

You have a exceptional fashion. How did you develop it?

My fashion is vastly motivated by the art of Georges Seurat. His drawings have a lovely atmospheric high-quality to them and I did a lot of scientific tests of his do the job as well as will work influenced by his model. 

I was also seriously impressed by the metropolis the place my higher education was situated. There had been times all through winter when it would get quite foggy at night, making my environment glimpse like fuzzy charcoal drawings. I took a great deal of shots for reference and use them until this day. 

And following I graduated from school, I received a prospect to journey to New York City and spent a good deal of time in museums. Day-to-day I would study oil paintings and pastel drawings incredibly carefully and specially referenced a ton of impressionist paintings. I discovered there were being several delicate shade nuances even in a little something that appeared like a quite tough and uncomplicated stroke, and understood there were being almost never any flat pure colors in the paintings. There have been at the very least one or two other colors mixed in into that a person stroke, creating the complete portray have a type of stunning feathery and energetic glimpse. When I commence portray I normally test to recall this and include it in my have function. I was also influenced by the glance of paints peeling off from previous mural paintings as very well as rust – I try to convey that old, worn out, and mysterious excellent to my perform. 

Who are the figures you paint?

The two people I usually paint, who shall continue being unnamed for now, are ideal mates who have been divided thanks to instances further than their regulate. I created the yellow character to be the embodiment of childhood and the other character who is normally painted with a darker coloration (usually purple) represents the changeover into adulthood. 

What are your largest inspirations?

In some cases it’s books and flicks I enjoyed, other times it is the have to have to illustrate thoughts I am possessing a really hard time expressing by precise phrases. A great deal of the time it’s what I observe all over me, like the colors of the sky and light-weight, as very well as the atmosphere. 

My largest artistic inspiration is, once more, Seurat and his drawings. Some individuals may have seen I attract a whole lot of figures in profile perspective and that arrives from me observing Michelle Ocelot’s Prince et Princesses religiously as a youngster. I really like the graphic high-quality of his flicks and my recollections of seeing Prince et Princesses likely creep in subconsciously into my do the job.

Knight in Pink

If you could select 1 location on Earth to are living and paint, where by would it be?

I can’t consider of any precise towns or even countries, but I would unquestionably like to dwell in a area with a cooler climate. I love heading on lengthy walks as it allows me clear my intellect and distract myself from anxiety, but performing that throughout hot and humid Korean summers has been tricky for me. As somebody who is not really very good with warmth, a put with shorter summers would be good. The warmth here can often be unbearable and I would really like to paint outdoor much more.

Do you have any other hobbies in addition to artwork? 

I appreciate cooking and baking. I locate it pretty therapeutic and meditative, in particular when I’m planning the ingredients (for case in point, slicing vegetables into awesome even slices) and viewing their shades improve as they cook. It can help me rest when I’m battling with my assignments, additionally I stop up with some good food to munch on! Apart from that, I also take pleasure in looking through and seeing movies every time I have totally free time. 

Rendez Vous

What are your creative programs for the long term?

In terms of initiatives, something I constantly wanted to do is making more narrative-dependent illustrations like ebook illustrations and comics. I’m at the moment very fascinated in doing reserve handles or variant handles for comics. Or else I just want to continue to keep earning much more art, even further develop my model, and experiment with far more major, darker tones.

Instagram: @jseojd_artwork

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