On The Spot: Joohyung Seo

Gentle, cloudy and ethereal, they’re like goals or prolonged-misplaced childhood recollections. Joohyung Seo’s illustrations merge visual storytelling with impressionist spontaneity to provide out some of the most atmospheric art you will come across. 

Looking at her mesmerizing works, it’s tricky to think about that Joohyung has formally started out her inventive job only previous calendar year. In this week’s On The Location, the Korean illustrator tells us much more about her path so much – and how it all started out with robots and pyramids.

The place do you are living and what does your studio glimpse like?

I are living in a really occupied port metropolis in South Korea, but the good thing is my community comes about to be in the quieter element. My studio is also my house, so the boundary among workspace and other “living spaces” is very blurry. It’s a small, humble area with a messy desk, a great deal of guides (50 percent of them comic textbooks), and minimal souvenirs I gathered from all the sites I have visited all around the planet. 

It’s a best little house exactly where I can focus incredibly quickly, nonetheless it would be even improved if I could also get a cat as a studio assistant!

How did you turn out to be an artist?

I formally started off out as a freelance illustrator final year, soon after graduating from university. As a youngster, I experienced a pair of different aspiration work opportunities in brain – one particular of them was a scientist (I preferred to establish robots), and another just one was an archeologist, as I have been fascinated with historic Egypt archeology because I was youthful.

On the other hand, as the several years passed, I recognized that what I truly preferred executing was drawing the robots, and that I was specially incredibly intrigued in the artwork of historic Egypt. And so I observed myself paying a whole lot of time drawing and painting, and assumed it would be awesome to be able to do this for the relaxation of my everyday living. But whilst I was making the most of earning art, I was not sure if I would be ready to make this get the job done as a vocation. It took me a while to come to a decision because of to economical problems.

Now, as you can see, the final decision has been made. I just went for it and started functioning as a freelance illustrator. I begun out with private commissions, album handles, brand designs, and now I’m also jogging a print store.


Do you paint every day? What does your regular day search like?

I try out to paint most days of the 7 days, except I’m obtaining wrist ache. Right after finding what I would argue is a wholesome and fair quantity of caffeine in the morning, I observe the strategies I set up the earlier working day. I commonly begin the day by accomplishing speedy scientific studies or sketches, and the analyze subjects improve relying on what I assume I require to make improvements to on, whether or not that be anatomy, colors, and so on. Then I start out operating on any ongoing assignments and choose treatment of my print shop orders, which involves working to the put up workplace on shipping days. 

When I have a lot more totally free time, I like to start out the working day by going on long walks extremely early in the early morning, commonly for about an hour or an hour and a fifty percent. For most of the day, I draw and paint right up until the time arrives to get prepared for bed and prepare out what to do the subsequent working day. And the cycle proceeds!

You have a exclusive design and style. How did you acquire it?

My design and style is hugely inspired by the artwork of Georges Seurat. His drawings have a stunning atmospheric top quality to them and I did a whole lot of studies of his operate as nicely as is effective encouraged by his design. 

I was also greatly motivated by the city where by my college was located. There ended up times during winter when it would get incredibly foggy at night time, earning my environment glance like fuzzy charcoal drawings. I took a ton of pictures for reference and use them until this day. 

And soon after I graduated from school, I acquired a chance to journey to New York Metropolis and spent a good deal of time in museums. Every day I would examine oil paintings and pastel drawings really closely and especially referenced a great deal of impressionist paintings. I discovered there have been lots of delicate color nuances even in some thing that looked like a incredibly tough and straightforward stroke, and understood there had been seldom any flat pure hues in the paintings. There ended up at least a single or two other shades combined in into that one stroke, producing the whole portray have a form of gorgeous feathery and lively appear. Any time I begin painting I usually attempt to bear in mind this and integrate it in my own operate. I was also influenced by the appear of paints peeling off from old mural paintings as properly as rust – I test to deliver that aged, worn out, and mysterious high quality to my do the job. 

Who are the characters you paint?

The two figures I often paint, who shall stay unnamed for now, are very best pals who have been divided because of to conditions further than their command. I developed the yellow character to be the embodiment of childhood and the other character who is usually painted with a darker coloration (ordinarily purple) represents the transition into adulthood. 

What are your major inspirations?

At times it’s textbooks and motion pictures I relished, other periods it is the want to illustrate emotions I am getting a tough time expressing via certain words. A whole lot of the time it is what I notice all-around me, like the shades of the sky and light-weight, as nicely as the atmosphere. 

My largest artistic inspiration is, once more, Seurat and his drawings. Some men and women may possibly have found I attract a lot of figures in profile check out and that arrives from me viewing Michelle Ocelot’s Prince et Princesses religiously as a boy or girl. I adore the graphic top quality of his films and my memories of watching Prince et Princesses possibly creep in subconsciously into my function.

Knight in Purple

If you could decide on a single area on Earth to reside and paint, in which would it be?

I just can’t imagine of any particular towns or even countries, but I would absolutely like to dwell in a spot with a cooler weather. I appreciate going on extended walks as it can help me obvious my thoughts and distract myself from nervousness, but doing that in the course of scorching and humid Korean summers has been difficult for me. As an individual who is not very superior with heat, a position with shorter summers would be fantastic. The heat listed here can in some cases be unbearable and I would adore to paint outside more.

Do you have any other hobbies moreover artwork? 

I enjoy cooking and baking. I locate it really therapeutic and meditative, especially when I’m preparing the elements (for illustration, cutting veggies into awesome even slices) and observing their hues improve as they cook. It can help me take it easy when I’m having difficulties with my tasks, moreover I stop up with some fantastic food to munch on! Besides that, I also love looking through and seeing films each time I have free time. 

Rendez Vous

What are your creative ideas for the upcoming?

In terms of projects, a thing I constantly wanted to do is creating more narrative-based illustrations like e-book illustrations and comics. I’m at the moment pretty intrigued in accomplishing book handles or variant addresses for comics. Otherwise I just want to continue to keep building additional art, further more build my fashion, and experiment with more severe, darker tones.

Instagram: @jseojd_artwork

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