On The Spot: Joohyung Seo


Tender, cloudy and ethereal, they’re like desires or lengthy-shed childhood recollections. Joohyung Seo’s illustrations merge visual storytelling with impressionist spontaneity to convey out some of the most atmospheric art you’ll come throughout. 

Searching at her mesmerizing operates, it’s hard to visualize that Joohyung has officially started off her creative profession only final year. In this week’s On The Spot, the Korean illustrator tells us a lot more about her route so far – and how it all started out with robots and pyramids.

In which do you stay and what does your studio look like?

I dwell in a really chaotic port metropolis in South Korea, but the good news is my community takes place to be in the quieter component. My studio is also my residence, so the boundary involving workspace and other “living spaces” is really blurry. It is a compact, humble space with a messy desk, a whole lot of publications (half of them comic books), and very little souvenirs I collected from all the areas I have frequented all-around the planet. 

It’s a perfect little house where by I can emphasis incredibly easily, even so it would be even better if I could also get a cat as a studio assistant!

How did you turn into an artist?

I formally commenced out as a freelance illustrator very last 12 months, following graduating from school. As a youngster, I experienced a few of distinct aspiration jobs in head – a person of them was a scientist (I required to construct robots), and a different a person was an archeologist, as I have been fascinated with ancient Egypt archeology considering the fact that I was youthful.

On the other hand, as the several years handed, I understood that what I definitely appreciated undertaking was drawing the robots, and that I was specifically really intrigued in the art of historic Egypt. And so I identified myself expending a whole lot of time drawing and painting, and thought it would be brilliant to be able to do this for the relaxation of my life. But even though I was making the most of making artwork, I was not guaranteed if I would be ready to make this operate as a job. It took me a even though to make a decision owing to money issues.

Now, as you can see, the selection has been produced. I just went for it and begun working as a freelance illustrator. I started out with private commissions, album handles, brand layouts, and now I’m also running a print store.


Do you paint each individual working day? What does your standard working day appear like?

I test to paint most times of the week, except I’m getting wrist discomfort. Soon after finding what I would argue is a healthful and realistic amount of money of caffeine in the early morning, I adhere to the plans I set up the previous working day. I commonly get started the working day by executing rapid experiments or sketches, and the examine subjects improve relying on what I imagine I need to enhance on, no matter whether that be anatomy, shades, and many others. Then I start out working on any ongoing jobs and acquire care of my print shop orders, which features operating to the publish office environment on shipping and delivery times. 

When I have extra cost-free time, I like to start out the day by likely on extended walks extremely early in the early morning, generally for about an hour or an hour and a 50 percent. For most of the day, I attract and paint until finally the time comes to get completely ready for mattress and prepare out what to do the future day. And the cycle carries on!

You have a distinctive design and style. How did you produce it?

My style is vastly encouraged by the artwork of Georges Seurat. His drawings have a beautiful atmospheric excellent to them and I did a lot of studies of his work as properly as operates encouraged by his type. 

I was also seriously motivated by the metropolis exactly where my higher education was located. There were being days for the duration of winter season when it would get incredibly foggy at evening, building my environment search like fuzzy charcoal drawings. I took a ton of shots for reference and use them till this working day. 

And following I graduated from college or university, I bought a opportunity to journey to New York Metropolis and used a ton of time in museums. Each day I would research oil paintings and pastel drawings quite intently and particularly referenced a large amount of impressionist paintings. I observed there were being quite a few delicate color nuances even in a little something that looked like a extremely tough and basic stroke, and realized there have been rarely any flat pure shades in the paintings. There were at minimum a single or two other colours combined in into that a single stroke, generating the total portray have a sort of lovely feathery and energetic glance. Anytime I start portray I normally try out to keep in mind this and incorporate it in my individual function. I was also influenced by the look of paints peeling off from old mural paintings as well as rust – I check out to carry that outdated, worn out, and mysterious excellent to my operate. 

Who are the figures you paint?

The two characters I frequently paint, who shall continue to be unnamed for now, are very best buddies who have been divided owing to situation outside of their handle. I created the yellow character to be the embodiment of childhood and the other character who is typically painted with a darker coloration (generally purple) represents the transition into adulthood. 

What are your most important inspirations?

Often it’s books and motion pictures I relished, other periods it’s the need to illustrate feelings I am getting a hard time expressing by means of precise text. A whole lot of the time it’s what I observe close to me, like the shades of the sky and light-weight, as well as the atmosphere. 

My most important creative inspiration is, yet again, Seurat and his drawings. Some men and women could possibly have noticed I draw a great deal of figures in profile view and that will come from me viewing Michelle Ocelot’s Prince et Princesses religiously as a boy or girl. I appreciate the graphic top quality of his movies and my memories of looking at Prince et Princesses in all probability creep in subconsciously into my do the job.

Knight in Pink

If you could select a single spot on Earth to live and paint, the place would it be?

I just can’t imagine of any distinct towns or even international locations, but I would undoubtedly like to dwell in a put with a cooler climate. I enjoy heading on long walks as it helps me apparent my intellect and distract myself from stress and anxiety, but carrying out that in the course of hot and humid Korean summers has been difficult for me. As an individual who is not very excellent with heat, a put with shorter summers would be great. The heat listed here can often be unbearable and I would like to paint outdoors much more.

Do you have any other hobbies aside from artwork? 

I love cooking and baking. I obtain it very therapeutic and meditative, primarily when I’m getting ready the substances (for case in point, cutting greens into great even slices) and looking at their colours modify as they cook dinner. It allows me rest when I’m struggling with my assignments, additionally I end up with some good foods to munch on! Aside from that, I also take pleasure in looking at and seeing flicks any time I have totally free time. 

Rendez Vous

What are your artistic ideas for the future?

In terms of tasks, a thing I often wished to do is earning a lot more narrative-primarily based illustrations like ebook illustrations and comics. I’m at the moment quite fascinated in executing guide handles or variant handles for comics. Normally I just want to hold producing much more art, more produce my design and style, and experiment with more major, darker tones.

Instagram: @jseojd_art

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