Firstly, how have things been for you during this difficult global pandemic?
Compared to others, I’ve been fortunate enough to not be too affected by the pandemic, I have been working at home ever since I started working as a full-time freelancer, so my day-to-day isn’t too different. Nevertheless, it is a difficult and challenging situation. I especially love travelling, so it is a shame to miss so many opportunities to visit new places. I’ve been using my spare time to do more work around the home.
What first inspired you to get into illustration?
I wanted to become an artist since I was very young. I studied Fine Art in University, and learnt mainly about contemporary art. I was interested in the visual image itself more than conceptual fine art. I was pretty lost at that time, did lots of other activities such as photography, making short documentaries and so on. Then after realising that I like image-making, I changed tracks to become an illustrator. After graduating, I juggled my time as a freelance illustrator with a part-time job, then as more commissions started to come in, little by little, I became a full-time illustrator around 7 years ago.
You have always worked as a freelancer, was that always your intention?
There wasn’t too much choice for me. At the time, there weren’t so many in-house jobs for artists in Korea and there were few agencies specifically for illustrators too. So, I started to work as a part-time art teacher, and also as an illustrator. In order to work as a full-time freelance illustrator, I pushed my self-promotion through Behance, applied for many illustration awards, sent out many emails to various agencies, and so on. It has been a long journey to be a full-time freelance illustrator after graduating university.