Today we’d like to introduce you to Ella Yoon.
Ella, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I was born in the suburbs of South Korea but spent most of my childhood moving around between big and small cities in the U.S as well as South Korea. I was always the new kid which I hated back then but now I have a huge appreciation for having had that experience. It leads me to perceive and appreciate different cultures, histories, people and their own special stories. I think this is where my love for storytelling stems from.
I entered Art Center College of Design as an illustration design major thinking I would naturally become an illustrator. Art Center helped me develop and fine tune my craft but also unveiled a plethora of different doors I could explore and be part of as an artist. Two years into my education, I took my first motion class and was exposed to a different kind of creative storytelling than what I was used to. This intrigued and inspired me to dig deeper into the field of motion graphics.
After finishing college, I freelanced at different motion studios for a bit then became a staff designer and later on an Art Director at one of the studios.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I’m an Art Director at a motion graphics company called Flavor. I work on conceptualizing, designing and establishing the look for a spot, as well as providing direction on visuals and animations. I’m almost always collaborating with a team of artists, and together, we create spots that can range from commercial, live action, interactive and VFX work.
‘Technique agnostic’ is an important term in my creative process. Meaning, I always keep the creative at the core of everything and explore different techniques and design languages to best tell the story. Depending on the message that has to be conveyed, I could be 2D illustrating and photo compositing to design style frames one week and 3D rendering the other. Quite often a mixture of all of the above.
I look at a lot of different art forms such as illustrations, graphic designs, traditional and digital paintings, 3D renders and designs, calligraphy, packaging, photography, runway and street fashion, architecture, etc. for inspiration. Recently, I’ve been gravitating towards work that has a distinct and/or unique tonality but I try not to be too specific when I’m looking to be inspired. A lot of the times I’m pleasantly surprised to find inspiration in unexpected things. And I adore those moments since the process feels more organic. I hope my work can do the same for others.
Artists rarely, if ever pursue art for the money. Nonetheless, we all have bills and responsibilities and many aspiring artists are discouraged from pursuing art due to financial reasons. Any advice or thoughts you’d like to share with prospective artists?
From a creative standpoint, I don’t think there’s one specific path you have to take to be an artist, express your creativity or have a career in the creative field. There are so many ways to get there. Everyone’s relationship between finance and creative path is different and financial concerns are personal and specific to each individual. For me, I found comfort in understanding that an artistic path is a marathon and that everyone has their own pace. I believe that having to slow down or shift your priorities away from your art can very much be a part of the process. Consistency is important though, even if it’s 5 minutes a day, exercise your creative brain and try to develop a regular process that best suits your circumstances.
From a practical standpoint, try to find time in making yourself and your work more known. Networking is important. Let people know you exist! Utilizing online resources can be an efficient way of doing this. Submitting your work to websites that could potentially feature your work or emailing over your portfolio to a studio comes at no cost. You never know what could turn into a work opportunity. I’ve been noticing a huge growth in communities online as well, especially in the motion graphics field. There are so many artists who generously share tools, tutorials, assets to download for free, etc. I’ve been using those communities to my advantage ever since I was a struggling student. Community colleges or art schools nearby may also be a good place to ask question and get more information on where you can find support.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can check out my work on my personal website, I try to update as often as possible. You can visit flavor’s webpage as well. Shoot me an email or reach out through social media if you want to know more about my work or any type of hello makes my day!
Artist Photography, shot by Lisa Chen