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Conversations with Selim Yang

Today we’d like to introduce you to Selim Yang.

Hi Selim, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I was born and grew up in Seoul, South Korea. Like it is for many artists, art has always been part of my life since my childhood. I was sure that art was the only thing I could do well and enjoy. I graduated from Yewon School and Seoul Arts High School, which are renowned as the country’s best schools for art. I was very happy to learn and develop my art skills in Korea, but I wanted to challenge my creativity, so I decided to study abroad in the US and enrolled as an Illustration major student at ArtCenter College of Design. Studying at ArtCenter was a life-changing decision because I became more passionate about art. My growing curiosity helped me to keep exploring and experimenting new ideas. I am now graduated from ArtCenter, but I am still in the process of exploring how to define and develop my visual language and my own unique identity.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
It was never an absolute smooth road until where I am standing today. There were both small and large struggles in my art career, but the overall struggle that I am still experiencing is a lack of self-confidence and depression. I like drawing because creating art has always helped me express my thoughts and various feelings; however, as art became my profession, I felt a heavy pressure to succeed quickly and this led me to start comparing myself to others. Especially when I got my first job after graduating, I got impatient and anxious about artists who have good connections, great talent and became successful quickly around me. In the end, I want to become an artist who can deliver happiness to the people who engage with my works.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am an illustrator who loves nature, mainly plants and animals. Nature always gives me a sense of peace and stability. When I think of nature, I feel comfortable and have a sense of nostalgia to my childhood. My works take inspiration from the tranquility of nature, and I want to clearly deliver what I experience to my viewers as well. Each of the organic shapes and colors hiding in nature have this uniqueness that cannot be found from artificial things. I enjoy using vivid colors and experimenting using different materials, such as cutting out different texture papers to express valuable traits of nature into my own pure creativity, hoping to deliver childlike innocence that I feel through nature.

What do you like best about our city? What do you like least?
Los Angeles, California is one of the most beautiful and peaceful cities worldwide. I love this city’s perfect weather and resting vibes. Also, LA is full of rich nature, like the beach and different plants around my daily life have always inspired my creativity. It’s very sad that I had to return to Korea after graduating, but I miss this city and I want to go back to work, surrounded by the peaceful nature of LA.

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