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Life & Work with Soo Ji Kim

Today we’d like to introduce you to Soo Ji Kim.

Hi Soo Ji, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I was a kid who likes to play with paper and pencil. As there is no reason needed to be like something, it was natural for me to enjoy drawing. In elementary and middle school, I was a student who likes art class the most, and a student who wants and good at drawing that every classroom has. But, many students were talented at drawing in high school. I went to after school for art class, but it was not enough, and as I practiced my drawing only for a college exam, which draws the same thing repeatedly, made me lost interest in drawing. Then I applied to the Seoul Institution of the Arts by recommendation of my afterschool teacher and got accepted. I learned animation and motion graphics at the university, which I felt interested again that my painting could move. It was different from what I had been drawing with my hands until now, but I liked the university’s class since I can express what I want to as much as I did when I was young. Also, there were many opportunities to collaborate with other students from other majors at school.

Among my memories, I remember the most was when I collaborated with students who were majoring in music. As a team, I created background videos with my drawing that matched the musicians’ performance and broadcasted my picture while performing. This experience was so touching and overwhelming. It is an unforgettable moment in my life. The painting I drew at that time helped me find my own illustration style and still held me to keep work as an illustrator. After that, I continued to develop my style, and those experiences encourage me to attend the Seoul Illustration Fair as an artist. It was the first experience to show my arts to people out of school and was fun and enjoyable. Thankfully, after the illustration fair, I received some collaboration proposals. Illustrator becomes my job since I earn money by drawing things. I’m happy for drawing for my own satisfaction, but drawing for others who find, want, and use my illustration makes me most happy. Pen and paper are my real happiness always beside me, my priority, and there is no reason not to play with these.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
I faced lots of obstacles as living as an illustrator. I have been doing various things to support myself to live as an artist, and it always challenges me. However, all these experiences are precious moments that encourage me as an illustrator.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I mostly draw illustrations with simple lines with point colors. I would say my drawing has the character of drowsy and comfortable, which I adore. As a good opportunity, I have collaborated with various kinds of fashion, logos, and beverage labels.

Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
Before I start my career as an illustrator, I was studying sculpture in South Korea.

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