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Meet Hatt Cho

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hatt Cho.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I am a former comic book illustrator from Seoul, Korea who is now working as a visdev and background artist living in Los Angeles.

My first major artistic career breakthrough in my early 20s was adapting and drawing a Japanese young adult book series into comic form. It led me to a lot of cool projects like a comic adaptation of a best-selling history novel, a promotion webtoon for a movie, and finally a comic book series of my own. However, after some years of that, I started to feel my interest was shifting over from comic—which I had loved for my whole teenage life—to other forms of art.

My eagerness to learn art brought me across the Pacific to Art Center of Design, Pasadena, and opened my career path to hundreds of new fields like editorial illustration, children’s book, fine art, packaging design, visdev, etc.. It was just an overwhelming experience to know there were that many things I could do with my art. I eventually decided to work in the animation industry because I wanted to experience being a part of a big team working together to archive a bigger idea, which is the complete opposite of working on my comics by myself in my room. I’m very happy with my new career path as a background designer.

Please tell us about your art.
To be honest, I don’t think that much about a message or inspiration when doing art. Of course these things matter when I think about what to draw, but it’s not the main thing that motivates me to draw. It’s more of the physical sensation of drawing that I enjoy the most. Drawing with Platinum Carbon desk pen, for example, is one of my all time favorite feelings in the world. There’s something about the sound and sensation of pen scratching paper that just never fails to relieve my stress. Recently I have also gotten into acrylic marker painting. —I love the peace of rubbing the plastic nibs on paper to spread pigments perfectly flat, and the satisfaction of seeing vibrant colors bloom under the movements of my hands. It’s just a moment of pure joy and meditation. The result can be a masterpiece or a big mess, but I can move on to the next page happily since I enjoyed the process.

Do you have any advice for other artists? Any lessons you wished you learned earlier?
I want to say be more wary of social media. It is the best route to promote your art and meet your potential clients/fans directly, but on the other hand, it is also one of the most risky causes of self-doubt. First, social media makes everything about numbers. It gives you a fantasy that the number of likes you get represents how great or worthless your art is, and furthermore, how great or worthless you are. Second, the feed showing you new art all the time forces you to think everybody but me is creating art 24 hours a day while you are just refreshing and waiting to get more likes. You feel like every page of your sketchbook should be as perfect as others’ art pieces (which they surely spent days and weeks to create), and that feeling stops you from creating anything. Been there, done that. Haha.

Some great books like Art and Fear, Daring Greatly, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck helped me find my balance and not be influenced by numbers. I learned the importance of separating my art and myself, not relating numbers to the quality of my art, and just being myself. I believe working for your happiness and not anyone else’s is what it brings you to success as an artist.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
Currently I’m working as a background designer on Disney Junior’s Muppet Babies at Oddbot. I can’t say when it’s coming out exactly, but you should be able to see the backgrounds I designed soon on television and all the streaming services!

Some of my work was also recently chosen for Illustration West 57 and I am honored to participate to in the exhibition hosted by Society of Illustrators Los Angeles. It is happening at Swain’s HQ, Glendale, from March 2nd to 30th.

You can also see my entire body of work at my portfolio website, www.hattcho.com, and I casually post my new paintings and small doodles on my Instagram and Twitter feed @chohatt.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Jiyoung Jo

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