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Meet Kyuyeon Jung

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kyuyeon Jung.

Kyuyeon, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
The moment I discovered my passion for art was when I happened to read some Japanese comics my brother had brought at home when I was 10. Mesmerized by the visual storytelling and drawing style of comic books, I started copying the tales and drawings from them, and, gradually, attempting to make my own. After becoming a college student majoring in history, I couldn’t stop drawing. My own debate between studying history and pursuing art as a new career path happened almost everyday. After countless struggles inside my head, I finally decided to seriously dive into the world of art. Thanks to enormous amounts of encouragement from my family, I came to the U.S. to pursue my art education.

In 2012, I attended the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York to study 2D animation. At SVA, I was able to gain valuable knowledge and experience about animation and visual storytelling. After receiving my BFA, I moved to California to continue my exploration of animation at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). Luckily, I was able to get a job as an artist at a marketing company after graduation. Now I’m making animated commercials utilizing what I have learned from school and so many people that I’ve met on my way here.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It would be a lie if I say there was no bump on my way here. The language barrier and my shy personality were definitely two major obstacles I had. If I hadn’t met amazing friends who pulled me out of my own cave, I wouldn’t be able to gain the amount of experience that I have right now. Another big struggle I had, and still have, is storytelling. It is not just telling a story, but a story that makes everyone “Wow” is very challenging to create for me. To make my thesis animation, I pulled countless all-nighter and sometimes crawled from the backseat of my car when the morning came. Some of those experiences first came to me as a huge scar but it eventually became one of my most valuable treasures.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
My specialty is definitely 2D animation and storyboarding. I love telling my own story but I also love translating someone’s story to a visual presentation. Recently, my thesis animation ‘Myrtle,’ which talks about current environmental issues in a somewhat conceptual way, got selected in three film festivals – CSU Media Art festival, International Environmental Film Festival “Green Vision” in Russia and Animation block party in New York.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
First and foremost, I want to thank my family, who supported me throughout my education in the U.S. without any hesitation. It would not be easy for them to let their daughter do what she wanted to do. Thanks to them, I could pursue my dream and make it my career choice. Also, I would like to show my gratitude towards my classmates and professors I’ve met during my college year. They pulled this shy girl out from her own cave and let me have a lot of experience that I could have.

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