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Meet Yoon Su Lee

Today we’d like to introduce you to Yoon Su Lee.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
Through consistent observation, which is almost personal obsession in my life, I discover some special moments that drive me to do my art. I believe these moments make our lives more cherishable and meaningful. I repaint those special moments into dreamy landscape with my own perspective. Some subconscious memories that we often bury for our sake try to act it never happened in our lives calling it traumatic events, actually need to be listened and solved in some point. That’s why I focus on my daily observation to dig hidden stories and convert those into interesting narrative.

I was born in South Korea, moved to LA for studying animation. If someone asked about me, while I was living in South Korea, they might likely to say I was quite model student, daughter, and co-worker but I was very tired and my life very exhaustive, because I was very obsessed of being standardized in Korean society in many ways. Due to my mom, who was specialized for typography and started her artistic career in very early age, I also started to draw since I was 12 and studied in art school in Korea. After my undergrad, I worked as motion graphic designer for TV commercial industry. For few years in post-production studios, I learned a lot, but I felt thirst on focusing on myself and produce my own perspective to animation. In 2017, I could start my new career in LA. I am still figuring out my style and trying to combine reality and fantasy world in my work.

Please tell us about your art.
When I decided to be professional animation filmmaker in California, a friend of mine told me like this. “Every kind of arts starts from very personal like your secret diary, but they reach to universal and live in everyone’s heart.”

Still, I cannot find better words or thoughts that explain why am I doing art and animation. I am very interested in every types of personal, shameful, and hidden stories, and believe there is beauty of those stories. I focus on portraying human relationships in every type of groups and our feeling, which could be parents and child, lovers, and friends. Starting from daily observation in my life, I structure the stories that reveals my real thoughts toward some weird relationship, and my traumatized memory.

My recent animation film Chakham(2018) is the story about my memories in South Korea, struggling in tough and thorough judgment everyday, forced to be ideal, good person, required to perform multiple roles. Every frames are hand drawn with pencil and charcoals, with black and white. It is very gloomy and dark film, but I think happiness and satisfaction could be start when we accept pure sadness and live with it. I like working with rich texture of colored pencil and drawings rather than clean digital looks, the details from those materials create more nostalgic and dreamy. That’s why recently I am drawn to making CG works with rich textures and details, and combining with hand-drawn cell animation for creating unique visual style.

Do you have any advice for other artists? Any lessons you wished you learned earlier?
I would say please don’t underestimate your value for any reasons. That is nothing to do with being polite or humble. I had bad experience being not sure about myself and hiding into safe zone in the past. If I noticed that doesn’t help my career earlier, I feel I could be more professional and responsible at that time.

We should be the biggest supporter for ourselves not the judger!

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I have few social accounts that people could check out my works.

My website: https://www.yoonsulee.com/
My instagram : @yoonsu_work
My Vimeo Account: https://vimeo.com/ysl1780

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Yoon Su Lee

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