Jiye Kim

On the back of just finishing her latest book, Jiye Kim Artist / Illustrator, chats with us about how she fell in love with visual storytelling, the passion projects she's been working on and how she challenges her style.

When did you fall in love with design and how did you get started?

Art has always been an integral part of my life and I've loved drawing since I was little. It was quite natural for me to fall in love with design(which includes illustration and animation). During the time I was in uni, I realised that I particularly like creating narratives and visual languages. It was thrilling to communicate with people without speaking any words. I wanted to keep making 'visual' storytelling and decided to become an illustrator.

Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.

I'm an illustrator based in Seoul and I've mainly worked with publishers and magazines. Lately I've finished my new book and I'm learning self-publishing.

Design work by Jiye Kim The Design Kids interviews Jiye Kim work-2

Any passion projects/collabs you would like to share?

Recently I did a collaborative project with an amazing band called City Park based in Amsterdam. It was one of my dreams to work with creatives in different fields, especially music. I decided to work on this as soon as I heard their songs. Those were so beautiful and sentimental. Referring to several examples of my illustrations they liked, I started to visualise the overall mood of the songs. Luckily there were no specific rules or constraints on the artwork. They let me freely express my feelings on paper as much as I wanted. It was so amusing to make a blend of music and imagery. Though we've never met each other, we were able to share ideas through emails. 3 illustrations were finally selected for their EP. The first single was released in October and it was quite overwhelming to see my drawing on the cover. I'm looking forward to listening the entire album which will be out In November.

How did you develop your style as an illustrator and what tips would you have for others?

My style has been constantly changed and I've enjoyed the process. New skills can be discovered through experimental drawings, for instance, I'm using mix of wet and dry materials these days and trying to add more colours in my illustrations. I had a tendency to avoid painting and but now ink is my favourite. It's perfect to depict dynamic movement or to bring out the liveness of the moment I capture. Experiencing a variety of mediums and drawing a lot would be essential to develop one's style. On the other hand, I often just take a break and have a time to think what I like and what I'm interested in. Searching for new subjects could be a way of building your own world.

Design work by Jiye Kim The Design Kids interviews Jiye Kim work-4
Design work by Jiye Kim The Design Kids interviews Jiye Kim work-4

Experiencing a variety of mediums and drawing a lot would be essential to develop one's style

What career advice would you give your 16yr old self?

I would advise myself to learn more languages and be more adventurous. During the time I was in London, I encountered so many different cultures which helped me to broaden my perspective. I'm curious about how people live their lives and want to hear their stories. It would be wonderful if I could understand their words. Also there could be chances of working abroad. Above all, I would love to study foreign languages so I could approach much more abundant information. Sometimes random phrases become the roots of certain ideas. It's intriguing to analyse a combination of words or catching a subtle nuance and gesture of someone. Engaging in diverse disciplines is important as well to figure out what I'm good at. Moreover, I want myself not just to have a dream but to make an effort to fulfill it.

What advice would you give students starting out?

I recommend you to meet various people who can give you feedback about your work and career. Talking to someone who really likes your work can tell you about your strength. It makes easier to find your own colour and to speak your own voice. Whenever things don't work out, people around me used to be so supportive and encouraged me to believe in myself. It is also good to have conversations with other artists if you're struggling with any work. They could be great mentors. Last but not least, it is crucial to have a positive attitude. Don't be afraid of failure and do what you love!

Design work by Jiye Kim The Design Kids interviews Jiye Kim work-6

What role does digital design play in your studio in 2018, and how to you apply traditional graphic design skills in a digital age?

Most of my works in 2018 have been hand-drawn. The original artworks show bold and free-flowing expressions which would be impossible with digital drawing. I've used computer programs just to edit the images. I'm quite familiar with tablet drawing but I hope I could deal with digital techniques like moving image or 3D in the future. I want to explore new technologies to work more effectively and to try various mediums as an artist. There will be much more fun if I could play with a wide range of digital tools. I celebrate both traditional and modern elements and they can be combined in new design.

2018 for you in a sentence.

Challenge.

Design work by Jiye Kim The Design Kids interviews Jiye Kim work-8
Design work by Jiye Kim The Design Kids interviews Jiye Kim work-8

Where to find Jiye Kim online.

Website: jiyekim.com

Instagram: @kamidamikim

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