Published on

Q&A with Yeji Yun

Illustrator, memory collector & long sleeper

Hello, I'm Yeji Yun and sometimes called as Yeti Yeji. I work as an illustrator and try to live in different places as much as I can to take advantage of being a freelance artist. I was living/working in London for a while but currently back in my hometown Seoul. I create images for many fields from editorial to advertisement. I usually like telling stories with one single complete picture that can be easily used as a cover or poster. However in now a days I'm also giving an effort to make a series of sequence pictures with a longer story which can be categorized as a children's picture book.

How did you get started in illustration, what is your background? Where did you study?

I've always liked drawing and becoming an illustrator had been very naturally happened. I studied graphic design in Seoul and illustration in Baltimore and London. While I was in those art schools, I always fond of making things with hands, and tried to use printing room as much as I can. Although my commercial works usually finish in digital, the experiences in etching and screen printing have been the essential starting point of the style I have now.

What is a turning point in your professional career?

I don't exactly remember a big turning point as everything has been steadily growing towards fruitful way through years.

Although I think two big steps are giving me huge inspiration to keep the current level of profession. One is having an exchange semester at MICA in Baltimore where I could try wide range of experiments in illustration and print making. The other is moving to London and trying to survive as an illustrator in where too many talented people compete each other. At these years in the big smoke city I've finally made something out of after struggling in between frustrating and jubilance. During those days, I've learned this important lesson that everything takes time to be built and exposed, so 'be patient and keep trying'.

What is your ideal work environment? Do you prefer to work at studio all day long or few activities?

I don't really mind working whether is in a shared studio or in a room only with myself, but it has to have lots of sunshine coming through big windows. When I concentrate I prefer woking all day long as I'm better doing one thing at once. However I'm quite flexible about time of working depends on events of days. Currently I'm using a shared studio with other 5 creators in Hongdae area in Seoul.

Where are your favorite places in your city or outside?

In terms of residence, I like Hongae area in Seoul where my studio located as there are lots of good bars and music venues around. Plus also it's near to Han river where I can go cycling from time to time. When I lived in London I liked Broadway market area where also has canal that I can cycle or walk beside. I always like to be in near to water.

In terms of travelling destination, (I've been travelling many places) the best two area have been Iceland and India.

Who are the designers and illustrators, colleagues in your city/country or outside you admire most?

There are two Korean design studio I always happy to work with. log and studio fnt - They both know how to combine and make synergy in between illustration and design so well.

There are so many illustrators and artists I admire around the world through the time. Because it's hard to determine ranking among many names If I pick only one in the time order from the latest, recently I bought the book about Japanese illustrator Anzai Mizumaru (1942-2014) and fall in love with his simple yet uniquely emotional drawings.