Art and design are abundant in society since mostly everything contains some aspect of visual appeal. Unfortunately, many creative individuals are little appreciated despite their awe-inspiring abilities. Hence, I decided to start an “Artist Spotlight” series where I will interview various artists in order to gain a deeper insight into what inspires their creativity and what they plan to do with their careers.
Boyeon Choi is an illustrator and designer who grew up in South Korea but currently lives and works in New York. Most of Beyeon’s work is colorful and playful and makes for impressive graphic art. Recently, Boyeon agreed to answer some interview questions about what it is like to work as an artist:
Q: What influenced you to become an illustrator?
I grew up reading Mr. Summers’ story with beautiful illustrations by jean Jacque Sempé. I found the image captured the tone of the text so magically and perfectly. Looking back, I think it was one of those moments that inspired me to create something similar. Later, I also happened to befriend a girl who dragged me into the joy of drawing cartoon in middle school. We both were into drawing comics (we mostly copied the style of Japanese manga but we created our own stories and adventures). In my 20s, I was more exposed to graphic novels as alternative comics and fascinated by them. To me, they read as equal as any other great literatures. Those accumulated experiences have naturally led me to choose to be a person who plays with image and text; although, I don't want to confine myself to a title 'illustrator'.
Q: In terms of subject matter, what are your cartoons about and what inspired the ideas for them?
Most of my comics are very personal. Thus, it takes the form of diary which is based on my experiences. The reason is because I find that way to be very comfortable for me to tell a story.
Q: As far as working in illustration, what has been your most rewarding experience so far?
I recently got to draw a bunch of illustrations for Harbor School’s guide book for growing oysters. It was part of a project by a landscape architecture studio ‘SCAPE'’ for Rebuild by Design competition. While working on the book, I got to take a tour of the Harbor School in Governor’s Island to see their oyster gardening facilities and educational program for middle school students. Unlike some other illustration projects, I was able to engage in lots of educational workshops, community workshop and other events where I got to communicate directly with the people who care about the contents and will be prominent users of the manual.
The manual is going to be distributed in the New York area for students, teachers and scientist who love oysters.
Q: How has MoCCA helped your career?
It’s a little hard to prove how it helped my career because the event is comics and cartoon heavy and I had more illustration works. Also, financially speaking, I think I spent more in buying stuff than selling my own stuff (it was good experience anyway)! But in terms of the support from colleagues and community, it was great.
Q: What are your ultimate goals for the future?
It always changes. But for now, my goal was to create a community of creators in different fields of arts to work collaboratively. Short term goal would be to make enough clients and connections to go full time freelance.
Q: Are there any up and coming projects that you would like to mention?
There are multiple projects. To unveil one, I will be working on a jazz album cover for a friend of mine (her name is Song Yi Jeon, check it out!) who has amazing talent. It will be my first time designing an album cover and I’m pretty excited about it.
Q: Where do you hope to be, career wise, in ten years?
I would like to be an author who published about two graphic novels or essays. Maybe then, I would be ready to share my own experiences with students as well.
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To find out more about Boyeon Choi visit her official website: