Nayoun Kim is an illustrator from South Korea. Looking at her animation and drawings immediately set my imagination on fire. To match, she is super sweet and very humble. After studying fine art at Dongduk women’s university in Korea he travelled and got her degree in illustration at Sheridan College this year. I had a chance to pick her brain and share her work with you. Read below for the full interview…
Who is Nayoun Kim and what is she all about?
Nayoun: I am an illustrator/ animator who loves to create.
Are you happy?
How did you first get into animation? Was it an ability that stemmed from your interest in Illustration?
Nayoun: When I was in second year at Sheridan College, we had a computer class where I was introduced to Adobe After Effect. It was really interesting for me because I could animate characters from my illustrations. It felt like they became more alive. Also, I am a big fan of many different kind of music, thanks to my husband, so I got very excited to be able to add music to my work. It was easier to explain my work through music than English Language and I think my husband (he did music for all my animations) really understands what I want to say.
What were some challenges you’ve faced since moving here from Korea?
Nayoun: Language was definitely a big challenge for me and I am still learning. There were many occasions where I wished I could explain my work better in order to communicate with the viewers.
What are some of the hardships you face in animation that you don’t necessarily encounter in a drawing?
Nayoun: Again, I was introduced to AE fairly recently, so there were many instances where I knew what I wanted to see on the screen, but didn’t know how to program them. Even when I managed to do it, it took me a very long time because at that time, I didn’t know of more effective way. Also, I didn’t study traditional animation technique like body movements and bouncing balls and etc., so it took me a while to understand how it works.
What route did you take in education to become the illustrator and animator you are today?
Nayoun: I went to an art high school in Korea, then into fine art program in university. I got into illustrations before coming to Canada. I did some children’s book and concert posters and etc. since I was in university. I wanted to study illustration after I came to Toronto, so I went to Sheridan College. I heard they had really strong illustration/animation program and I am glad I went there.
You attended a women’s university that was over 100 years old. Did you feel your formal education in Korea was confined to old school methods and didn’t embrace innovative trends in fine art?
Nayoun: I don’t think being a women’s university or having a long history doesn’t necessarily make its art program more conservative. Rather, I think the school I went had a really strong traditional Korean art program, which I double-majored in with western art. I think it helped me to develop good foundation in technique and other necessary skills. Also, it was more than 10 years ago that I graduated from the university in Korea. I heard now it’s very different from when I was there.
Could you share your mental approach to developing concepts for your Illustrations?
Nayoun: First of all, I try to focus on capturing the moment and expressing it through lines and objects. It is very fascinating for me to see how my work reacts to everyday experience depending on how I feel at certain moment. For example, you can always find ‘X’ marks and tiny clocks in my work. I like to include the time and even sometimes weather and turn it into my personal journal. Also I use ‘X’s on certain part of my painting because every objects are there for reason, reflecting that moment, but if I don’t like some of them later, I put x mark on it instead of erasing it. It allows me to show the changes inside of me over different time.
Do you have any favorite Asian films or Anime? Have any directly influenced your works?
Nayoun: My favorite Anime would definitely be ‘Hono-no Tokyuji Dotji Tanpei’. It was a huge hit in Korea back when I was 11, and I still remember the entire opening theme song. But I’m not sure if it has any direct influence on my work [laughs].
If you could give one piece of advice to someone looking to follow your footsteps into illustration and animation who are just finishing high school, what would you tell them?
Nayoun: Always be drawing. The more you draw, the better you will know what you really want to draw.
Want to keep tabs on Nayoun’s work or buy some items from her store? Follow her cookie crumb trail below: