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Hwayoung Lee

Hwayoung Lee

Meet graphic designer from Seoul, Hwayoung Lee.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I spent most of my life in Seoul, and I still live and work as a graphic designer in the same city. My interests are symbolic images of girlhood and “beautiful” ornaments, and which are my master’s thesis topic as well.

 

Describe the city you’re living in and what it’s like to live there.

To me, this city is full of contradictions.

There is everything / nothing

It is boring / interesting

It looks fancy / dirty

I love / hate Seoul

 

To me, this city is full of contradictions.

What is the best and worst thing about living in your city?

The best thing is that there are so many 24/7 shops in Seoul. I can easily get some things mostly whenever I want. And I believe the city has the fastest delivery system in the world. Only half a day is the time required to get most of the products I order. And what’s more, the product is cheap and the staff is nice.

That is what my clients said.

 

Give us 3 words that describe what it’s like to be a creative in your city.

Trendy, hard-worker, had been surviving.

 

Trendy, hard-worker, had been surviving.

How did you start your career in art?

After graduation from the design department of my university, I started working in the field. As I am not the kind of person who enjoys adventures, the career path is a natural outcome to me. Of course, I did know I had an ability to be a competent designer in the future, and design was my only skill for living a normal life.

 

Were the people around you supportive of your decision on working as a creative?

They were very supportive of me. Actually the people and I worked together at Plat which was the first design studio we established. On the other hand, my parents were quite indifferent to my works. But it was good though because it is true that high expectation must have been a huge burden somehow.

 

What are some goals and ambitions you have for your future work?

I have a goal not in my career but in my life, which is happiness. After over five years of working as a tiny designer, I am very much aware of big ambitions can make me miserable. Of course, I used to care too much about reputation and to want to make a lot of money. But I have been trying to design not just for clients but also for myself making merch, pieces of artwork, etc. for now.

 

I have a goal not in my career but in my life, which is happiness.

If you could collaborate with any person in the world who would it be?

Because there are so many persons I want to collaborate with, it is too difficult to say a particular person, rather; I wish to work with PIE International in Japan someday. It is a great publishing company creating a lot of beautiful books I am interested in.

 

How would you describe the women around you?

It is not easy to describe the women around me because they are living in a variety of ways. I can just say that most of the young women like me keep thinking about their future and asking for the answers in different ways. But those things happen to all persons regardless of gender, I think.

 

I can just say that most of the young women like me keep thinking about their future and asking for the answers in different ways.

 

Were there any local female creatives that you looked up to when you were growing up?

No one comes to my mind just now. I have rarely looked up someone or wanted to be her since I was little. To me, it does not matter whether someone is a woman or a man if she/he is a great designer.

 

Are there any challenging aspects of being a female in your industry?

In the field, I luckily have not experienced discrimination for being a woman. The only thing I’m concerned about is how I could work and take care of my child at the same time if I do have a baby in the future because I have a fervent wish to do both well.

Back to the issue, I agree there are a lot of women who are struggling with sexual discrimination and other problems in a patriarchal society now. If I can, I want to help change the system for them and me even if I haven’t experienced it so far.    

 

Trust yourself. Just let your hair down and let it be.

Do you have any advice to young women who are aspiring to work in your field?

Trust yourself. Just let your hair down and let it be. I dare to say that these are the keys to live and work happily ever after in the industry.   

 

 

Photos courtesy of Hwayoung Lee.

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