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In-ah Shin

In-ah Shin

Meet South Korean graphic designer and Feminist Designer Social Club co-founder, In-ah Shin.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi, my name is In-ah, I’m a graphic designer working under the name ‘Scenery of Today’. My primary interest lies in understanding my cultural surroundings. I love collaborating with strangers, I sometimes write too. I ran several self-initiated projects exploring Korean culture until I founded Feminist Designer Social Club(FDSC) with my friends. Nowadays, I spend most of my time managing the group alongside with my busy commissioned works.

 

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

Seoul is chaotic. Seoul never sleeps. Seoul forgets many things. Seoul is ever-changing. It is like on a rollercoaster ride every day. You never know what you’ll encounter next. I easily get bored and so Seoul is a perfect city for me.

 

Seoul is chaotic. Seoul never sleeps. Seoul forgets many things. Seoul is ever-changing.

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

Best Thing: Witnessing fearless feminists transforming the society in great deal.

Worst Thing: Listening to people (especially Ajoshi, old man!!) clearing their coppers every 5 seconds. It’s just simply gross.

 

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

HARDCORE, OVERWHELMING and fun.

 

How did you start your career in art?

I did high-school in Sydney and learned contemporary art history at my art class. I was mesmerized by all great artists who devoted their body and soul and also learned I’m not one of them. Haha. So I thought design would be manageable for me, my art teacher backed me up so I went on study Visual Communication. I interned and did part-time work during University, and found a full-time job after University and so on.

 

I was mesmerized by all great artists who devoted their body and soul and also learned I’m not one of them. Haha. So I thought design would be manageable for me, my art teacher backed me up so I went on study Visual Communication

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

I don’t think so. But I say ‘I don’t think so’ because it didn’t matter to me at all. I sometimes regret that I should’ve listened to them. I could be working as a lawyer or accountant and making way more money. Hmmm…. After all, I became a person who values money first.

 

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

I ambitiously dream of working till the day I die. Sounds workaholic but I rarely see Asian women working in the creative field that long. So it’s one way to challenge society in my personal terms. I also hope to do meaningful work with people that I trust, be part of the step towards a better future.

 

I ambitiously dream of working till the day I die. Sounds workaholic but I rarely see Asian women working in the creative field that long. So it’s one way to challenge society in my personal terms. I also hope to do meaningful work with people that I trust, be part of the step towards a better future.

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

I’d rather not answer!

 

How would you describe the women around you?

Too considerate, too skillful, too nice!

 

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

I didn’t know about them because they don’t get much media attention. Now running FDSC, I got to learn so many great designers that I can look up to. Also, they are not necessarily my seniors. I’m very happy to get to know them and hope to inspire others with their amazingness! So on FDSC’s Instagram, twitter and facebook we introduce theses great creatives! You must check it out.

 

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

Like in any other field or in any other country, oftentimes women become invisible. No matter how hard we work, we don’t get the recognition that we deserve. We also are excluded from information that circulates around ‘bro culture’. Lack of information and lack of support, combined with conservative and patriarchal society, female creatives often drop out before they reach director position.

 

Last spring, I conducted a survey and was able to grab information of around 110 companies and of around 1650 creatives. The same story repeated at the survey result too. Korean graphic design industry consists of more than 70% female yet the directors are almost 75% male. You can check the result here.

 

Korean graphic design industry consists of more than 70% female yet the directors are almost 75% male.

Do you have any advice to young women who are aspiring to work in your field?
  1. Meet diverse people and learn to see the world from many different perspectives. Try to meet someone who you hate too.
  2. Try before you think! There’s nothing you cannot do. Always think of ways to escape your comfort zone.
  3. Don’t listen to people who scare you. Only advise you need to listen to is the one that empowers you and helps you further your horizon.

 

Photos courtesy of In-ah Shin.Seoul, South Korea

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