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Damien Jeon

Damien Jeon

Meet illustrator from Seoul, Damien Jeon

GirlsclubAsia-Illustrator-Damien_Jeon-Profile Photo

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi, I’m Damien Jeon, Seoul based illustrator.

I am always eager to explore new things in art. I love drinking tea, reading books, meeting friends and writing in my diary when I’m not drawing. I’m into trying new color palettes these days.

 

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

I grew up in Seoul, which is a big city. I’ve only lived in big cities like Seoul and New York. Since Seoul is huge, I feel Manhattan was small to me. It was amazing that I can cross the city on foot. In Seoul, transportation is pretty nice, you can go anywhere taking the subway. Like others, I spend lots of time in the subway. It has been a library and a studio to me. I usually read books or make small drawings there. Also, I can’t miss talking about nice cafes in Seoul. As a freelance artist, a cafe with great coffee, wifi, big table, outlet, and a restroom is a full-suit studio and oasis to me. I go straight to the cafe after I wake up, bring my planner and sketchbook. I talk to baristas there, so I can be sociable and finally wake up drinking coffee. I write my diary and do some sketches. I can do pretty much everything there. If I don’t go to a cafe, I would sleep a few more hours and cannot be that productive.

 

The best thing is, you can find both modern and historical places, also a mixture of nature and gray buildings in Seoul. There are palaces from Joseon Dynasty and mountains among skyscrapers. You can go hiking or go to Han river on the weekend to relax in the metropolitan area.

 

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

The best thing is, you can find both modern and historical places, also a mixture of nature and gray buildings in Seoul. There are palaces from Joseon Dynasty and mountains among skyscrapers. You can go hiking or go to Han river on the weekend to relax in the metropolitan area.

 

And the worst thing is the high rent fee and air pollution. Fine dust has been a serious problem in Seoul. Because of the fine dust, Korea already had the high technology on masks before the pandemic. We have an app that alerts us of the rate of fine dust daily, and have to wear a mask if the fine dust rate is dangerous.

 

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

inspirations, anxiety, being hard worker

 

How did you start your career in art?

I started my career as a contributor for independent magazines.

 

I started my career as a contributor for independent magazines.

 

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

Luckily, they did. I feel grateful my parents believe in me to be an artist.

 

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

I’m preparing to do editorial illustrations. Even though I started my career as a contributor for the magazine, my first professional work was for a publisher. I’m making my own style and voice for editorial illustration. Doing professional work for editorial is my goal this year.

 

I’m making my own style and voice for editorial illustration. Doing professional work for editorial is my goal this year.

 

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

I dream of making an album cover for musicians and it would be very fun to collaborate with a K-pop artist. That’s my dream job.

 

What are the biggest challenges you face in working as a creative?

Being productive and motivated all the time. After I graduated from college, I didn’t have any assignments or commissions for a while, but have had to work everyday and make art by myself. For that, I had to do my personal project to give a self assignment. It is not easy to make me stick to my desk and focus every day. I’m trying to read more books and watch films to get inspiration and motivate myself.

 

How would you describe the women around you?

Hard worker, humble, supportive

 

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

My proud friends, Jinhwa Jang, Minet Kim, Jen Yoon. We graduated from the same art school and I learned a lot from them. I am really grateful to be friends with them.

 

Let’s believe, support and be kind to ourselves. Please take enough sleep, care for ourselves as much as we can for continuous work.

 

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

Let’s believe, support and be kind to ourselves. Please take enough sleep, care for ourselves as much as we can for continuous work.

 


What type of music do you like to listen to?

I love to listen to rock and k-pop.  

 

What’s your favorite local food spot?

It’s so hard to pick one. I love all the tteok-bokki places.

 

Celestial Fang asks: How has your art changed since the start of your journey?

I have had as many experiments as I can. I changed tools and style several times and I feel I’m still changing. I used to draw using a ballpoint pen and colored digitally, but now I work fully digital.

 

Jenn Liv asks: Are you happy?

I’m not. Personally, I don’t seek happiness in my daily life and happiness is not that important to me. Sadly, I kind of give up being happy. It is hard to work hard and be happy at the same time. I think my motivation is anxiety.

 

What question would you like us to ask the next artist?

Do you draw everyday? or sometimes you skip a few days?

 

 

Photos courtesy of Damien Jeon

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