My name is Jihyang and I am a graphic designer currently based in Seoul. I grew up in Seoul and moved to New York in 2012 for college to study graphic design at the School of Visual Arts. After graduation, I started my career as a designer in New York. Then I moved back to Seoul and have been working at Ordinary People for a little over a year now. Besides graphic design, I like spending my time walking around the city, discovering new places and things(beauty products in particular), reading more books and exposing myself to a new environment.
What I love about New York is that it is such a walkable city. It is always fun to spontaneously walk into a store and find hidden gems. On the other hand, Seoul is less walkable but the city’s clean and fast public transit makes the commute much more bearable. Otherwise, both cities have a lot in common that they are very fast-paced and trendy. There is always something interesting to keep me engaged.
Besides graphic design, I like spending my time walking around the city, discovering new places and things(beauty products in particular), reading more books and exposing myself to a new environment.
The best thing would be living in Seoul pretty much guarantees having access to anything that’s trendy around the world. In return, when something goes out of trend, it quickly fades away. It is sad to see things disappearing sometimes not even leaving a trace. Also since Seoul is a big city, there are always a lot of people anywhere you go. But it’s a downside to any other big cities.
Hard-working, ambitious, and insightful
It goes back to my childhood gallery visits my dad took our family to on the weekends. As a result, my interest in art grew naturally over time. In middle school, I fell in love with cars especially Audi at that time. After that, I encountered graphic design which felt more relatable than car design and just knew this is what I want to do. Then I decided to major in graphic design and have been working in this field so far.
It goes back to my childhood gallery visits my dad took our family to on the weekends. As a result, my interest in art grew naturally over time.
Yes. I feel grateful for my parents who have been very supportive from the very beginning and my friends who I share similar passion and interests with. My friends and I always encourage each other to not give up and produce better work.
I don’t have a specific future plan right now because my thoughts are always changing. In terms of work, I try not to confine myself to graphic design. Even though I started my career as a graphic designer, I am open to experiencing different fields. Regardless of what type of work I make in the future, I hope it empowers the younger generation especially young female creatives.
Regardless of what type of work I make in the future, I hope it empowers the younger generation especially young female creatives.
This can change every time and I don’t have any specific person in mind at this moment.
They are diligent and wise. I am very fortunate to have amazing women around me whom I can look up to. My mom has taught me wisdom and how to be independent. My sister showed me how to care for each other. My friends give me so much inspiration and motivation in their own way. It just feels so good to see more and more women supporting each other.
They are diligent and wise. I am very fortunate to have amazing women around me whom I can look up to.
It’s hard to say that there was any. I tried to come up with a few, but female creatives were not so much spotlighted where I grew up. It was only in college that I started to learn about all the incredible female designers and artists.
Even though we see more working female designers these days, the gender imbalance is still prevalent. I see more female students than male students studying graphic design both in Seoul and New York, but only a few of those female students manage to remain in the industry and even less are able to stay to become director level. From what I see, women are constantly faced with situations where they have to make a choice between career and family. We even sometimes subconsciously set limitations on ourselves because we’ve mostly seen men doing great things not women. This field requires numerous late nights and dedication, but society’s expectations for women make it even more challenging for female designers. On a positive note, regardless of these overwhelming demands, there are a lot of women who strive for their careers and achieve their goals. These women deserve to be more acknowledged and that’s why I think the organization FDSC (Feminist Designer Social Club) in Seoul has so much value in just its existence. It is so crucial that we as women empower each other and get through together.
Don’t limit yourself.
Don’t limit yourself. Encourage yourself and your friends to walk the path you want. Appreciate all the people who help you and give help back to the ones in need. Be more proud and have faith in yourself. Expose your work. But at the same time, try not to overthink. These are all the things I remind myself every day.
Photos courtesy of Jihyang Lim.
December 29, 2019