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Meet South Korean illustrator, Rini.


Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi, I’m Rini. I am an illustrator who draws digital illustrations in Korea. I draw various scenes based on my experiences. I’m trying to make sure that people who see my paintings can recall memories like mine. Real little moments in my life inspire me. For me, natural and ordinary everyday experiences can be a memory in the future.

Also, I am hosting an online drawing class! You can learn painting from me anytime, anywhere using a smartphone application, iPad, or computer. Recently, my class has moved to the U.S. and is receiving a lot of love. Thank you for everything.


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

I live in Seoul, Korea. Seoul is a very colorful city. Very tall buildings and green trees are in proper harmony. Seoul is very busy and I think there are a lot of passionate people in Seoul. Whether it’s work or play, people are passionate about everything. Even at dawn, Seoul is still bright. Many people are still enjoying life during that time. Seoul gives a boost to my activities.


Real little moments in my life inspire me.


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

The best of all is that Seoul is the most advanced city in Korea. It is also the capital city. Seoul stays awake 24 hours a day. Whatever you do, you have no time constraints. There’s no big danger in going out in the dark because there’s a lot of lights everywhere.

The worst thing is that Seoul is noisy. It’s hard to take a quiet rest like living in the countryside. The air is bad because of many cars. Sometimes I feel like I want to paint in a very quiet country.


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

Self-confidence, passion, challenge.


How did you start your career in art?

I’ve painted since I was really young. It was natural for me to draw. So naturally, I went to art university and then I majored in apparel design. I graduated and got a job, but I felt a bit empty because I just type in front of the computer and did something that was not directly related to drawing. So I quit my job and chose to become a freelance illustrator instead of being employed at work. Now I’m so happy with my present life. If I hadn’t quit my job then, I would have regretted it a lot.


If I hadn’t quit my job then, I would have regretted it a lot.


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

I think I’m here now because many people supported me. I wasn’t really very confident. Being a creator, you have a lot to give up. It is difficult to live with stability like a company employee. There could be situations where I don’t have a decent job. I tried hard to get through that vagueness but it might have been harder without the support of the people around me. If it wasn’t for them, I might be living with a normal job and doing something I didn’t want to do.


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

I want to collaborate with people from diverse fields. Actually, I’m busy with online drawing classes these days, so I don’t have much time to work on my personal paintings. My online drawing class has made inroads to the U.S., so I got even busier managing my overseas classes. Now that I have a little free time, I want to concentrate on my personal work and collaborate with people or businesses in more diverse fields.


I want to collaborate with people from diverse fields.

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

There are so many people I want to work with but if I have to pick one, I want to work with companies that make devices that can draw pictures like tablets and iPads. I usually do digital drawings, so it would be great if I could use my paintings to promote their products. Maybe that’s what all the illustrators want, right?


How would you describe the women around you?

All the women around me have their own strong opinions. They set their own standards and politely express their opinions against the opposite. I think many women are raising their voices more these days than before.


All the women around me have their own strong opinions.

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

She is not an illustrator but I’ve seen an article about a visual director named Min Hee-jin. She looked really nice. She was a director working for a famous K-pop entertainment company in Korea. She made really cool concepts for many singer groups. It was amazing how she could create such unique concepts that would make everyone notice. The director’s albums are all the most famous albums in Korea. I think it’s safe to say that she started to create Korea’s idol culture with the entertainment company.


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

I don’t think there are any challenging aspects because I’m a female. People in the arts industry are really open in that respect. No one gives you the wrong treatment just because you’re a woman.

They only accept me for me. It’s more like being treated as a person. They don’t care if I’m a woman or a man, they judge me by my creation.


You have to constantly express yourself.

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

If you don’t have persistence, I hope you don’t start. You can succeed through constant effort and patience in this industry. Just because you drew a few pictures, no one will suddenly care that your paintings are so good. You have to keep showing them. You have to constantly express yourself. I also try hard to do this.



Photos courtesy of Rini.