Korean illustrator and art director Eunjeong Yoo describes how the fashion industry has inspired her work.
I was born and raised in Seoul, then moved to New York when I was 19 years old to study illustration at the School of Visual Arts. After graduating I moved back to Seoul and have worked here ever since. Instead of becoming a freelance illustrator I started working for a fashion advertising agency as a graphic designer. It helped me a lot in terms of finding my own passion and artistic style. I loved seeing fashion photography and really enjoyed the process of creating fashion visuals. And then I thought ‘how about making this kind of fashion imagery with my illustration?’ instead of borrowing the hands of photographers. That’s how I decided to be a fashion illustrator.
I’m still not sure whether I should call myself just an illustrator or a fashion illustrator, since my illustration style is different from other fashion illustrations, but mostly I draw girls in fashion. And I make colourful patterns and draw typography by hand.
When I left my company to become a freelance illustrator, for around a year, I had no incomes from illustration, but I just kept creating new illustrations and built my portfolio. Then when I hit my rock bottom, one of the top department stores from Korea reached out to me to create their fashion campaign, which was a huge scale project. That was my big break, and ever since then I’ve been working with clients to create fashion campaigns and visuals.
Whenever I work on my illustration, I think about what story and what kind of mood I want to convey and I put these ideas into my illustrations and characters. But the thing I consider most is how to create an image that balances the subject and the rest of the elements as well as the colours. Colour is an incredibly important element in my work and for me, finding my own colour balance is like solving a jigsaw puzzle – the process is painful but I enjoy every moment of it.