Everybody loves travelling and illustrators are no exception. In this month, we will be hearing more travelling stories from talented illustrators!
Looking into the artworks of Korean-based illustrator Cindy Kang, you can feel all the emotions and moments of life. It is interesting how Cindy creates her works by combining photographs she took with imaginative figures to convey her feelings of the moment. The travelling experience gained during her studies has allowed her to feel more of everything and brought out the best of her works.
AWW: What is your favourite place to travel? What inspirations did you get there?
Cindy Kang: My favourite places to travel are anywhere that I can take a complete break. It’s usually the place where I can hear the sound of waves and watch the sunset in silence with my closest people. These kinds of places are great inspirations for me to work on pieces about calmness and happiness. Focusing on creating works that convey feelings and emotions, I find this natural environment very helpful to remind myself of the blurred emotions from a hectic lifestyle.
AWW: How would you describe your work? How did you come up with this style?
Cindy: My works are emotive and contemplative. Through my imaginative characters that are often animals or fairy-like figures, I try to illustrate the scenes that show the comfortable, happy moments as well as melancholic moments of our life. When I work on my personal pieces, the whole process starts with the photograph I took. Based on what I saw and felt at that moment, I create an artwork by adding the imaginative figures and stories to convey the thoughts I had at the moment when the picture was taken. About the technique, I combine both traditional media and digital tools to create an image. I love the natural mistakes the traditional media makes, such as shaky lines and smudges of graphite, and the rough strokes of paintbrushes. I tried to switch to digital media entirely because of its convenience, but I couldn’t give up the beautiful textures I could get from using traditional media.
AWW: Do you draw when you are travelling? What essential drawing tools would you bring along?
Cindy: Wherever I go, I bring my tiny 9B graphite pencil and a small not-so-nice sketchbook with me. This is to lessen the pressure of drawing perfectly at all times. However, I always end up not drawing so much when I’m travelling, but instead, I write down thoughts and feelings on a sketchbook to remember the little details of the moments. I think I spend more time taking photographs for reminiscing later. As I mentioned earlier, my work starts with the photograph, so my camera (my phone) is very essential to me when I’m travelling. I clear up the photo album the night before I leave, so that I don’t run out of space to save pictures of the happy moments!
AWW: Can you share a funny story from your last trip?Cindy: I can’t pick one particular story, but the best part of my trips is always when our car turns into karaoke, and everyone starts singing Disney songs so passionately! We sing out loud, laugh, and release all our stress in the car. It’s funny how we all go crazy, then all of a sudden get all melancholy together, looking at the vast nature.
AWW: You have been to many countries before, how do these experiences help you in your career?
Cindy: Learning different cultures allowed me to have an open mind about people. Countless stories around the world inspired and taught me in various ways. I was born in Korea, then studied abroad in New Zealand, Australia, and the US. Living in New York has especially gifted me with fruitful experiences in my career. Mingled with creatives from different cultures and backgrounds, I was encouraged to explore my true identity and express my thoughts through artistic practices. Of course, I was overwhelmed from time to time, and that is when I started to look out for nature getaways, or anywhere with my close friends where we all can recharge. Sometimes I think if I haven’t had a chance to come to this city, I wouldn’t have been able to have the courage to continue making art. New York made me step out of my comfort zone and learn how to enjoy all these challenges! I feel thankful for the opportunities to travel around, meet people, and get inspired.
AWW: Can you share your favourite motto or quote to us?
Cindy: “Have courage and be kind!” I have been wearing the ring that has the word “COURAGE” engraved on it for 3 years now. I’m always trying to remind myself to have courage.
To find out more about Cindy, please visit: