Finding Treasures In The Mundane With Illustrator Myung Ji
For Myung Ji, life is like a treasure hunt — you never know what you'll unearth! The Seoul-based illustrator first discovered her passion for drawing while taking a break from her daily parenting routine. Bit by bit she uncovers the hidden beauty in her garden, wardrobe or anywhere she feels at home, and gives colours to these snippets of life with a gentle, cosy touch. Here, Myung Ji shares with AWW her key to capturing joyful memories and breezy summer inspirations.
AWW: What do you want to explore and bring to people through your work?
Myung Ji: I try to bring back the beautiful memories that are buried in the past, like the warm feeling of the wood floor, the sunlight in the yard, grandma's clothes, the food we prepared with care, and pretty flowers in the rustic garden.
I use coloured pencils as the main medium to add a cosy touch to my works. I want you to feel relaxed while seeing the vintage, soft colours and cute details in my simple sketches.
AWW: How did you find your passion for illustration and develop your current style?
Myung Ji: I took online art classes as a hobby while taking care of my first child. I believe every mom would agree that parenting means that you have to go through the same routine every day. Having a little break from such a repetitive routine is the happiest moment. I started to upload my drawings to Instagram one by one, and many people seem to love them! So I continue to draw with passion.
After learning to use coloured pencils, acrylics and oil paints, I find that coloured pencils are the best tool that I could work with during my baby’s nap time. I didn't major in Art, so it was very difficult for me to draw with perfect techniques. But I practised a lot on how to express things in a simple way, and it has gradually developed into my current drawing style.
AWW: Can you walk us through your creative process?
Myung Ji: All of my paintings are connected to my daily life — I draw recipes to remember a delicious dish I had one day, or draw a cute sweater I found in my closet while thinking about my outfits; I also pick up my coloured pencils to preserve the memories of my grandma’s garden and a lovely kids bowl that was given to me as a gift. After I’ve found the motif, I fill the drawing with other elements that go well with it. I try to express the main subject as concisely as possible with a brief sketch, then I select an eye-catching colour from the paint chip samples and finish the piece with coloured pencils.
AWW: How do you stay motivated?
Myung Ji: Very often I am not satisfied with my work when I am rushing a deadline for an exhibition or an assignment. However, when I am attracted to something beautiful and motivated to draw, I love the results most of the time. That’s why I constantly look for things I like, such as browsing cute things online or going for a walk. I can’t take my little kids out shopping frequently, but I try to discover adorable things when I play with them as a creative motivation.
AWW: Can you show us your studio or work desk? What are the 3 things that have inspired you most recently?
Myung Ji: I use a corner of my dining table as my studio. It’s the best place to draw while I take a break from looking after my kids. After I draw, the table would be covered with lots of pencil debris, and I have to wipe it thoroughly before we eat on it. But it’s a space that I really love.
In Korea, where I live, spring is over and summer is coming. As the weather gets hotter, I want to go on a trip carrying a pretty net bag. So I’d say that the three things that have inspired me recently are the hot weather, travel and net bags. And I am drawing a bag for the summer vacation right now!
To find out more about Myung Ji, please visit the artist’s IG account | @choi_myung_ji_nn
All images provided by Myung Ji.