FEATURING: Hyesu Lee
What do the words "Creative Community" bring to mind for you? How do you feel is the best way to utilize members in a Creative Community?
For me it's a group of people who got my back and understand where I'm coming from. When I think of the words 'Creative Community', on a smaller scale, it makes me think of my studio mates who I've been sharing a studio with for a long time in Brooklyn. We met each other back in school days at SVA. Since then, we've been sticking around helping each other to go though rough times, also sharing sweet times. On a larger scale, I'd like to say all my clients, ADs and CDs who I've connected with through work!
How did you discover your creativity?
To be honest… I'm STILL discovering! :)
Name the biggest challenge you have had in your career to date. How did you solve it?
There's been a lot of ups and downs in my career just like any other profession, I guess. Honestly, I still experience my downs from time to time but it’s also good to know ups are coming right after!
On a personal level, the biggest challenge was to overcome the fear of not knowing how things will work out as a freelance illustrator and keep creating and putting stuff out there and hoping someone will see it and like it enough to hire me… which can be so uncertain that it made me want to give up a lot of time. However, wanting it so bad made me keep moving forward to this date, and of course I want it MORE!
What was your first “Big Break” in your profession?
Hmm... may I say I'm still looking forward to the "Big Break"? :)
This may not be considered as the "Big Break," but I still vividly remember my first advertising job from CD Mitch at BVK when I just got out of school, still a bit unrefined and new to this business. He was one of the coolest creatives I've ever worked with to date because he made feel confident at what I was doing - I'm sure I wasn't the best at it back then - and helped me build trust in myself. And the coolest job I've done is a project for Apple and I might have to say they are one of THE coolest clients so far.
What's in your backpack/handbag/tote right now?
I have my dog 'Dutch'... I'm just kidding. I do take him in a tote bag to the studio though.
I have two different sizes of sketchbooks, a pencil case, colored pencils, water colors, markers, the comic book 'Mouse', a diary, ruler, water bottle, a banana, oranges, wallet...
Top 3 Tips you would give someone starting out in your creative profession:
Practical Top 3:
1. A great consistent volume of work 2. Website 3. Promotion
Pretentious Top 3:
1. Passion 2. Stubbornness 3. Patience
What are some of your favorite places/books/blogs/websites for inspiration?
One of my favorite places is actually a subway - not to commute but to draw - it's the best place to draw people. I love to go Natural History Museum hiding in a dark corner and draw things. Strand book store, sites like illustration Mundo and Pikaland. Also, I'm super into checking out the Instagrams of my favorite artists these days.
What would be your DREAM ASSIGNMENT?
My DREAM assignment keeps changing… actually it's expanding as I age. At the moment, I'd love to work on my own book and have it published.
Books need a lot of dedication from you for a long period of time and I regularly get distracted by all the other projects that actually pay my bills - no complaints at all though - so I sort of have to put my book project on the side for my priority projects.
But I honestly appreciate all the jobs that are given to me and they've all been my dream assignments pretty much.
Who are the people that have been instrumental in your success as a creative professional?
I would say my mum for sure. She is a harsh critic and the best supporter in so many different ways. And again I have to say my creative community - my illustrator friends who understand what I go through and keep me inspired every single day.
What would be your last supper?
I am a huge food lover… I actually eat more than my husband does. :)
And my favorite food on the planet is Korean food so I'd say it'd be a full on Korean dinner.
What would be your Networking Do's & Dont's?
I must say I'm not best at mingle and networking, however what I'd like to do's are:
Research on your cup of tea... It's important to know who would be a possible client and personalize the promotions for them. Let people know you're out there to work for them regularly. And be honest and show off what you can possibly offer but be humble at the same time and do NOT be an asshole or fake because no one likes those people. :)
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