Artist and illustrator Jinhee Park studied fine art in South Korea and Japan before settling in Brooklyn. We caught up with her to find out her latest inspirations and exciting projects in the works (including a children’s book!).
How did you end up doing what you’re doing now?
I vividly remember the day my journey to becoming an artist began. I was in 4th grade and stopped by my mother’s art school to meet her for dinner. She had a meeting, so she gave me a Tombow 4B pencil and asked me to draw an empty beverage can while I waited. That drawing really triggered everything and was the catalyst for my mother’s decision later to send me to an art college prep school. Since then, I’ve had a constant hunger to create things by drawing, painting, and designing.
Did you study art formally in school?
I graduated from Ewha Womans University in South Korea with a BFA and also studied interactive art at Tsukuba University in Japan. Before college, I studied drawing, watercolor, and oil painting for about eight years.
Where do you currently reside?
In 2015, I moved from Northern California to New York City for my husband’s work. I’ve enjoyed the hustle and bustle of urban life, but sometimes I miss laid-back, sunny California.
Can you share the schedule of a typical day in the life?
My daily routine begins with grinding beans for my coffee and watching NY1 News. While drinking coffee, I check email and my social media accounts, as well as Minted. At around 10 a.m., I usually listen to podcasts while I begin my work—usually “This American Life,” “Note to Self,” or “Fresh Air” as I draw and paint. After lunch, if it’s sunny, I photograph recent art pieces using natural light. And if I’m feeling like I need to get out of the house, I’ll grab my art supplies and head to Carl Schurz Park on the East River, Central Park, or a cafe. At night, I primarily work on my digital pieces.
What are some of your own “rules” for living + working?
Make as many mistakes as you can, learn from them, repeat.
Please describe your last month in a word.
Can you share an as-of-yet unrealized project with us?
I have two ongoing personal projects: the first is updating my website (jinseikou.com) and the other is creating illustrations for a children’s book.
When did you begin painting and drawing?
I began drawing more seriously when I was 10 years old.
If you could sit down with any artist past or present, who would it be and where?
Mark Ryden and his wife Marion Peck at their studio in California
How do you approach your art?
Imagine, research, and observe
Please tell us about your studio space.
My small desk is right next to the window so that I can draw and paint under natural light. When my eyes need a break, I look out the window and have a nice view of Yorkville.
What is your creative process like?
Whenever an idea pops into my head, I write it down immediately or quickly draw a rough sketch. Then, once I’m done with a piece, I open my idea archive of notes and sketches and look for my next theme or series from there.
What do you do when you encounter artist’s block?
Work out at the gym, take a bath, or listen to Arcangelo Corelli’s I-Grave
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