Youmin was born in South Korea and moved to South Africa in 2003, where she is currently completing her degree in BA Information Design at the University of Pretoria. She is excelling with flying colours in her degree, receiving the Top Design student award for Imaging and Visualisation in her first and second year, paving the way to a very successful career. She has been doing freelance illustration work since 2010 and is currently working with various SA and US clients, drawing children’s book illustrations, fantasy illustrations and character design. Her dream career is to be a character designer for games as well as a novel/comic graphics artist. She loves to explore deep subtext – such as metaphor, symbolic, poetic, social comment, spirituality etc – on her illustration projects. Youmin works in both analogue (sketching, painting etc) and digital (photoshop, indesign) but she is especially confident with pencil, fineliner and gouache painting. Youmin’s also interesting in 2D animation in the future.
One of her group academy project in her 4th year of design course, which is producing 45 seconds charity animation advertisement for MNET TAG awards, has been on a final list for Best Animation in 2012. Her role in that project was character design, storyboard and a main character animator. She doesn’t only stick to doing illustrations on paper but also loves to try different materials. An example of this is a toy design that she has done with an illustrator named Brent Swart, for her internship, in 2012 for Dreams in Focus exhibition in Cape Town, which featured in the Toy Design Served website (www.toydesignserved.com).
She loves anything that challenges her imagination and also enjoys listening to music, which is one of her inspirations, from alternative to electronic. Youmin’s life experiences and background of visiting many countries on different outreach projects, as well as living in South Africa for 9 years, has influenced her a lot in terms of creativity and respect towards ethnicity, culture and race. She believes that these experiences have allowed her to explore different mediums, not only sticking to 1 single style. One of her favourite illustration themes is designing Black and Arabic characters, which seems to be sparking interest by many people.
She is flexible to chat with clients who need her assistance, as one of her motivations is communication and discussing ideas with them, so she is able to create the best result for the client.