Instagram: @sarahjungart Website: sarahjungart.squarespace.com
1. What's your story? Where are you from?I am originally from Korea. When my parents got married, they traveled to the United States and had me in the state of Maine. I was raised there for a couple years and after my younger sister was born, we went back to Korea. Not long after, we all immigrated to Canada, and I spent most of my life there. It wasn’t until I went to College that I traveled back to America.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.I think I try to achieve a “traditional texture” as best as I can when I make something. The shapes I make do tend to be slightly more graphic- and I am noticing my work becoming more and more geometrical- but I am a sucker for the candid look traditional mediums always put forward. I work both digitally and traditionally, and I try to find a happy middle by the time I finish an illustration.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?I love working in Graphite! I love it because it is the most accessible and basic tool. It is a friendly medium anyone could get used to very fast. I also love how quick it is, and how easily you can erase it and start again. I think the graphite part is what gives me the “soft” aesthetic I hear most often from my peers.
4. What is your artistic process like?Well, It usually starts with me wanting to draw something. I don’t actually start sketching until I know exactly what I want for to be drawn. Once the idea is there, I start laying out on paper and after making a few changes, I go over the rough draft piece by piece until it all comes together. This layout is done all in black and white, and once the drawing is there I put it into photoshop for colouring. I have a folder with a lot of colour palettes I either made before or had collected from places like movie stills. I choose the palette only after the black and white drawing is done.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?I get inspired mostly by the people around me. I think my own personal life is pretty boring- haha- but what makes my life exciting are all the people in it, and all the stories they have to share. I’m not much of a self-starter when it comes to activities, so when friends and family take me to unforgettable events, that triggers an idea- but honestly they are such great fun people that just lounging around with them could give me an idea. The community is a big inspiration as well.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?It is kind of cliche, but I do think art is a source of outlet for me. I have always been expressive for the most part growing up, but it never felt like I truly had shown myself until I made something. Art for me is kind of like taking really personal photos that I can kind of look back at. Sometimes looking back to it is sort of embarrassing, but it gives me a comforting sense of self. I think art makes the world seem less daunting. It reminds me there are pretty things in it.
7. Where did you study?I studied at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland! I graduated this year with a BFA in Illustration and Creative Writing.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?I think in about five years, I hope to have published a children’s book! I also hope to have established myself a good client list for editorial illustration. In five years I might have a full-time job at a startup company as one of the main illustrators, with freelance work on the side.
9. What about in ten?I think in about ten years I might have my own house! Somewhere suburban, but not too far away from the city. I would have a great studio space, maybe one that looks out into the ocean. I think in ten years I might be in graduate school, repolishing and re-establishing my artistic style.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?I think the biggest thing I could hope for is to bring people together. Bring awareness and open-mindedness to people who see my illustrations. I think illustration is a form of education in the fastest process, and I can only hope that the drawings I make give an eye-opening experience for people who have different opinions or a closed off mind. I think the ultimate goal when it comes to people is to embrace each other. That’s probably why my illustrations are so portrait based.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?I have two favourite foods, for the American category it’s pizza, and for the Korean category is a dish called “Jjajangmyun.” It’s black bean noodles, and it’s a comfort food equivalent to mac and cheese. I tend to have the most of it when I am in Korea! Once when I was in Korea back in 2011, I had Jjajangmyun once a day for a week.
12. Favourite book?The first book that comes to mind is a Korean book called “Words that are always good to hear”. It’s just a direct translation so that may not be what it is called in English, but I really enjoyed reading it. It’s just an autobiographical essay of a Korean author, but I remember really enjoying how poetic he was in describing a particular, mundane event. I’m also always a sucker for Haruki Murakami books!
13. Favourite genre of music?I’ve actually just recently started to get into music, and as my friends describe it, they say I like “soft boy music”. Haha. My favourite band is a Korean band called “hyukoh”, and I really love their music. They’ve been getting a bit of international attention as of late, which makes me super happy!
14. What are your hobbies?I really love to sit and read! If not reading, watching movies and films. I have a friend who watches horror movies with me, and we dedicate time to talk about them afterward as well. I think I just have the best time when I am sitting and talking with close friends! Or making small particular memories to look back and laugh at.
15. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?I think I would have been a writer. In high school I wrote a lot of my own things so if my art portfolio didn’t work out, I probably would have submitted a writing portfolio. I also wanted to be a singer at one point in time.