Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ocean Spray 'Sweetie' 2001

I worked on a commercial for the Ocean Spray juice as a designer, colorist and animator in 2001.
Art direction was to mimic child's doodles on a notebook. So I used crayons with naive shapes and bright colors. What a fun project! 
The top image is sketches of early design development. The bottom one is the final still frame renders from the spot.

Director/Key Animator: Bruce McFarlan
Designer: Soyeon Kim
Animators/ Production Artists: Todd Hemker & Soyeon Kim
Production: Reelworks studio

Life Drawing-animals

I love to draw animals...
Top image is from my visit to Como Zoo, Saint Paul Minnesota, probably in 2002.
The bottom one is drawings of my Zippy and Darby playing in/around the Mississippi river in Minnesota.

Life Drawing-model session 2001

'Father and Son' 1999

Illustration of father and son, pen and ink on paper

Teri Vore dance rehearsal 1999

I met Teri Vore, dance choreographer in 1999 at California Institute of the Arts. I actually met her as my english tutor! She invited me to her dance rehearsals, which were very inspiring.
This is an illustration I made after attending one of her rehearsals.

1997 KBS drama 'JaeDong' opening sequence

My directing debut in commissioned animation in 1997. It's 1 minute opening animated sequence for the KBS family show called, 'JaeDong'
The show is about the relationship between a kid (JaeDong) and his parents and the life around them. Based on the traditional korean belief, most mothers-to-be experience 'Tae-Mong: Dream of conception' that foretells the future of the conceived child. The opening animated sequence is consist of symbolic characteristics that represent wealth, courage, health, and intelligence of the baby.

1996 A Petal (꽃잎) animation segment

My first job in the animation field was as production artist (painter) for the animation segment in the korean feature film, 'A Petal' directed by Sun-Woo Jang. Sung-Yoon Oh was an animation director. The animated spot was used as an insert to describe the korean Gwangju massacre, using metaphors. 

Animation was traditionally hand drawn, traced on cells, then oil pastels were applied on sand papered area to create 'oil painting' look. 

Monday, October 27, 2008

1996 Animation 'Circus'

After having made so many compromises in my first animation, 'To-Mak' in 95 (due to its natural process of collaboration), I decided to make a film that I can focus on my initial approach of 'moving illustration'.
This 'Circus' film was my undergraduate thesis project as well.
I wanted to find a theme that offered me plenty of visuals to play around, and came up with the idea of visualizing 'Circus'. At that time, I was very fascinated by primitive arts and decided to adapt its art style into the film as well.
On top of that..... I also used pointillism (getting inspired by Seurat's) for creating imagery, which... was the craziest idea that I've ever had in any animation production by far.... without any doubt. After 'DOTTING' every single image with 4~5 layers of cells for 6 minute traditional cell/drawing animation, my poor arm gained some kind of abnormal muscle cramps that lasted for a while.

I don't remember sleeping much for that whole year. I couldn't eat that well either for I didn't even have money for the film production. So many difficulties and obstacles behind the scenes... but I have to admit that I actually enjoyed every single day of it.

Here are some production sketches, design reference, and design samples as well as animation clip.
Imdb listing

Circus: list of screenings

1996  Silver Prize, Korean Animation Awards (대한민국 영상대상)

1997  10/28-11/2  Leipzig Festival of Documentary and Animated Films (Leipzig, Germany)
1997  2/25-3/2  Future Art Short Animation Film Festival (Seoul, Korea)
1998  12/20  Puchon International Film Festival (Puchon, Korea)
1999  Annecy Int'l Animation Festival: MIFA-Korean Short Animations (Annecy, France)
1999  9/3-7  Korea Japan Youth Film Festival (Asan, Korea)
1999  7/9-31 Korea Short Animation Festival (Seoul/ Pusan/ Daejun/ Kwangju/ Korea)
1999  5/1-23  Kyungnam Cartoon Festival (Kyungnam, Korea)
2000  Bijou Festival- California Institute of the Arts (Valencia, CA, US)
2001  Making Waves Student Film Festival -Semi Finalist
2001  7/13-22, 25-29  Animamundi (Rio de Janeiro/ Sao Paolo, Brazil)
2001  Cinanima (Espinho, Portugal)
2001  10 Rencontres Int'l du Cinema d'Animation de Wissembourg (Wissembourg, France)
2001  4/20-22  Korean Independent Animation Special Screenings (Seoul, Korea)
2005  Solstice Lake Film Festival (Stillwater, USA)
2005  Offbeat Film & Animation (Minneapolis, US)
2006  Rooftop screening: Solstice Lake Film Festival (Minneapolis, USA)
2006  6/10 & 17  Jeju Inde Film Screening (Jeju, Korea)
2009  CTN Animation Expo (Burbank, CA, US)
2010  Kansas City Art Institutes (Kansas City, MO, US)
2010  Hyart Film Festival (Lovell, WY, US)
2010  Seoul Int'l Cartoon and Animation Festival (Seoul, Korea)

2011 Jul. 20-24 Seoul Int'l Cartoon and Animation Festival (Seoul, Korea)
2012 Nov. 23-30 Festival Cine B (Chile)
2014 Aug. 9 Square Lake Festival (Stillwater, Minnesota, US)
2015  California State University Monterey Bay: Artist Talk Series (Seaside, CA, US)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

1996 Ottakie, Mountain O-Dae

This is a character 'Ottakie' design for the mascot of Mountain 'O-Dae' located in South Korea.

1996 Samsung Weekly Illustrations

These are illustrations made in 1996, for Samsung Weekly Newsweek.

1996 Calendar Illustration

These are two illustrations for the korean calendar.
I used 1960~70's korean life style as a theme and created images using acrylic paints and color pencils.

1994, Self-Portrait

 In Woodcut

Sunday, October 5, 2008

1995, First animation, 'To-Mak' (토막)

I wanted to study animation since I was at junior high school, but there was no animation school in korea back then. I tried to find articles from magazines and newspapers (since internet wasn't that popular yet in 1980s). I decided to go to college with painting major, developing my design/painting skills while hoping to find a way to pursue my dream to make animations. I found a book called, 'Animation Techniques' by Roger Noake in my first year at college, and 'mimic' whatever I can find from the book.
 In 1995, there was a small animation workshop held by several independent animators. I decided to participate this 3 month workshop. There were about a dozen people, who were divided into several groups by instructor's random selection.
I came up with an idea of two ordinary objects (hammer and saw) having conversation and communicating their emotions not by using dialogue, but by showing changes of colors, shapes, patterns, and other visual elements and composition of the imagery. Unlike my idea of making 'moving illustrations', my teammate brought an idea of a cyber robot cat and its battles. It was very difficult to find the middle ground between such extreme opposite directions from each other. As a result... we ended up making an animation with 2 characters: hammer and saw fighting... It wasn't easy compromise for both of us, having troubles in every step on the way. 
Now, it sounds just silly... and I am truly grateful that I had that experience getting to learn about the process of animation and... of course, collaborating with others, making compliments from each other's talents as well as compromises...

Here are some stills and animation for my first animation, 'To-mak'
It was shot in 35mm, edited in Beta-SP for final format. 

figure drawings_wire/object collage

Some experiments that I did in life drawing class during my undergraduate, probably done in 94'

To-Mak (Survival): list of screenings

1995  The 2nd place (우수상)
          KBS: Korean Broadcasting Service film and animation competition 
          (KBS 영상공모전)
1995  SICAF- Seoul Int'l Cartoon and Animation Festival (Seoul, Korea)
1996  Indie-Forum (Seoul, Korea)
1997  City Forum- World of Independent Animation (Seoul, Korea)
1999  Korean Independent Animation Festival (Seoul, Korea)
2010  Arizona Underground Film Festival (Tucson, AZ, US)
2010  Project Twenty1 Film & Animation Festival (Philadelphia, PA, US) 


It was my first class at the college in 1993: professor Kyung-hwan Choi at Seoul Women's University (where I studied painting in my undergraduate), gave the class an assignment: 'Go outside and find what inspires you'. I walked around the campus and... saw a chopped down stump, all burnt outside... YET there were a few tweaks coming out from a crack at the bottom, holding very tiny yet fresh green leaves..., which had given me the strongest impression of 'Hope'...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Deer series_part2: Bambi?

I created this painting as a gift for my sister. I don't remember when I made this painting, probably a couple of years after the previous deer painting. I don't think that there was any connection between these two, except that I liked drawing & painting animals. 
I think that I got a sketch from somewhere, (maybe from one of Bambi images?) and made a watercolor painting out of it. My dogs, 'Pyodoc' & 'Mangchi' scratched the bottom parts off. Perhaps they were trying to catch the squirrel?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Deer series_part1, 1990

There was an amusement park right next to my high school that had a small zoo, where I visited as often as I could. 
This painting was done when I was in high school. I tried to experiment various painting techniques... such as spread out coarse salts over sections of the foliage before watercolor dried out, so that there are sprinkled patterns on the treetops and grass, which, unfortunately, doesn't show much in this small picture. This painting is quite big, approx. 40 inch wide, and 60~70 inch tall. I think that my parents still have it somewhere in their garage ... Hopefully there are no mushrooms and fungus growing on the trees now...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Landscape oil painting, 1987

When I went to my parents' house last year, I found this old painting that I did when I was 14 years old.  I remember that it was a class assignment at my junior high.  I thought about throwing out: I didn't really like it much, but at least I should leave a record here... since  I wasn't good at saving my old paintings from my childhood or from junior high school.

Oil paint on canvas, 34 x 28 inch


I think that this picture was taken before I even started kindergarten. I probably wanted to follow my big sister around on her trip for some kind of children's art event.
Now I look at it... I feel a bit sad that I locked my birdies in the cage. They are 'apparently' flying in the painting, yet sadly.... they won't be able to go that far... I'm sure I didn't mean that...


I was looking for my oldest artwork, which may be the one painting that my parents still have in their guest room in Korea. I don't have a picture of it with me, so I need to wait until my next visit to my parents...

Here is one from when I was 5~ 6 year old. The matchbox doll with the red beret (with a red arrow pointing) is mine. I wish that I have all these matchbox doll collection now... all of which could have been such wonderful characters for a short animation...