We chat with Seoul-based visual artist Abang to learn a little more about her elegant, delicate and colorful work, where she usually portrays the expressions of everyday life that she perceives in colored pencil drawings. Abang is a multifaceted creator as her work ranges from commissioned commercial work to highly experimental works such as sculpture and collage. Within her work her main tool is illustration and sometimes painting. The artist’s inspiration comes from her interest in appreciating the little things in life, those that are probably invisible to most. However, she decides to pay attention to them and portray them in her work; “the little things seem to be a source of inspiration. I’m especially very inspired by the model’s eyes. It is fun to imagine a story from their eyes and facial expressions, and translate it into a painting.” Says the artist, she describes herself as a person who enjoys life doing what she likes, uses her characters as a way of expression that portrays her own specific voice in each drawing, as if through these she could speak through them, the artist uses the facial expressions of her characters to speak from her own point of view.
Abang’s work can be found in almost all kinds of forms; book covers, album covers, advertising, broadcasting, product packaging, brand art, and more, based on the illustration. She is also constantly working on her own personal communication projects, such as exhibitions, conferences, and book publishing. As for all artists, influences are very important for Abang, serving as a constant source of inspiration; “It is difficult to say who influences me the most and many young contemporary artists have had a good influence in many directions. Famous and great artists like Henry Darger, Alex Katz, David Hockney also influence me.”
We can definitely see Hockney’s influences in Abang’s work, transforming solid blocks of color into oceans of textured pencil colors, the color palette of A bigger Splash and some inspiration from Hopper; it’s no surprise to learn that his Favorite materials are colored pencils and paper, as she says “it is easy to use anytime, anywhere and the texture of various colored pencils on paper is so smooth and good.”
Abang has been drawing since she was very little and it is obvious to see that reflected in her work and experience. She has been in the illustration business for almost 10 years. She started in her 20s where she worked as a designer for a large company, but in the end she decided to give her imagination a word and make it visible instead of stable returns and naturally it became a job. Abang is planning to celebrate her 10th anniversary as a photographer by doing a self-portrait project; “I’ve never painted a self-portrait properly before, so it’s going to be a lot of fun.
see more of Abang’s work here.