September 15, 2021

Artist Highlight: Juho Choi

An artist has the power to illuminate, transform, and spark creativity in the world around them. Inspired by the works of many artists, we here at GKIDS have started #GKIDSHighlights to share the creations of these talented individuals. We have recently partnered with the passionate Illustrator/Designer Juho Choi to create a piece made for the pop up ‘Welcome’ image you will receive when you visit GKIDS.com.

Read here to learn more about her and her work, and check out her social channels below:
Twitter | Instagram | Portfolio

How did you first get started as an artist?
I started out drawing fanart! I loved drawing characters with preexisting stories that people know and connect to, there’s an immediate level of communication. So I definitely started drawing more thanks to my love of media and its fandom. My first time making money with art was from selling art at anime conventions, so fanarts definitely have a place in my history.

Where do you find your inspiration from?
In vague song lyrics that have an inkling of an idea or a visual, in an unusually winding branch of a tree, in a moment in time or a line in a book that needs capturing. Everywhere!

What do you if you ever have artist’s block?
I try to take a break from art, and take the time to read or practice another hobby other than art. I especially love to read books with lots of descriptive imagery and strong characters. I’ve also been trying my hand at baking! Of course, all roads lead back to art as reading makes me want to draw its characters, and baking makes me want to draw pretty food.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by J. Choi (@choixx97)

How did you develop your own personal/signature artistic style/voice?
I think artistic style is something that comes naturally as you draw a lot while subconsciously studying art that inspires you. Sometimes when I am working on an illustration and I want to try something new, or am stuck on how to best depict something, I turn to some artists that inspire me and see how they stylize or problem solve in their pieces. Of course, artistic style is something that will change over time as people do, so I think the most important thing is to continue learning and growing!

For your illustration with GKIDS, please describe the process. Did you immediately know what you wanted to do? Did you try out a few different drafts?
I love to draft a few ideation sketches before I start an illustration. GKIDS gave me an idea they wanted to communicate right off the bat, so that was very helpful. My sketches are very rough though, so once the sketch is approved, lining the specific details of the drawing is a whole nother process of thinking about what makes sense and conveys the ideas I want to convey. I find lining very therapeutic though. My pieces can get very detailed so it’s fun putting in all the small creatures and details. I do love colors (especially blue!) but I think the color decision stage is also the most challenging part of the illustration process for me. It’s so important in conveying mood and there’s so many aspects to color that I have to think about when I decide which colors to use.

What have you been currently watching, reading, listening to?
I’m currently reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern! The imagery in this book is so beautiful, I want to draw it all! I also love to read Korean webtoons! As for listening, I enjoy listening to true crime podcasts or videos when I can stomach it, but usually I play an episode of a DnD podcast called Dungeons and Daddies for some fun dad jokes and chaotic humor.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by J. Choi (@choixx97)

What is one thing that you wish you were told when you were just starting out as an artist?
Strengthen your foundational skills, but I know it’s not the most exciting thing to draw so I get it if you just want to keep drawing fanart! Studies are very important and fun!

Are there any illustrators in particular that inspire you? (Please give us names/social handles)
Oh I have a whole bookmark folder for artists that inspire me. Here are just a few of many:
Matt Forsythe (@mattforsythe)
Koyamori (@maruti_bitamin)
Zuer Chen (Twitter: @MYMAYI Instagram: @m.yillustration)
Kuri Huang (@kuri_huang)
Kay Nielsen (before internet times)
Juliette Brocal (@cy_lindric)

What is one of your favorite moments in animation (does not have to be a GKIDS title)
The scene from Spiderverse where Miles jumps off the building in his suit to meet the city skyline… It gives me chills every time.

Please let us know your top 3 GKIDS title recommendations, and one sentence why?
Marona’s Fantastic Tale, Promare, Song of the Sea
Song of the Sea and Marona’s Fantastic Tale are such heartfelt stories told through amazing art direction that push the boundaries of how different visual styles can be incorporated in animation, and Promare is just so much pure adrenaline and fun!


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