Hyesu Lee

Hye Su Lee

Hye Su Lee

Hyesu Lee’s work is nothing short of amazing — the stuff she conjures up is all from her imagination; all the creatures, people and environments are simply out of this world! I caught up with her for a quick tête-à-tête with the artist who is currently living between New York and South Korea. I’m currently reading her comics blog Dear Anne and I love the quirky one-sided conversations she’s got going on in there!

Tell me a little bit more about yourself!

Well, well, well, this is one of the most difficult questions for me to answer as always. 🙂 I am Hyesu, I am silly, clumsy, happy, messy, all of the place very often just like my illustrations and I love to share the hidden beauty and the subtle happiness with everyone through my work, and my belief is that anything warm and cheerful is highly contagious.

Your style is amazing – quirky, offbeat and colorful! Has your style always been this way, or has it evolved from something else?

To be honest with you, I always draw the way I draw now since I was a kid, isn’t it weird? Because sometimes in the past I tried really hard in order to draw really well, but it never worked out for me. So one day I just gave up and started to do my own things. I am still jealous of people who draw and paint so well, but I am just happy with who I am. 🙂

Hye Su Lee

How/Who/What are you inspired by?

Of course, there are so much inspirations and brilliant artists who inspired me out there, so that I am not snobbish to choose ones. 🙂
Not only I am really inspired by all worldly things animals, plants, and the web-like connection between everything in nature, but also I am fascinated with my relationship with others around me.

I really want to have a better understanding about the essence that connects me and everyone else and interprets it into a visual. That’s one of my missions I am on. 🙂

What’s your favourite medium?

I love the mixture of all different kinds of medium. When I am lazy I use crayons, when I feel more lazy I use Photoshop, when I feel messy, I use collage, when I want to feel more like grown-up I use paints, when I miss my country I use Korean paints.

Hye Su Lee

Who would be your dream client? / Who would you like to work for?

Ooooooo, I need so much space to answer this question, because there are so many clients I want to work for.

But if I have to choose one, I would love to work with Chronicle Books, because there have been so many books that inspired me from the publisher, so I am sure that they would appreciate great artists, and art.

{Thanks Hyesu!}

7 Replies to “Hyesu Lee”

  1. mareike says:

    Yeah – her work is really amazing. What are korean paints?

  2. Erin says:

    I love Hyesu! Her work is just as charming and sweet as she is!

  3. Bobby says:

    Hah, she’s crazy! Very original stuff

  4. Elisa says:

    Hi Hyesu, I love what you said about giving up on trying really hard to draw well and just doing your own thing. I copied it into my sketchbook to inspire myself to be unique and be myself and draw the way I draw. Thank you! 😀

  5. Jay-Jay says:

    Thank you for the interview. Can someone help me understand why so many feel this work is “amazing”? I’m not saying I don’t like it. It’s colorful and clumsy and fresh, like many other naive artists I have seen. But why do others praise this specific artist so much, because that view isn’t clear to me. Thanks you.

    1. amy says:

      Jay-Jay, thanks for the comment! I can’t speak on behalf of others, but when I say that her work is amazing, it’s because it’s young and fresh. Hyesu isn’t drawing realistically, or from what she just sees. She creates new things – new works that do not conform to a specific order (except to her own standards). Illustrators fascinate me because of this. If I were to use a camera to take a shot of something, it will take precisely what it sees and hands it back to me. There aren’t any magical process involved, or thought. It’s automation. But when illustrators see something and digest it, usually what comes out after surprises me. And that in itself is amazing.

      I hope I answered your question!

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