Seoul-based illustrator and animator Inji Seo draws the kind of characters we’d love to be friends with — if they didn’t live in mystical realms high up in the skies. Look past fetish-friendly oversized pouts and bodies which burst out of bikinis, and you’ll find a no-nonsense, bad ass attitude.
“My round and chubby characters were born from my animation Melting in You, my graduation film,” Inji explains. “I wanted to express the softness and comfort of love in animation, and the shapes of the rounded, voluminous characters symbolise such feelings. I was attracted to these characters and developed them with illustration work. The characters in the pictures are some of my imaginary people. I match the style I like, or the item I have, to them. At the same time, they let me free, wearing things I can not actually wear.”
With colour as one of Inji’s defining tools along with rounded shapes, the illustrator’s scenes featuring her crew of girls chilling, surfing, and eating. “I like to capture special or funny scenes from my daily life," she says. “Sometimes it’s weird and funny, but I like the way they are. Small things are lovely, like, my boyfriend is always standing by my right side, because I’m an left hander and he’s a right hander. And the ugliest ice-cream at McDonald’s, a doll’s well-braided hair, people in the subway, the worn red nails of a guitarist girl…”
As for tools, Inji’s work are created via digital painting. “I mainly use Adobe Photoshop, and a program called tvpaint for animation,” she says. “If I come up with ideas in daily life, I grab my notes or write them on my iPhone Notepad. In the case of personal work, I try to make a few more sophisticated doodles and sketches when I get time, and try to develop sketches later. Likewise, in the case of receiving a request or carrying on a theme, I try to match unbalanced material while searching for various data based on the first idea. In the process of such an attempt, many more interesting ideas and pleasant thoughts come to mind.”
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