After three years of working as a graphic and video designer, Lim Kiihwan decided to take a different path in life. For the Korean illustrator, drawing had always been a hobby, but it wasn’t until he truly examined his feelings around his work, that he decided to take the leap of faith to make it his profession.
“When I was little,” explains Lim, “My dream was to have a job where I could draw all day, but because of my colour amblyopia (a condition which reduces visual acuity due to a lesion in the eye) I didn’t think it could ever be more than just a hobby.” But time and time again, those around Lim continued to comment on the uniqueness of his illustrative style, complimenting his distinctive way of seeing that unexpectedly arose from the condition. “I began to gain confidence,” adds the illustrator, “which eventually helped me overcome my fears using colour,” and amounted into the beautiful works we are presented with today.
With sweeping blocks of felt tip pen, Lim’s illustrations tend to record his daily passings or his various travel destinations. Prone to experiencing post-travel blues, Lim extends his trips through illustrating his recent visits, which in turn, cements his experience through the art. He often travels with friends, and together, the motley group exemplify on their various creative talents to create a memorable experience. “We each have a different method of recording our journey; from writing to photography,” adds Lim. Lim then draws from these multi-media sources to inform his work, remembering intricate details that he would have otherwise misplaced. “I think this process is the most precious source of inspiration,” he says on the method.
Crisp yet oh so smooth, Lim’s distinctive work touches on the vivacity of American pop art in the context of contemporary illustration. With future hopes of combining motion graphics with his crowd-pleasing drawings in order to make them more lively, Lim also hopes that one day, he can move to Korea’s Jeju Island and open a small store to sell his work. In another long-term dream, he’d also like to learn to draw tattoos.
About the Author
Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor. Feel free to drop Jyni a note if you have an exciting story for the site.