Nano illustrates the different kinds of loneliness that we all feel from time to time

24 May 2019
Reading Time
2 minute read

We all feel lonely from time to time. For some of us, the working hours are the loneliest time of the day especially for some freelancers spending hour after hour tucked away in a studio grafting away at a commission. For the Seoul-based illustrator known as Nano, these emotions are worth portraying, beautifully expressing loneliness in new series of illustrations she’s titled The Lonely People.

Stemming from personal experiences, Nano tells It’s Nice that she has “a lot of lonely times working alone and I think everyone, not just me, has their own kinds of loneliness.” Last year, she presented us with a charming folio of works Run, depicting skateboarding girls from all over the world. Continuing to work with acrylics for this current series, Nano’s emotional works have deepened in their depth of field, composition and rich painterly tones; as seen through the new body of colourful illustrations.

Though Nano remarks that “nothing much has changed” in terms of her creative process since last year, on the whole, there is a definite shift from indoors to outdoors within the work. In one image Walk in the dream, Nano captures a feeling of relaxation which is “necessary work” for the nervous illustrator. “The drawing often makes me feel calm, I didn’t plan for the colours or the elements that went into the painting” which makes it all the more nourishing.

As well as The Lonely People series, Nano is also working on a collection of drawings around “the inner fight.” On this collection, the illustrator explains: “I am always fighting something invisible. Sometimes I can’t manage to do all the things that I need to do” and consequently, she’s putting these feelings into pictures. Illustrating all her feelings of frustration through boxers’ bodies, Nano imagines her inner demons with corporeal bodies and bravely faces them head on at a standoff.

With the hopes of publishing both these series into illustration books later this year, Nano hopes she can also exhibit the rhythmic paintings in a gallery space where others can empathise with the quiet solitude of the works.


Nano: Walk in the dream


Nano: Christmas Eve


Nano: Something Burning


Nano: Sniper


Nano: A club that overcomes loneliness on Saturday night


Nano: Meal at Chiang Mai


Nano: I always fight something invisible


Nano: Battle of the Inside

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About the Author

Jyni Ong

Jyni became a staff writer in March 2019 having previously joined the team as an editorial assistant in August 2018. She graduated from The Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Communication Design in 2017 and her previous roles include Glasgow Women’s Library designer in residence and The Glasgow School of Art’s Graduate Illustrator.

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