Saehan Parc is best known for her fantastic egg-headed people, the style of which is firmly rooted in her recent experiences since leaving her native Seoul.
“I would say I have two different styles in parallel. I’ve used the style with circular forms and marker colouring for around three years since my study in France,” she says, whilst also acknowledging her other styles. “I also have a manga-like style with fine lines by pen and ink. I’ve always used this since living in Korea – both styles represent what I am.”
Last time we wrote about Saehan’s work she was looking to make her work more inclusive in the people that it portrayed, however, she is now trying to improve her work in another ethical manner. “It changes every year actually. Last year I was focusing on diverse racial and feminine representation because it was important to me,” she explains. “This year I wish to explore more about environmentally responsible processes of image production. For example, I recently made a small zine with locally-sourced paper, printed and bound at my studio. I’m aware that this is possible because it’s a small edition, but I would like to expand this experience so I can continue to produce with less pollution.”
Whilst some of the processes may be changing, Saehan’s work continues to go from strength to strength, and her figures remain just as pleasing to look at as she finds new and inventive ways to present them.
Her process of illustration has stayed relatively untouched, using the same techniques and equipment that she has relied on over the last few years, reiterating the point that if it isn’t broke then don’t fix it. “All my artworks are mostly done in an analogue way, with ink and marker on paper. I start from cutting papers in the format I want to draw on, then I take my Rotring pen and try to make any shapes and colourise with marker. Then I think while I draw about what it’s going to look like at the end,” says Saehan.
Saehan’s initial influences came from Manga, which she enjoyed when younger. However, it was when she stumbled across Franco-Belgian comics when 15 that she fell in love with the medium, motivating her to come to Europe and study. She managed to achieve this, and has continued to grow her practice in Strasbourg where she lives: “I went to HEAR to study illustration, graduating in 2017. There I met so many talented artists of my generation, and I feel we are still growing up together. Right now I am about to publish my first children’s book with a French editor too, so I feel really lucky and thankful about it all.”
As well as adding more detailed backgrounds and scenes to complement her human figures, she has also recently produced work with no people in them at all. These range from abstract shapes to horticultural scenes with just circular hands present, keeping just a hint of relation to the egg-headed work.
But ultimately Saehan’s work is people-based and will continue to focus on the world of these characters in her style. She also plans to continue trying to find environmentally-friendly ways to produce her work, “I’m still looking for the solution for a sustainable alcohol marker without plastics,” she says. “If you know where I can find those, I would love to hear from you!”
About the Author
Charlie joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in December 2019. He has previously worked at Monocle 24, and The Times following an MA in International Journalism at City University. If you have any ideas for stories and work to be featured then get in touch.