Who doesn’t enjoy beautifully drawn illustrations of foods and its crisp packaging? Here at It’s Nice That, we certainly do and have been oggling the work of the Berlin and Seoul-based illustrator Sein Koo. With her confident line and delicate colour work, Sein brings all manner of goods to life (but the food-related ones are our favourite). Whether it’s a bag of bread with unusually satisfying slices that make you go “oooo”, or a packet of Mi Goreng drawn with such gentleness you can almost hear its creases rustling in the background; Sein has a knack for boldly asserting the beauty of food.
“I enjoy looking through supermarkets," the illustrator tells It’s Nice That. “When I visit other countries or cities, the supermarket is the first thing I visit.” Gradually collecting a vast expanse of food-based souvenirs whenever she goes anywhere, Sein’s illustrations connect products from all over the world. She’s picked up German milk containers, American cereal packets, Japanese yoghurts and other colourful items with kitschy typography and punchy colour palettes rippling across its packaging.
“Through each product’s different material, colour, font and shape used to design the packaging, I imagine the unique feeling of the country and the memories I treasure most from the place," adds Sein. Using markers for the majority of her drawings, she remembers the excitement when first coming across the product she’s drawing which, in turn, allows the illustrator to build a strong connection with the product which then goes into into her illustrations. She goes on to say: “Some people may think that it’s meaningless to imitate the packaging of products but I am happiest when I am drawing these things and it really distresses me!”
If she’s not drawing interesting foods or its packaging, Sein tends to create images to do with the kitchen. From capturing what she had for breakfast that day to pretty plates and their matching cutlery at a cafe, Sein is happy to depict pretty much anything food-related, and her food-centric instagram is a testament to that (with a couple of other random things thrown in the mix).
Drawing on the watery charms of marker pens, she overlaps multiple colours to create deeper textures when needed and leaves stark white areas in others. Translating her drawings into a manner of goods including stickers, posters, prints and postcards available on her website, if you’re fan of Sein’s (or if you just can’t resist an adorable little print of a wonky aubergine) head on down.
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.