Ever since she was young, Ayong Son has been naturally drawn to code due to a desire to make her own website. “I was keen to make a good website, and accidentally encountered the term ‘graphic design’ on the internet as a consequence,” she explains. Going on to study graphic design at university, Ayong has always remained true to her roots in digital, and also extended her practice to include illustration, too. Now defining herself as an image-maker, graphic designer and web developer, the versatile Seoul-based creative combines her skills in a way that is nothing short of joyous to the eye.
Her work often reflects worries that have previously plagued her, or the thoughts in her head. Drawing subjects repeatedly again and again, the creative gradually refines her image-making until it feels pared back and in line with her signature aesthetic, one she has worked hard to define. “In the past, I’ve had many worries regarding the multidisciplinary ways in which I work,” explains Ayong. “There was never enough time to finish something perfectly, and I thought I would be seen as less professional compared to someone who only focused on one field.” But when she voiced these concerns to a tutor, she was told that there are some kinds of visuals that can only exist as a multi-disciplinary creative. And with this in mind, ever since, Ayong has embraced her diverse interests, allowing them to shape her work in equal part.
In her personal work, she tackles projects which combine and celebrate her three primary disciplines, incorporating elements of illustration and graphic design into websites. In Background, a self-initiated web developing project, Ayong asked herself: “How can understanding visual codes affect our identity?” In turn, “it’s a piece of work that expresses how the identity of objects varies according to its surrounding environments in web technology.” By juxtaposing objects of the same shape on different backgrounds side by side, she raises questions on how we recognise shapes and how colour plays a part in that identification.
In other work, she’s designed a web page for an art book distributor in Seoul, creating an interactive design where the books move from side to side depending on the position of the phone. But looking to the future, Ayong hopes to further her multifaceted approach to design by hiring herself to make more funny and weird work. One idea, involves her selling homemade baking kits to make your own cookie house at home. At the same time however, the same house will be built on a website. “I want to continue to be a planner, designer, illustrator, developer and art director to help workers collaborate well in various fields,” she says finally of her ambitious yet exciting future ahead.
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.