Simple and meditative, Taehyoung Jeon crafts organic forms out of abstract shapes

Putting aside her training as a print-maker, the Seoul-based illustrator has been enjoying the freedom of digital drawing in her recent plant series.

4 August 2022

“One of my joys is to look at my plants and study their growth and changes everyday,” Taehyoung Jeon tells It’s Nice That. Inspired by the potted plants which fill her apartment, Taehyoung combines careful observation with her imagination to create meditative digital plant drawings. Each plant is crafted from a combination of pleasing abstract forms, brought together in simple and balanced compositions. Deep leafy green tones reappear throughout her work, bespeckled with delicate details and lines in bright reds, pinks and oranges. “It’s super cliche,” she adds, “but I love the colours of Van Gogh and Chagall.”

“Art has always been a part of my life,” says Taehyoung. From the age of four, all she needed "to have fun" was a drawing pen and a paper. Later she went on to study a BA in animation followed by a MA in print-making. For a long time, the logistical considerations of making prints had a big impact on the visual style of Taehyoung’s work. “I had to think about how many layers it needed or what kind of shapes or lines would look better for a certain printmaking method,” she explains. “On top of this, I felt like I needed to do sophisticated art that also has deep meaning to it.”

Recently, however, Taehyoung has been enjoying the freedom of drawing digitally. Last year she joined an artist community group where she was encouraged to start drawing without worrying about the printmaking process. “This is when I started to draw my plants because they were everywhere in my apartment and I didn’t have to think too much about it." The change of subject and medium felt “natural and easy”, says Taehyoung – almost like “meditating”.


Copyright © Taehyoung Jeon, 2022

Taking a break from the physical considerations of printmaking has allowed Taehyoung to focus her efforts in other areas. At the moment, she’s concentrating on mastering a “non-digital art look” for her illustrations. To do this, she uses the pencil textured brush on her iPad to gradually build up blocks of colour. “This takes a long time compared to a bucket tool but the result is so much better,” she explains.

While some plants she draws are very familiar, the illustrator adds that “some are completely out of my imagination”. The long heart-shaped leaves in one of her drawings are instantly recognisable as those of an Alocasia. Enhancing the natural shape of the plant, Taehyoung uses the pale veins of the leaves to create a satisfying star-like shape. A juicy red dot marks the cross section of the stem where it connects to the leaf, giving the viewer a kind of abstract X-ray vision of the plant’s anatomy.

Experimenting with circles, blobs and overlapping oblongs, Taehyoung has become skilled at creating organic forms out of simple geometric shapes. However, in her recent plant series, one shape always stays the same: the square format of the drawings. “I played around with the shapes and composition to fit the plants in the square as much as possible,” she explains. “As the series continues, the drawings develop and the nuances are different but it’s always about composition, balance, colour and shapes. And hopefully sending out positive vibes too.”

GalleryCopyright © Taehyoung Jeon, 2022

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Copyright © Taehyoung Jeon, 2022

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About the Author

Elfie Thomas

Elfie joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in November 2021 after finishing an art history degree at Sussex University. She is particularly interested in creative projects which shed light on histories that have been traditionally overlooked or misrepresented.

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