Since graduating from Kingston University here in the UK, illustrator Yeji Yun has relocated back to Seoul – but no matter where she is in the world, her illustrative narratives are captivating audiences globally.
Often seen hopping between clients such as Wieden + Kennedy and Nike to creating picture books for both children and adults, each piece of work by Yeji is bound to feature her signature imagination and knack for humour. One particular example is Round Hours, a recent personal project from the illustrator telling the tale of a cat called Mamoo and taking the form of a Risograph-printed zine.
The real-life Mamoo was a feline friend Yeji met when she was a studio mate of hers, providing inspiration as the illustrator “observed her daily routine and naturally made many drawings about her,” Yeji tells It’s Nice That. “I extracted the essence of Kodak moments from her and made this little book.”
Taking its title from the shapes Mamoo creates during her everyday life – curling up in a ball for a nap is what Yeji describes as the cat’s “round hours” where Mamoo can be found sleeping “like a walrus on the beach” – and this kitty’s particular personality traits. Beginning by illustrating how Mamoo greets visitors to the studio where her pose declares “good morning human” and circling their legs with an open-mouthed meow, the day continues with Mamoo patiently awaiting her breakfast.
Then, alongside the usual cat activities of wandering around, sleeping in different spots and having a little wash, Round Hours takes an unexpected turn as Mamoo somehow finds herself heading into space, straight after finding a packet of Churu, her favourite food.
A sweet zine full of recognisable cat traits and unexpected turns, Round Hours displays Yeji’s ability to interject personality into a character and build a narrative out of the everyday joy of a furry friend.
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