Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays!

I help out my parents' store (it's in a suburban mall) every holiday season. Yes, while most people enjoy this time of the year, I work 13 hours a day in crazy busy retail. However, this year, it has been creepily slow! Even worse than the last year, when the market crashed. Come on, people! Buy things! Capitalism has its faults, but it's how our society is structured at the moment. Bad economy => low consumer confidence => worse economy => lower consumer confidence... etc.

Let's move some money around. I'm not saying this just because I want to buy that cute fuzzy small zip-up hoodie from a shopping site with the money you spent at our store. I swear.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dating an Older Guy

This was for Shameless Magazine's advice column. The topic was about dating an older guy. An highschool girl is dating a college guy. People judge the couple based on their age gap and tell the girl to leave the guy. The advice basically said to follower her heart.

To be honest, I'd say, "RUN"!!!!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

From Me to You

I'm having a show with bunch of illustrators. Among them is one of my favourite artist, Scott Campbell!! He works at DoubleFine game company. They made Psychonauts few years ago and the most importantly, BrĂ¼tal Legend!! Yo. As a fan of metal music, yes, this game is badass. Oh and he also did a cover of "King of Kong" DVD. If you haven't seen that movie, do watch it. Who knew a documentary about Donkey Kong game could have so much drama.

It'll be an awesome show. If you are around town, please do drop by.

And lastly, I apologize to my friends, family and random passerbys for lack of posts in my blog lately. I've been so busy with school. I got 9 page essay out of the way, most presentations are done. Only one big critique on my way. I hope all these school work is going to worth something in the end.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

So Cold..

It is very owly cold today. It's a gloomy winter.

Watch Cloudy with Chance of Meatballs! Foods falling from sky! It cheered me up.

Please do keep warm.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Come to see me at Canzine!
Comics and prints by me along with cake pins, dresses, lots of things. Featuring my brother's StarTrek comics, "Dip Space Nine". 'Tis funny, I promise.


Sunday, November 1, 2009
1pm - 7pm
The Gladstone Hotel
1214 Queen St. West (Queen just East of Dufferin)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Camilo Music Video is Out!

I had been working with awesome guys at 3:AM Design on a music video for a pop punk band, Said the Whale. I've designed the characters and environment. Hopefully, Said the Whale becomes as big as Billy Talent! Said the Whale is also a Canadian band. :D

I've been aching to post the character and environment designs, but wanted to wait until the music video comes out (out of courtesy). Today, I'm adventuring to the Korea town to pick up some very Korean stuff (ingredients for this -please ignore horrible K-pop, cute character notebooks, tea... etc), so I don't have time to post the compositions I've worked on. I promise I'll soon. Oh and lots of more illustrations to come.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Jellyfish Wrangler

What a late post! This post should've been made a week ago. But because of my Master's I'm very busy. Hopefully, something will coming out of all this madness.
I am having a show with my friends in the theme of "The Side Show". The opening night was Nuit Blanche night, but the show goes on till Sunday. If you are happen to be around Queen and John street, please come take a look.
Here is more info:
2ndHalf Gallery
250 Queen West, Toronto, ON M5V 1Z7

Above work is called 'Jellyfish Wrangler'. It was many weeks of contemplation finally coming together.

I wasn't going to post the following image, but here it is:
I know, I know, it's a big headed girl with big eyes. My teacher at Sheridan, Joe Morse told us, "If you ever paint a big head girl with big eyes, I'll kill you. I will seek out and kill you." He meant the trend (maybe that trend is 3-4 years old now) of Mark Ryden style.
I felt guilty painting it, and that's probably why it didn't turn out as I intended (always find an excuse not to blame my feeble painting skills). I really wanted to paint a girl coming out of a cupcake, and usually, giving into your impulse is a right thing to do. In Jonah Lehrer's "How We Decided" book, our hunch/subconscious/gut feeling is actually a supercomputer. It access all the information without your awareness and gives you a gut feeling.
What am I talking about... So anyways, my 'supercomputer' failed for my Cupcake Girl painting but did okay for the Jellyfish Wrangler.

One last thing about The Side Show... Being in Master's is a strange thing. Other students are all mid-career professionals. Everyone has much more experience than I do. So I always feel intimidated, and it's impossible to fit in. Telling people about the show was a joke (maybe it was arrogant for me to even telling people about it. What can you do. I'm young, therefore stupid).
"I'm having a show with my friends on Queen Street..."
"Which gallery?"
"2ndHalf gallery"
"Never heard of it."
End of conversation.
Either this or nicely shutting me up about the show.
I came to realize that in the real art world, 'which gallery' is very important. I was vaguely aware of the different types of art galleries, but I wasn't aware (naive and dumb, I know) of gallery hierarchy. If your art work is not showing at the top serious galleries, then your art work is not worth seeing. There is a truth to that, but it hurts nonetheless. Would my 'lowly' illustration works ever show in top serious galleries? Probably not.


Saturday, September 19, 2009


This piece was done for the good people of Ricepaper. 14.3 Space:Culture:Place issue.

"UFO TOFU" is a palindrome. I always wanted draw tofu in space, thank you Ricepaper!
I am not sure when this will be available. For all I know, it's in bookstores right now. I cannot wait to see it myself.

By the way, this is what I've wasted my whole Saturday on. My London tourist video. All day in the school editing suite with the state of the art equipments (I think?). And the result is quite shameful. To my defense, I didn't know how to use Final Cut Pro and after all day today, I still don't know. I just assumed it's the same as AfterEffects.
If you want to lose precious three minutes of your life, please be my guest.
WARNING: Repeated viewing results in nausea


Monday, September 14, 2009

Hyein's First Cover!

'Tis true! My illustration is on the cover of Crow Toes Quarterly 11th issue. This is actually a quite old news. If you go to bookstores now, you will see the 'November issue' instead of this one. To my shame, I've been too busy to keep up with blog posts. In this information age, updating blog regularly is a very important way to promote. I am seriously considering hiring YMI (Your Man in India) to update my blog and sort my life. ... When I get rich (which isn't going to happen anytime soon). Outsourcing is a way of life, goddammit.

In addition to my illustration work, I just started Master's program. I am reluctant to admit, but I really do like school. Ten years in post-secondary school education. Santa Maria! I feel like a total loser.

While Master's is taking my brain into the most interesting yet strange places, I've been running, running around, busy as a buzzing bee. Here are what's been happening:
- Organizing a group show to open on Nuit Blanche. Details on this show later! (I never knew organizing a show would be a full-time job) There most likely be cotton candy at this event
- Loads of new magazine illustrations to be updated soon
- Working on a music video with 3:AM Design
- Participated on the Speakeasy Illustration Show at Gladstone Hotel with fellow illustrators
- Had a table at FanExpo at the end of August
- Surpressing an urge to murderize drilling people outside

My table at the FanEx

Fellow Toronto Artists Ben and Adam
Ben is participating in some questionable film making practices

I probably should've advertise my booth on this blog before the FanEx. Oh~ all the things that I 'should've' done~
Days leading upto FanEx was an absolute chaos. Getting my comics and arts printed, and lots and lots of manual labour. I made sun dresses with my illustration on it, tonnes of little cake pins, sushi pins, sock monsters,...etc.
Getting back to the 'outsourcing' point earlier... I must tell you, craft market (and anything hand made, DIY) just sucks. I get disappointed everytime. It is extremely hard to have a feasible business with handmade items. I made a bit of money from FanEx, but only if I kid myself that my labour time doesn't worth anything. I myself cannot afford anything but cheap stuff from third world factories. I'm in no position to complain.

Anyways, an interesting news from Norway! They are resenting the current government despite of their prosperous economy. This shift came mostly from resenting immigration. Here is the article if you are interested.
Another interesting turn of politics is Japan! For obvious reasons (Koreans are afraid of Japanese' right wing politics that glorifies WWII), this is exciting. Due to the lack of strong leadership and public's frustration, the right-wing LDP has been defeated last month!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Feature at ILikeCharacters

I've been featured on! I thank my mama for raising me right.

The top two featured images were for my future post, but oh well... If you want to see them in person, you can pop into our SOS show in Kensington market. The very top piece is already sold. :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I Cried a River Over You

I Cried a River Over You
Mixed Media on Wood

It's a sad sad robot. So sad!
Needless to say, I sang "I Cried a River Over You" all the while I was working on this piece. This was done for the previously mentioned Magic Pony show. But this one didn't get sold. Oh so sad!

I'm actually in a pretty good mood today, full of optimism. I am starting Master's program at OCAD this September. I had a small chat with the Dean, Martha, and I am very excited about doing my Master's. (10 year of post-secondary education, Santa Maria!)
So it's a bit hard to post a picture with a crying robot. If you'd like to cry a river, I recommend you watch Pixar's "UP". Most people must have seen it already. Good god. I started crying five minutes into the movie, and just didn't stop. My 3D glasses were foggy from all the tears, I couldn't see very well.

Don't think I'm soft, emotional or anything. I'm tough. Here is the proof: Thug Life!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

SOS Show in Kensington Tonight!

My fellow talented illustrators and I are having a show in the Kensington Market!

My pieces are inspired by my recent trip to Bruges. I'll post my art work after the opening.

Opening is tonight July 30th, 8pm at 165 Augusta Avenue. It's a month-long show so please drop by sometime. I'd love you to come and maybe buy an art or two. :D

Gallery Hours:
Mondays - Closed
Tuesdays - 10am to 5pm
Wednesdays - 10am to 5pm
Thursdays - 10am to 5pm
Fridays - 10am to 5pm
Saturdays - 12pm to 6pm
Sundays - 12pm to 6pm

Monday, July 27, 2009

I Made a Deal with the Devil

Blue Beard's Bride
9X12 Mixed Media on Stonehenge Paper

Santa Mongoose!
It had been the craziest month in my life so far. The craziest! To my shame, I am hardly ever this busy. I signed up for many shows and they all happen to be on July. Four shows in July!! On top of those, illustration projects flew in. Can a mere human being pull this off? Yes, yes she can. I'm the living proof of it. Bags under my eyes, bloated from sitting all day everyday and acne... Oh I paid dearly. Worst of all, I had to cancel ever anticipated camping to Algonquin this week with friends. I'm all alone in Toronto.

There are loads of new illustrations I should be posting, but I've been too busy. So please visit again in the near future.

This week I'm participating on the "We Made a Deal with the Devil" show. Here is the road show website:
The show will be on the road for a month, from Toronto to Halifax!
Above image is a preview~
One of the things that greatly effected my childhood (along with Aliens, Terminator, etc.) was the tale of Bluebeard. Such a strange story possibly inspired by a serial killer, Giles de Laval. The story book - now banned in children's section - used to give me a lot of nightmares. I always wanted to do something with this story, so here it is. I plan to do series of large pieces based on this concept.

'Vevare, Ve Very Vare' is Bela Lugosi's line.
After I submitted this piece, a friend told me 'be ware' is one word. FML.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Hyein at Magic Pony

Surely you jest! Another show?!
No, no joking around. I'm a serious, serious person.
Yes, another show next week at Magic Pony gallery on the theme of Lonely Robots!
Two of my new works are going to be there. Please come and say hello, if you are nearby.

Opening Reception: Thursday, July 16th 2009, 7-10pm

July 13 - July 19, 2009

The Magic Pony Gallery :: 694 Queen St West, Toronto, ON M6J 1E7 416.861.1684

My trip blog entry is coming, I promise! I've been too busy painting. And believe or not, more shows to come.

Oh what a gloomy night. It's a gloomy, gloomy night. World's asleep, it's just me, my failure paintings and some sad folk music. On the nights like this, I want to watch Swordsman 2.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Good Show

Our illustration collective, "Not an Octagon" is having a show tonight at Balsam in Beaches neighbourhood. Artists Pat, Liz, Wendy and myself are going to be exhibiting. It's one night only, from 6pm at Balsam Bistro: 2343 Queen St. East (at Balsam Ave.) Balsam Bistro is a beautiful little restaurant in the Beaches neighborhood offering a delicious menu and a full bar. Local musician Peirson Ross will be performing a few songs.

Sorry for the last minute posting. My life has been out of sorts ever since I got back from my trip. Stay tuned for the trip photos and Speculoos!!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Solo Show at Greenavi

Yesh, yesh, another show! I'm having a solo show at Greenavi organic coffee shop on Queen West.
The paintings are there for the whole month of June, so please drop by! I recommend delicious London Fog and some vegan cheesecake. It's a charming and relaxing coffee shop owned by artists.

490 Queen Street West • Toronto, Ontario • M5V 2B3
Store hours:
Monday to Friday 7:30am – 8pm
Saturday 9am – 8pm
Sunday 9am-6pm

Ok, you must be sick of Hyein's shows... but more shows are coming up. Busy busy busy...

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Stickers are here!
I made these for the good people at VeganFreak. They are aimed for those freaky-minded teenagers. What a wonderful people to work with. They let me do whatever I want, pretty much.

Them being off-set stickers, I had to limit number of colours, omit gradients and textures. It was quite an adventure as I've never worked that way before.

These stickers will soon be available globally. Man, I love saying 'Globally'.

Speaking of 'global'... Here's a global news for you. South Korean ex il presidente committed suicide yesterday. He was Korea's the first "people's president". My mom called crying this morning. Don't cry for me, Argenti...I mean, Korea.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Marcos Chin at FITC

I attended FITC Design and Technology festival last week. Among many interesting speakers were... THE Marcos Chin!
He lived upto the rumor. He is a ridiculously nice guy. Before we chatted for a bit, he shook my hand and said, "Hi, I'm Marcos"
Dude, I KNOW.

How could an illustrator with his reputation can stay so grounded and kind, I have no idea.

In a completely different note, I am working on..... wait for it......
Three down, three more to go. I'll post once they are finished. Oh the excitement!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hyein's Business Cards are Here!

It's TRUE! Hyein's new business cards are hot off the press!
Come and get 'em while they are hot!
Ask for one, or five, when you see Hyein.
And do please call me some time.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Biting into Mocha Chocolatechip Mooooofins

Bye bye winter.

I hate waking up so early these days. What is up with me?! I go to bed at 3~4 in the morning, then I wake up at 8. As a night owl worker, being semi-zombie state from the lack of sleep... doesn't help at all. I'm eating coffee-inserted moooofins I baked. If anyone knows good sleeping remedies, please do share with me.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Sinking Ship

This is for the RRJ article on small magazines' survival in this global recession.
Click below image if you want to read the article.

I get depressed everytime I think about this damn recession. The whole world is changing because of this.
*sigh* Let's ignore the problem, hope for it to go away itself. (probably a bad idea. One should adopt to change... but my room is so warm and cozy)

To distract you from all the gloominess out there, here is an exciting and hopeful TED talk on how bacteria talk to one another.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Birds n' Bees Show

This is my piece for the upcoming Birds n' Bees show this Friday.
Not that this piece has anything to with birds nor bees... I didn't know the phrase "Birds n' Bees" meant sex until AFTER I finished the painting. How come nobody told me that!? Why birds and bees? Well, no one to blame but my Engrish. The show is a fundraiser for Sheridan Illustration graduates this year. It is held at Jerome Jenner Gallery in Toronto (Junction area).
Sheridan Illustration Council and Jerome Jenner Gallery Presents
Opening Reception: MARCH 20, 2009 (7PM – 11PM)

Admission is free. Refreshments and music provided.

Please do come! Many talented Toronto artists are participating. It'll be a good time, oh yes it will be.
I want to write more but it's too late at night. As a Korean saying goes, "Never write letters at night". It's because at night, people become overly emotional. So they tend to write things against their better judgment. In my case, I'm overly sleepy.

But... one thing before I go...
This icecream is ridiculously good. I ate till sick, leaving me craving for spicy Korean food.
I eat sugar for food (sugar should be a sweetner, not food), so I was going to cut down on sugary stuff. These diabolical evil coconut icecreams ruined my eat-relatively-healthy plan. Goddammit.

Flavours I bought:
Ridiculously good.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It's Been an Owly Day

This is a scattered, random post, so be prepared for it! I'm quite a horrible writer. I blame my English for it, but actually, I sucked at writing in Korean too. I usually wait for a blog writing topic. However, there are new works to be posted, and I really can't think of anything interesting to talk about.

Above is a personal piece I made. Hyein owl with a vegan donut and the other owl with his Creemore Springs beer. Ooooh, I could use some vegan donuts right now. I haven't had them for more than half a year. I almost went to Seattle just to visit their vegan donut shop. I paid for bus and lodging and everything. That's a long story, let's move on...

Last Friday, I was invited to guest lecture at Sheridan College, my old school (Kickin' it Oldskoool, yo). What a surreal experience. Everything felt so familiar to me, I almost went to my old desk and sat there. My heart ached thinking about having an owly good time with my old classmates. And I sincerely missed my teachers. It's strange what "the right school" would do to you. I don't have happy nostalgic memories about my engineering school, and I purposely erased all my highschool memories. Sheridan College was just right: great teachers, good curriculum and life-long friends.

So I was very happy to give a talk at Sheridan. I love teaching, because I learn from students while doing so. As Randy Pausch said in his famous Last Lecture, "You are a great salesman so any company you work for will make you sell stuff. You might as well sell things that's worthwhile, like EDUCATION" Not that I'm a good sales person, but using my abilities to give someone hope is the greatest feeling. Also being an attention wh*re, having people listen to me is just beyond awesome. Thanks for all the Sheridan students who came to the lecture. You were very attentive and passionate, I loved it!
And of course, thanks to OCAD students who put up with me every week.

Somehow above paragraph turned into an Oscar speech.

Yesterday, I finally met one of my favourite illustrators, Aaron Leighton. What an honour! He was such a nice guy too.

For another completely unrelated topic, I am having another show in March.
This time, in the Big Apple! Oh, New York, how I love thee...

Date and Location:
March 6 - 29 '09 (March 6 is opening night, 6pm - 9pm) in New York.

Address for APW Gallery:
48-18 Van Dam St.
Long Island City, NY 11101

Gallery website:

I've recently finished an editorial piece, stay tuned for the next post!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Sketches, Social Anxieties, Cut to the Drummer Show

Some sketches for this cold, cold winter... Yeah, I could be eating vegan donuts right now, and look at me! Resorting to cashews.

I went to "Cut to the Drummer" show yesterday. Number of awesome illustrators (a lot of them were my old teachers) were in the show. It was inspiring to see so many beautiful images. But oooooh the anxiety!!! I fear small talks and I have an amazing ability to make everything awkward. I love all my old teachers, but too scared to strike a normal conversation.

I know this is lame, but I even read "The Art of Schmoozing" before I left. One of his advice was to read a lot so you have something to talk about. Um, I read A LOT. However, that is detrimental to my social skills. I should go out and practice instead of sitting at home, reading. And how am I suppose to go from, "Hi! I missed you so much! How have you been doing?" to "Have you heard about that cloned Ibex? It only survived seven minutes!"
If anyone can tell me how to do that, I'll make you the best hot chocolate you've ever tasted in your life. That's an arrogant statement, but at least, you know it's a damn good hot chocolate.

He also suggest asking questions and listen, instead of talking. Word, man. Word.
However, that doesn't work so well when I'm just downright frightened. I had a great, famous illustrator in front of me, and I said all the wrong things.
"Hey, I know you hear this a lot, but you look just like that guy from that TV show"
"..." *insert frustrated gesture*

Believe it or not, in the end, it was a goodnight and I had to be there. I had to congratulate my teachers and thank them. I saw some of my friends and we chat. And I did make some friends.
Oh, the fine art of schmoozing! I need to meditate or something before I go to these things, so I can relax and enjoy myself more. Before I end this long post, I want to apologize to everyone I talked to last night for my awkwardness. Deep down, I know you don't even remember, but just in case!

Lastly... This is Joe Morse' piece from the show. He is the best! I am a better artist (not that I'm even close to being a good artist yet) because of him. The shear fear of disappointing him made me work like a crazy muuunkey.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Two Shows!

I'll be Participating Studio Fuse's "Paint the Town Red" show.
It's at Distillery District

Show Dates: February 11- March 1

Opening: Feb 14, 12-5pm

And I made top 30 for snowboard art competition! You can see winner's web gallery at:
The show is in Seattle, so I cannot make it. :(

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Happy Lunar New Year!

Happy Lunar New Year, everyone! I'm sorry for the late late post. I won't be late for the next post. Still haven't recovered from Holiday blackhole (working at retail during Christmas season does quite a bit of mental damage for me). So to my shame, this is not quite a new image. You can see this at my snowboard illustration post on December.

What is this?! Why, Daruma doll, of course! It's a Japanese wish doll. You draw an eye while making a wish and then when the wish comes true, you can draw the other eye! Daruma doll is a symbol of optimism, good fortune and strong determination. Daruma was a Buddhist monk who came from India (I think?) to spread Buddhism in Korea and Japan. Some Japanese people use this doll for goal setting tool.

I hope in this new year, everything you've wished for and set goals for comes true. Let's all complete the other eye of Daruma.