Siwoo Kim is a Korean concept artist and illustrator in the film & games industry. She chose to host her portfolio on ArtStation mainly because of the high amount of traffic and reach she gets, which makes it easy to get contacted by potential clients and receive feedback on her work.
“It’s probably the easiest tool to get access to various works by great artists who have given me so much inspiration, learning and sometimes, self-reflection. Anyone who wants to let the public know what creative work he/she is doing, I would recommend they post their work on ArtStation!”
When I was young, I liked to paint by giving my own stories to characters I would create. Later, I went to art college and majored in design, but I still hadn’t decided on a specialization. One day, I saw the concept art from Lord of the Rings and at that moment, I knew without doubt that was the job I wanted. In retrospect, those doodles that I used to enjoy creating when I was young were probably the first concept art pieces of my life.
Since then, when I started my career in concept art, I’ve always looked around thinking, ‘Why?’
Why does the shadow on object look like that and why does the figure of the muscles change when people pose like that? This ‘Why?’ training’ helped me a lot in painting later on.
Tell us the story behind one of your favorite pieces in your portfolio.
“Encounter” by Siwoo Kim
One day I saw the photograph on the National Geographic website where there was a man looking down the ice with a lantern on the thickly frozen lake. At that moment I thought, “What if he encountered life under the ice that he’s never seen before?’ So I quickly sketched the idea to remember it. The detailed work started a few days after the sketch. At that time, I felt it was really important to leave these ideas as sketches before I forget about them.
What is the best art advice you’ve ever received?
“Draw a story you want to tell.” Like many stories in a photograph, I think I can tell many stories in a single painting.
When I express what I want to say in drawing rather than something that’s just pretty and likely to be liked by others, I got more authentic results. I also wanted to express images in my head as attractively and specifically as possible, so I practiced a lot and improved my drawing skills. The important thing is that those processes have allowed me to enjoy what I do.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Literally everywhere. Work from other artists, people with diverse charms, inspirational sound tracks, unique places, fashion, etc. These days, the place I come up with ideas most often is none other than in modern daily life. Art that is built on some unique changes to familiar things attract me. I also like observing my surroundings in more carefully recently in order to get those ideas in my normal daily life.