"Everything around me is always the best material for my work."

Q & A

Tell us a little about you and your work.

My name is Mond Kim, born in 1993. I'm majoring in textile art and fashion design at Hongik University in South Korea. I like to draw colorful and abstract illustrations with an oriental brush and western painting's material. Through my work, I hope it can be a link between east and west.

How do you think the use of Instagram has benefited your art practice?

Using Facebook makes me longed for the clicks of 'LIKE', but now I want to take a break from those meaningless behaviors. So, when joining Instagram, I made two accounts. One is a private and the other one is only for uploading my work. It makes me possible to receive objective and worldwide estimation.

What’s the state of the illustration community in your country? Are you involved in the community?

Things are not much different from the global trend. Most of the illustrators work as freelancers. In recent years, collaboration with fashion brands and magazines is a growing trend as well as individual work. Also, there are plenty of talented people who like drawing even though it's not their own job. Of course, I'm open to working as a freelance illustrator.

What do you most enjoy depicting in your illustrations?

I love to draw walking models on a runway since the moment is so attractive to me. I also love the beautiful silhouettes of models. So far, full-body or half bust body is my most popular subject, but I'm planning to draw only faces and parts of the body also.

Do you have a background in fashion design or the fashion industry?

During my high school years, I ran the art exhibition twice. Now I'm majoring in textile art and fashion design at Hongik University, studying fiber art, textile design, fashion design, fashion illustration, and so forth. I believe these experiences will serve me well in the fashion industry someday.

Do you illustrate full time? Is it your only interest?

It's not the only interest of mine. There are many people who can't find their own hobby, so it is a blessing to meet both illustration and textile design that I can fully preoccupy. Since I have eight different classes in college, it is difficult to illustrate full-time. So, once starting to illustrate, I try to focus all of my energy on drawing at that time.

What’s your medium of choice?

Acrylic, oriental brush, knife on about A2 sized paper. Sometimes I use pastel or marker.

What inspired you to become a fashion illustrator? 

When I was 18 years old, I made a big paper mobile made with lots of face illustration. It was the beginning of my path to self-discovery about fashion illustration. There are many things which inspire me like scenery, flowers (especially Nick Knight's flowers), fashion editorial, lookbook, and runway models. Everything around me is always the best material for my work.

Explain your typical work process.

After taking a picture of finished illustration, I transfer it into to transfigure and outline its shapes. First, I prepare a medium-sized paper about 42 x 59 centimeters in size and begin to draw with a brush and knife. Finally, I compare five to seven same pictures with different computer colors and choose which is the best. Since color is directly connected to the completeness and mood of the outcome, I think this is the most important process in painting.

Does environmental concern enter your work?

No particular things like that. As I said, sometimes I think that paper is too large to see the whole change. Although it took some time to get used to it, I'm sure I can fully handle those transitions.


Name your top three influences.

Nick Knight, René Gruau, Dooshik Lee.

Stay tuned to Mond Kim's latest work:

Instagram @mondkim