Interview with Nanyoung Jeon

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Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Nanyoung Jeon (NJ) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Nanyoung Jeon by clicking here.

Interview with Nanyoung Jeon at Monday 23rd of May 2022
Nanyoung Jeon
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
NJ: I originally majored in clothing. After graduation, I worked as a costume designer in Diadora Korea, an Italian sports brand, and later moved to a web designer. At this time, I studied computer graphic design such as Photoshop and illustration. I became a web designer and developed a sense of design while working on various national projects. I was a web designer for 10 years, and after I quit as a web designer, I took a course in Korean traditional embroidery from intangible cultural properties and won awards in various competitions. From then on, I became interested in Korean folk painting. Because the theme of Korean traditional embroidery is folk painting. Folk paintings are traditional Korean art. I made a graphic folk painting by combining computer graphic technology and Korean folk painting that I learned when I was a web designer. I think graphic fork art is a combination of the traces of the past and technology of the future. There is a saying, "Once a designer is a designer forever." Anyone who has worked as a designer should know what this means. Because the designer always works with a sense of design in any industry. Designers always have a designer's mind even when they get older.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
NJ: I have [Karma Institute for Human Relations] and [Storage of Memory] electronic publishers. The Karma Human Relations Institute is a consultation and research institute. I am a writer who published nine books on humanities philosophy. I designed the cover of the book myself. I wanted to design the contents of the book as the core. Neither company has anything to do with design, but I'm still working as an artist.

FS: What is "design" for you?
NJ: Designing is similar to doing God's work. God designed this earth, and the designer is the little creator of human civilization. I describe the work of designing as God's work. Design is the creation of ideas. It is creativity that humans resemble God. So I think design is God's work.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
NJ: I prefer humorous and message-filled paintings rather than stereotypical paintings. So I like humorous illustrations. So I like pictures of moonlight tiger. Tigers have no friends. The tiger, the owner of the mountain, is a lonely animal because it has strong energy. Tigers are only friends with the moon. I like this picture because it seems like I am in a tiger.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
NJ: Because I am a graphic illustrator, I like illustrated works with creative power. This is because these illustrated works can make various goods. Illustrated works with one character can be used for clothes or interior products. I also like the cover design of the book. I often design book covers because I am an author of books. I think the book cover is another art that combines design and typography that can represent the core of the book's contents. So, I like the cover of the book of [The shape of the Kabbalah] the most among my books.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
NJ: I first started as a fashion designer for a sports brand. Of course, the first work was soccer uniform. I started my first designer at Italian sports brand Diadora, when Italian soccer player Roberto Bazo came to our company and met Bazo. At that time, I saw an Italian man for the first time. I was surprised by the appearance of a beautiful Italian man. The second design is the website. I moved from costume design to IT design. The first web design site is the Supreme Court's Family Register Information System. The third design is a book cover. After quitting as a web designer, I became an author by writing a book. I designed the cover of my first book, [Karma and Fate]. The fourth is the CI logo. I established Karma Institute for Human Relations and designed the company logo with the symbolism of the institute.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
NJ: I usually design with Adobe Photoshop and illustration. However, the technology has continued to develop, and the specifications of the programs have gradually increased, and various app tools are coming out, so I'm using those app tools. When I draw pictures, I usually use iPad Pro to draw pictures. The world is rapidly moving from 2D to 3D, so I'm also learning about 3D environments. I am designing game items using various 3D programs and I am currently designing related to metaverse. The blockchain-based metaverse environment is another world. I'm working on various designs using sandbox-based voxel programs, and I'm using Crypto Voxel's 3D program, Blender program, etc.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
NJ: When a new technology environment comes out, I am always excited about designing a new environment, and at this time, creativity becomes the most abundant. When IT technology was first introduced and I learned Photoshop and illustration technology, I thought a new world was opened. But now, as the WEB3 world opens, what kind of buildings will be built in the metaverse environment? What items should I create? When I think about how to build a real interior in a metaverse, creativity comes to mind. New technologies and new ideas are combined to create a metaverse world. I'm very happy that this environment has come.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
NJ: I am focusing on the purpose of the design and making the core. What the purpose of the design is very important. I always think about what message to put in the design. Design is like creating an object. You have to have a message to create things and give them the breath of living life. I think it's more important than anything else to impart spirit to matter. So my designs focus on messages rather than detailed techniques. This tendency is like asking the question of how to materialize the thoughts in your head because you are a writer.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
NJ: I am always excited and happy when I do new work. It's exciting and fun to think about how to spread imagination and create stories and materialize these imaginations like I'm playing God, doing new alchemy.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
NJ: The way a designer puts a work into the world is similar to the process of giving birth. Humans share love with feelings of love, and the result of love appears as fruits. Creating in your head, materializing it in reality and opening it to the world is a childbirth process. I am proud and happy about this process, but I think I should find the unfinished parts of the work again and supplement them. I'm thinking of a new piece of work. The creator is not satisfied with one piece. It's the creator's mind to continue to create more finished, more quality works. This mind is the same as God's.

FS: What makes a design successful?
NJ: As a designer, successful design can be divided into two categories. One is when you are not satisfied, but when the public likes it, and when you are satisfied, but the public does not like it. In general, people think that the design that people like is a successful design. That's right. But I think successful designs change with the trend of the times. Just as this trend is popular at times and that trend is popular at times, success is where poetry and time have to meet. I think the way to make a successful design is to have your skills while waiting for poetry and time. Therefore, I don't think there is anything more important to success than patience and effort.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
NJ: First, I first check if there is a message. I think every design should contain the spirit, just like a single object, if the mind and ideology are not contained in the material. Second, I look at design artistry and how well I used color composition techniques from the perspective of beauty and harmony.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
NJ: A designer is a creator who designs the environment. So I think we need to design more beautifully, more balanced, more harmonious. The designer's work should be able to contain messages that can change the environment and consciousness of the times. Designers should set an example to people because they are leaders and artists who lead this era. People live in the environment. People are strongly influenced by environmental factors. Therefore, designers should be responsible for designing the environment.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
NJ: From now on, the era of designers has opened. This is an undeniable future environment. Art and IT technology meet and evolve into a new type of design. In the future, the world is entering an era where all art and works are put into computers, become NFTs, and the value of designers is increasing. While a blockchain-based metaverse environment is being established, designers will be in the second golden age. The metaverse world requires a process of transferring the material world to the metaverse world, so many designers are required to build a new environment. This is the beginning, and the future world will enter a world led by designers.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
NJ: The last exhibition was an exhibition of embroidery. That was the last time I had a material-based exhibition and I am currently running my gallery on the blockchain-based Cryptoboxel Metabus. I'm displaying my NFT work here. I am currently exhibiting the Life Tree series, and I am planning to display the Egyptian new series in the future.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
NJ: My works mainly go back and forth between the past and the future. Graphic folk art has created graphic folk paintings based on folk paintings of ancestors in the past, so works by unknown ancestors are also my source of design. Metabus-related designs are inspired by ancient buildings. We build more beautiful and creative things out there based on the assets that our ancestors have built. Also, I'm an Astrologist and a Cabalist, so I'm very inspired by ancient alchemy paintings.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
NJ: My work is a bit clumsy, but the charm of graphic folk art is friendly, comical, but strangely attractive. My topic was mainly to express tigers, and I tried to express dignified and scary strong animals in a friendly and fun way. I studied how to make it more friendly, and that's how the tiger of graphic folk art was born.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
NJ: I live in Gangnam, Seoul, South Korea. Seoul is a city where tiled houses and high-rise buildings coexist, where the past and the future coexist. My design was also greatly influenced by my ancestors' heritage. Royal works, paintings by someone, all of these things became my assets and had a huge impact on my work. Just as Joseon's royal palace and high-rise buildings exist together in Seoul, my design is a meeting of ancestral breath and graphic technology. Korea has a well-established Internet infrastructure so that it is called an IT paradise. Korea is a country with the best Wi-Fi anywhere and the fastest Internet speed. In addition, there is a property of quickness among the attributes of Korean people. This quickness is both an advantage and a disadvantage, but because of the quickness to it, the city was able to develop quickly and all its infrastructure was built on IT, so IT technology developed rapidly. The downside is that this quickness personality misses out on the details. I think Korea will build all future environments as soon as the WEB3 era unfolds. This is because it is a people with a strong desire to accept and experience new things.

FS: How do you work with companies?
NJ: I am the owner of the company. The CI logo or design of my company is my own status and I design it myself. The reason why I make a work is not to let go of the designer's sense.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
NJ: A designer who is creative, unique, and has a great sense of artist has the property of refusing to belong to a group. They have a strong desire to show their own identity in a free environment, and they want to stand out, making it difficult for companies to hire employees. Of course, companies like creative and artistic designers. But it's not a good way to keep a company employee. Companies mainly plan joint projects, so it is recommended to select designers who can cooperate and communicate well. Also, it is because a sincere friend who works with patience will work for the group for a long time at work. Therefore, when I choose a designer, the standard is sincerity and responsibility. Because there's no better designer than finishing a job responsibly.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
NJ: I like storytelling when I design. What message should I put in the work? I think about what to talk about through the work. When I finish working on the message in my head, I research the materials to make the work through the Internet. When various information is integrated and organized, it enters the sketch, and then takes the sketches to the iPad drawing app on camera, or starts the design with a background sketch of Photoshop. After finishing the line work, I'll try various colors. It's designed like this.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
NJ: I like a desk, a comfortable chair, and a sofa where I can rest for a while because I have a lot of working time. Desk and chairs prefer ergonomically made, and sofa likes comfortable sofa. Next, I like flower pots. The plant that I have grown for more than 10 years is growing very well with my companion, so it is an item that I cherish. Lastly, it's a cushion. Because the cushion is an item that I can put in the illustrations I designed and can easily change the atmosphere of the house while spending less money.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
NJ: My life is relatively monotonous. Likewise, my day is relatively monotonous. As many philosopher researchers do, their daily lives seem to have a lot of time alone and monotonous. But their minds are bigger, more spectacular, and more enjoyable than anyone else. My day is as follows. After eating brunch, I come to the studio and finish my work, and I spend the rest of my day writing or designing. It may seem monotonous to others, but the web world I create is spectacular and vast.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
NJ: What a young designer needs is passion and experience. Youth that only young people can have is precious time that cannot be exchanged for money. Don't spend your youth worrying. Youth is a time to experience, so travel a lot, see a lot of works, and feel with your eyes, ears, and five senses at this time. Because all of these things become my assets.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
NJ: Designers basically have craftsmanship. So there's a strong power to immerse yourself in something. These attributes are both an advantage and a disadvantage of a designer. I am not good at communicating with people because I spend a lot of time alone and I have to work alone. Also, designers have dogmatic temperament. If dogmatic temperament acts as an advantage, creative and original works can be created, but it is easy to be shunned by people. Therefore, it is necessary to make good use of this dogmatic and craftsmanship.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
NJ: When I design, I fill in 2/3 of the entire screen with important objects. 1/3 is left blank or blank. Important objects are most reliable when they occupy 2/3 of the entire screen. The golden rule of 5:8 is the most stable form of the golden rule. This golden rule is what makes people feel stable, and when it's destroyed, people say it's unconventional or uncomfortable. These are the stories that come out when you destroy basic stability. Of course, people are strongly attracted to places that have destroyed safety because energy flows into places that are incomplete. Therefore, it may take an unstable and unconventional look to catch the eye. It's my golden rule to properly give this unconventionality and stability.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
NJ: This issue depends on whether you are a designer or an artist. The most important virtues for designers in a company are responsibility and the perspective of reading customers' needs. In addition, it is important to gather information based on what changes in the times require. However, individual artists do not belong to any organization, so unique individuality and ideas are important. Considering these two things, I think the most important ability for a designer is idea and responsibility. If you have started something, you need a sense of responsibility to complete the work without giving up halfway.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
NJ: In the past, I designed it using Photoshop and illustration, but recently, the iPad function came out well, so I usually design it using the iPad app. When designing on a computer, use a Wacom tablet to draw the layout. These days, I use programs such as UNITY, BLENDER, etc. because I work in 3D. And being a source of inspiration is primarily inspired by Western occult philosophy. When I look for information, I look for it through PINTEREST and Instagram.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
NJ: I deal with a lot of things a day. In the morning, I do my company's work simply in my office. In the afternoon, I do 3D work on my computer. Recently, I've been downloading and working on each 3D program to build a Sandbox and a Decentral Land metaverse. I usually use my laptop for 3D work, so I work in the office, and I work on the illustration with the iPad app after work. When I write a book, I pause my 3D work and write in the afternoon. There is not enough time, but if you repeat it a little bit every day, the work will be completed. You need to set a time and practice steadily.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
NJ: I can complete it in one day, or in three days, on the premise that the design is all done in my head. However, designers also spend a lot of time trying to improve their perfection. In my case, I'm working on various works at the same time, so I'll take about two weeks.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
NJ: Where do you get your design ideas? I get that question the most. This seems to be the same question for all journalists. Recently, I am asked the following questions. What kind of design program do you use to design?

FS: What was your most important job experience?
NJ: I was a web designer at an IT company for 10 years. I think the most important job experience is when I do big projects such as projects of national institutions. It was not a work done alone, but a project built by several companies together, and it was a website of a national institution, so there were many needs of customers. I think it was a good opportunity to learn communication with customers and communication between project members. I think the experience as a web designer was an important experience for me because the IT technology I learned at this time is still usable.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
NJ: Currently, I am doing NFT art, so I can say that an unspecified number of people who buy and sell blockchain-based NFTs are my customers. The NFT market is in its infancy and in the process of creating order. I hope many designers will enter the NFT market and be recognized for their value. The NFT market has a variety of tastes and customers, so we can't specify it, but it's true that there are many IT workers now.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
NJ: My favorite design work is making avatar NFT and making metaverse environment using Sandbox Voxel editor and Game maker. I think it is very important to experience and study the environment now because the future environment will all be transferred to the metaverse environment. In the future, IT technology is changing the environment and every environment will be built in a metaverse. During the three years of COVID-19, the metaverse environment has established an initial environment, and now there is a shortage of designers because all real-based environments will gradually move to the metaverse environment. In early 2000, there was an IT boom, and many IT engineers and designers were trained, and in 2008, there was an iPhone boom, and many infrastructure went into the mobile phone environment. Now, it's moving from a 2D environment to a 3D environment, and I think many designers should join this trend.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
NJ: My future plan is to create an NFT gallery in a metaverse environment. I want to make a metaverse gallery and display many NFT art. I made Tara Gallery in Crypto Voxel and now I'm making Tara Garden in Sandbox. After this work, I am planning to build a Tara Gallery in Decentral Land. I bought all the metaverse land and now I'm working on the design. In addition, I am also considering the works to be displayed in the Metabus Gallery.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
NJ: Like a moonlight tiger, I'm working alone. When Metabus Gallery is officially opened, I am thinking of forming a team and working on it.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
NJ: The current completed Crypto Voxel Tera Gallery is as follows. <Cryptovoxels Tera Gallery> <ZEPETO> @munemo <== I made 3 worlds and 42 avatar items here. The site below is my site that I designed myself. I'm currently working on Tara Garden as a sandbox game maker, and I'm also planning to make Tara Gallery in Decentral Land. Also, this is the cover design of my book [Karma Terminator] that's coming out this year. I designed all the covers of my books.

FS: How can people contact you?
NJ: I like to be contacted by mail. My mail is I would appreciate it if you could send me your business by email.

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
NJ: I want to talk about the future designer's prospects. In the future, the value of designers will rise tremendously. This is the beginning. NFT markets become active, the more valuable the artist's work will become. A lot of money on the market is flowing into the NFT market, and it will gradually increase the value of the work. Now, it is in the beginning stage and in the process of taking order, but as technology develops, the metaverse environment will unfold endlessly, and the role of a designer is entering an important era. Previously, designers were subordinated to one company and their works belonged to the company's works, but in the metaverse environment, there was an opportunity to increase the designer's own value. The metaverse environment is the middle ground that exists between the ideas in the head and the boundaries of the physical design. It's easy to make, easy to break, easy to store, and easy to change. Building a new environment is always exciting and fresh. Because the world is changing into this future environment, it's becoming more important for designers to create more sophisticated and complete works. Italian luxury brands Gucci and French luxury brands Louis Vuitton and Chanel have also announced that they will issue NFTs for luxury goods. NFT is a system that proves who the original author is. The designer is the original author and creator. It is the NFT that proves that you are the owner of the work. Therefore, from now on, if designers make their works one by one, the day will come when they will shine.

FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.

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