Instagram: @suhellie.studio
Website: www.suh-ellie.com

1. What’s your story? Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Seoul until I was 15 (I also lived in LA when I was little because of my dad’s job). Then, I went to Cape Town, South Africa to spend my high school years. Afterwards, I went to SCAD Atlanta & Hong Kong to major in Graphic Design. After doing internships in few countries I fell in love with Hong Kong -especially the fact being a majority as Asian in an international community, I felt safe. I also got fascinated by the Hong Kong culture that is similar to Korea but clearly different. 


2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

I think I am a simple person on a big scale but I do have lots of moods. Sometimes, I’m soft and silly but sometimes I am very bold and heavily emotional. Sometimes, I like to get intimate and get deep into the subject, but also I want to run away from everything and stay in my little shell. And I think naturally my artworks reflect my state of mind very honestly. So my aesthetic is eclectic..? but I do love pink and orange all the time!

3. What is your favourite medium and why?

These days, 100% procreate on iPad. They got so many cool brushes and it’s portable and easy to learn. Also, it’s fun to share and play with friends so easily.

4. What is your artistic process like?

Personal ones are always so spontaneous and quick. Compositions and topics for them are super simple too. For the client’s works, I would read the brief, research and internalize -then repeat this process maybe 2 more times and design the final one.

5. Who and/or what inspires your work? 

It changes all the time! But for a year I have been inspired by the poet Alejandra Smits, her innocent, childish way of perceiving imperfections and fear. I also love the Korean artist BIBI, she is pretty new and very young but she makes lots of deep songs about the moments when life turns her down with pain and disappointments. I think I was never into the idea of a perfect diva who is always happy and fearless, but I would always get inspired by the story or person who experienced many bad incidents in their lives -but still chooses to live innocent and happily. Ah! Very recently I was introduced to brutalism by my new friend Denise and I love the raw, honest, and fairness of the movement. So I have been taking photos and drawing brutalist aesthetics. 

6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?

I think I’m a woman-child. I talk childish and too metaphorical, I like naming plants and objects because that makes me happy and close. My friends make fun of the way I gesture and talk often. To me, drawing time is meditation time. It makes me feel detached from the world.


7. Where did you study?

I studied painting at Sun-Hwa art school in Seoul. For high school years, I studied in Cape Town, South Africa. Later I attended SCAD Atlanta & Hong Kong. I majored in Graphic Design because my dad said NO!! to the idea of majoring in painting. I took each class from the other fields in my junior and senior year- like intro to fashion, advertising, performance art, illustration, animation. haha this is just a huge saggitarius energy being impatient and curious. I used to be ashamed and felt stupid because reading was never the biggest strength in my life (almost failed art history in college) but I realised I’m better at crafting and doing teamwork inside the projects. 

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I need to learn to drive to stop hearing complaints from my friends and family. I also want to try growing a tree from the seeds, I think it will be really rewarding. Maybe I want to direct a short film. 

9. What about in ten?

I would love to be still curious and eager to learn things from the world. Right now, I am sponsoring one elephant (her name is Thong Dee) but in 10 years I wish I can sponsor 10 more.

10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?

Abstractically, I want to aim further from the level of being personal, it’s more like “me! me! me!” in the current stage. Still thinking. Maybe I will use a completely different medium for this goal. As I don’t have a solid idea for this one I’m focusing on assisting my other artist friends’ projects for now.


11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?

Everything except mushroom. Actually all types of noodles and rice. 

12. Favourite book?

The courage to be disliked by Umitake Koga and Ichiro Kishimi 

13. Favourite genre of music? 

Indie pop. Here are my favourites: Sunwoo-Jung-a, Hyukoh, MICHELLE, BIBI and Raveena

14. What are your hobbies? 

I love buying and selling things on Facebook Marketplace. It’s so satisfying. 

15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

I want to become a dog next life. Thought of becoming a rock but that might be too boring because I love jumping around and making sounds.