Local artist profile: Ginny Jeong

July 24, 2022 BY

Drawing influence: Jeong said author Gabriel García Márquez and Studio Ghibli co-founder Miyazaki Hayao are her main inspirations. Photo: SUPPLIED

This week we chat with Bendigo and Melbourne-based illustrator and animator Ginny Jeong.

What motivated you to become an illustrator/animator?

My parents trusted, supported and believed in me to continue doing art. When I was eight or nine years old, computers weren’t available to me, so my father took articles out of newspapers and magazines with information about the animation industry.

My father believed in me and supported me, which became a great motivation.

You have a unique style. How did you develop it?

I’ve tried many different things such as anatomy, concept design, cartoons, 3D, and graphic design. I did a lot of research and practiced various styles. Even now, I think of it as a journey to discover what I like more and what I can do well at.

Are there any themes you like to feature in your work? What draws you to these themes?

I found that I work principally on the themes of journey and solidarity. It represents my life in that I have moved places 17 times and I am 34 years now. I have been living alone since the age of 18. I had to move a lot so I had no neighbours and didn’t have attachments to the place I lived because I knew I would leave.

So, when I create artwork, it turns to someone on a journey, looking for things, finding the way. Now I have a family, a place and people to live for. I wonder what my next artwork will be. That will be my theme.

Which other artists inspire you and why?

Gabriel García Márquez who wrote One Hundred Years of Solitude and Miyazaki Hayao from Studio Ghibli are my main inspirations.

Many other incredible artists inspire me, but these two artists are more than just an inspiration for my art style. Hayao’s animated films’ underlying philosophy and personal character also inspire me.

One Hundred Years of Solitude inspires me in how I see myself as a part of my blood and history, and as a woman.

What are some highlights or fond memories you have from your career so far?

The final presentation day of the business incubator program at the Bendigo Emporium Creative Hub. It was difficult for me to forget the scene where I left the country I lived in, settled in a new place, and introduced myself as an artist in a new language.

How has your practice been affected by COVID?

COVID didn’t affect me as much as other people. Some improvements were remote work became general, so more clients were happy to work with me from a distance.

How can people check out your work and, most importantly, purchase it?

I create commission-based illustrations. My website is ginnyjeong.com. My most up-to-date information can be seen on my Instagram @Ginny_Jeong.

What would you say to young regional aspiring artists who are thinking of making a go of the artistic life?

I think that I am still at the beginning of my career, so I can’t say too much about artistic life. However, if I have to, I would like to say that creative work can be painful and hungry, but look after yourself.

Believe life is long. If we don’t give up, we all will be in some better spot, so see, after five, 10, or 20 years, time will answer you. I wish them all good luck.