04 Sep Interview with Jaye Kang
Entering the mind of illustrator and visual art designer Jaye Kang is like stepping into a prism of geometric disambiguation and color. To envision his work one must first think in terms of shape and form, as his designs are a direct representation of the natural world. This makes sense considering Kang’s mobile office. Imagine a workspace that provides the quintessential backdrop to creation and chaos, where each succession of scenery denotes a fast-forward sensation of nature in motion.
“I love to do sketches on the train because I don’t like to take the train… when I do my sketches there, the time runs much faster and I often get good results,” he says. Only an artist would think to utilize a place of dislike to generate his own personal drawing board, though Kang doesn’t limit his source of creative inspiration to public transportation alone: “When I start a project, I always collect the relative stuff first; then I go out for a walk, because everything I see on the street gives me ideas,” says Kang.
It’s understandable that the designer relies upon the world as a driving force behind such inspiration, and this is seen in his work. Patterns and symbols shape society and Kang is fluent in the very dialect of floral decoration, repeated motif, ornamental illustration, and colors that pop. “I am always fascinated by cultural patterns– I love to create patterns or use patterns in my illustration. They can be meaningful and beautiful at the same time,” he adds.
Diversity isn’t solely limited to the artist’s designs but is found in his own roots as well. Born in Chongqing yet working from Dusseldorf, the German-based illustrator takes pride in a city known for its impressionable art scene and fashion industry. When asked about himself, Kang admits to investing his time in every creative opportunity ranging from story and product illustration to graphic design and animation. “For me, mixing different textures and patterns is a great and interesting way to create artwork. The diverse colors are supporting every bit of my ideas,” says Kang. When you are the sole influence over your creative mode of thinking, control is key, and Kang admits that concentration does not always come easy: “Everything can stimulate my imagination,” he says.
When Jaye Kang isn’t producing art, the artist finds enjoyment in the simpler things. “I love to watch movies or series– not everything, but the ones with good stories. I love movies with crazy and complicated storylines because they will keep my brain busy and active,” Kang says. With such a fast-lane style of artistry, there may be speculation as to whether a client has ever refuted the artist’s work. In response to criticism, Kang claims that “a job is a job.” He reasons that this is all part of the process, with the first step in listening to the client in order to understand any hesitations. “I do listen to the clients to reach [the outcome] they want, and when they don’t like the result, I would like to try to make it better. Sometimes though, I still have to stick to the things which I feel right about,” says Kang. What’s rewarding is that “my clients give me so much freedom to create, I do not get harsh criticism that much,” he says.
Success comes with confidence and the key to Kang’s success is simple. The illustrator dedicates sufficient time to his projects, stating: “I take a lot of time to think before I start to do something. I think it is really good to work like this and normally the first idea is not always the best one. Then I start work on sketches, sometimes on paper, sometimes with my iPad [or] when I am on the road. After I am happy with the sketches, I start to work them on the computer. While I do not always get what I planned for at the first try, I try different combinations to find a better resolution.”
Taking his time helps alleviate stress and Kang has no problem admitting his so-so relationship to pressure, claiming, “[It’s] not my best friend, but it doesn’t stop me from being creative,” he says. In the end, it’s this knack for creativity causing such high demand for the up-and-coming artist, and in asking what makes him love his job, it’s “my crazy and endless ideas,” states Kang with a smile.
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