7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #333: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Seung-Hee Lee

h1 June 2nd, 2013 by jules

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Hello, dear Imps, to the beginning of June. June, I tell you! June already. Whoa.

Today, I welcome newly-graduated illustration student Seung-Hee Lee, since the first Sunday of every month is for illustration students or those brand-spankin’-new to the field. Seung-Hee comes to us by way of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She was born in Seoul, Korea, moved to the U.S. as a teen, and currently lives in California.

Let’s get right to it. She tells us a bit about her work below and shares some of her detailed, imaginative art. I thank her for sharing today.

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Seung-Hee: My name is Seung-Hee Lee. I just graduated from Maryland Institute College of Art. When I was young, my parents used to take me to many beautiful places in Korea, season by season. I became very inspired by them and started to draw what I remember in a sketchbook to share with my friends. This is how I got interested in making illustrations.

I like to share what I see and feel through my illustrations, hoping the viewer will possibly get the same feeling. I always try to build a small world with many interesting details. I usually work with gouache. I tried many other media, as I started studying Illustration in MICA, but gouache is what I work with for now. It enables me to use bright and beautiful colors. However, I am planning to use other media as well in the future to keep exploring the beauty that each of them could offer.

Currently, I am working on a personal project, which is illustrating various mythical creatures from many different cultures. I find many interesting things about them by reading their stories, and they are also deeply connected with human emotions. I want to interpret these connections with my drawings to entertain and inform viewers.

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Qilin sketch
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Qilin color study
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All artwork is copyright © Seung-Hee Lee.

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Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

1 to 4) MY GOD this CD is good.

I know I’ve gone on and on before about the abundant talents of Laura Marling (who is ONLY TWENTY-THREE YEARS OLD), but dang she gets better with every CD. I’m not sure how that’s possible, but she does.

I don’t expect anyone to actually watch this, but it’s a short film of the first four songs on the new CD (which I’ve only listened to repeatedly all week), which pretty much constitute a song cycle. And these songs blow me away. They’re also followed by the song “Master Hunter,” which also blows me away. So, aw shoot, I’ll include that below, too (for anyone who’s actually going to click “play” — I mean, I know you’re busy people).

5) The seven-year-old and I are still learning our piano, and soon we start lessons with an actual human. (Sorry, Alfred’s Basic Adult Piano Course.)

6) My picture book grad course starts this week, and I’m looking forward to talking about picture books all summer with the students.

7) The ALA conference in Chicago will be here before you know it, and I’m excited about seeing friends and meeting many folks in person for the first time.

What are YOUR kicks this week?

26 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #333: Featuring
Up-and-Coming Illustrator, Seung-Hee Lee”

  1. I’m nearly turned to stone by that Medusa’s head — what an entrancing picture!

    I missed the Maurice Sendak retrospective at the Eric Carle Museum yesterday, unfortunately, but I did have a chance to finish Our Secret Discipline: Yeats and Lyric Form by Helen Vendler — a brilliant book for specialists. I’m now starting her book about Shakespeare’s sonnets.

    I’m proud of today’s poem for its chain of meanings. It is my first experiment with terza rima, a difficult verse form in English because of its interlocking rhymes. I’ve loosened the meter considerably as compared with, say, Robert Frost’s “Acquainted with the Night,” and I’ve limited the end sounds:

    I Am the Seed

    I am the seed only earthworms have seen
    through the sensitive cells in their skin.
    I want to be grass, and I want to be green.

    But ending outright is no way to begin
    for a seed, or a worm, or a man:
    one owns up to a loss, and earns any win.

    I am the shell that entraps as it can
    and it must―that’s the path that it’s on.
    I am the gulf that no girders will span.

    I am also escapist―I’m here, then I’m gone.
    From the shell, from the cell, I will run.
    I am the sleeper who rises at dawn

    to greet and exalt inexhaustible sun
    for its labors―a matchless machine,
    once started up, is never outdone.

    I am the seed, and I weave what I mean.
    I want to be grass, and I want to be green.

    ©2013 Steven Withrow, all rights reserved

  2. Happy June, Imps! Fly-by posting before I go to rehearsal –

    1) The show I’m currently rehearsing opens next Sunday!
    2) Honest happiness
    3) The fantastic TV series Orphan Black
    4) Playlists
    5) Research
    6) Rewatching
    7) Inner peace

    Hi Seung-Hee Lee! The pictures have such depth – layers and detail – Kudos!

    Jules: I put both videos/songs on my Watch Later list. Good luck with your grad course! Professor Jules is going to ROCK THAT. Have fun with the conference, and hello to the munchkins and the piano!

    Very cool, Steven!

  3. Hello, Kickers!

    Seung-Hee Lee’s artwork knocked me out. I had pretty much the same response as Steven to Medusa; she looks like the dark-dimension evil twin to The Nutcracker‘s Mother Gigogne. This is the sort of art I love to dive into and enlarge (thanks for that option Jules, as always!), because it really pays off in the details (even when, as in many of these examples, I’m not familiar with the subjects). Like the first Aswang piece — the tiny teddy bear lying on the ground, with… is that an even smaller stuffed animal? clutching his belly. I bet within the next few years she’ll make you proud to have featured her here early in her career.

    (I wonder if Seung-Hee Lee knows Ursula Vernon’s work???)

    Thanks for the Marling tuneage, Jules. I’ve been fighting the urge to get more music from artists I don’t already know, but I can feel my resolve crumbling.

    Your grad students-to-be are about to become some of the luckiest grad students on the planet. Have fun with the class, and if you find anything frustrating about it remember you can always come home and bang out a few raunchy barrelhouse piano tunes.

    Thrillingly good last stanza there, Steven. (You’ve always been generous in posting your recent work here, but in recent weeks it seems you’ve been especially inspired.)

    Hey there, LW! I actually took Orphan Black off our DVR list after the first couple episodes, without watching them, because of some disappointing early reviews I’d read (and there’s just so many things we can record before the DVR’s free space gets too tight). Within a few weeks, it started showing up on all these best-of lists. Sigh. Looks like I’m about to add it to one of the streaming-video watchlists.

    Kicks here…

    1. Notwithstanding the comment about too much TV, I’d like to mention as my first kick several TV shows which I thought had especially good series or season finales this year — now that I’ve actually made my way through many of them: Dr. Who; Fringe; Elementary; The Americans. (Elementary’s in particular really pleased me: its writers declined to end the season with a cliffhanger.)
    2. Successfully wrapped up a month-long daily blog series, celebrating short stories.
    3. Have had some fun with a new, well, I guess you could call it a multi-authored blogging platform, known as Medium.
    4. The Stepson moved this week to Costa Rica. His departure was no kick, but the next few months of adventure should be.
    5. Thanks to #4, The Missus has finally done some online video chatting. Been trying to interest her in that for years!
    6. This documentary (mentioned on FB), about a guy who prints exquisite but EXPENSIVE limited-edition books for high-end international clients (most/all of whom seem to be artists and photographers, e.g. Gunter Grass, Ed Ruscha, Robert Frank…).
    7. Jean Stapleton.

  4. Seung-Hee’s paintings are amazing. Goucahe never looked so good! I am honored to have met her at MICA before she graduated and look forward to seeing more and more of her paintings in the world. She is an inspiration.

    My kicks:
    1. Finishing another spread.
    2. The nagging voice that said I could make it better.
    3. Giving in to that annoying little voice.
    4. Iced coffee and rhubarb scone to celebrate my sacrifice of sleep last night.
    5. Being able to work without the air conditioner today.
    6. Stonehenge paper.
    7. Finishing all four seasons of Being Human BBC on Amazon. JES, streaming tv series make my life right now! 😉

  5. So, wow, hard to choose a fave—Seung-Hee Lee’s work is so romantic and disturbing and vibrant; but something about the lighting in that ladybug’s forest of leaves makes me want to climb in!

    Jules – I’ve cued up LM to play background this next week during writing hours. THX. I’m sure both you and your grad students are going to have a grand summer together.

    Steven – thanks for the terza rima intro/explanation. I love it. Like the illustrated ladybug’s call, your verse pulls me in: I want to be grass and I want to be green.

    LW – Break a leg. I’ll SEE on the boards, soon.

    JES – 5 years & 1000 (thoughtful) posts. Kudos. Medium looks like an interesting, well, meduium.

    Shandra — Hello. Yea, for listening to nagging interior voices.

    My kicks this 2nd day of June:

    1. Our 27th Anniversary: dinner out w/hubby and a cool gift; a Baga serpent. http://www.randafricanart.com/Baga_Bansonyi_serpent.html (I’d seen it thru a window, after hours, in a gallery we passed 6 months ago in New Orleans and said, “Oh! Look at that.” And he remembered. : – )

    2. Son #2 graduates from high school on Wednesday. And he’s such a nice kid. Hurrah.

    3 – 7. ‘Cause the alternative would have been ghastly. At 3am last night I heard a cat yowl-screaming and leapt out of bed thinking our cat Zeek was getting into it with his nemesis the long-haired black cat from a few doors down (they have a long, on-going Hatfield-McCoy.) Looking down from the balcony I saw black nemesis streak out from a bush—flushed, not by Zeek, but by a coyote in hot pursuit. And at the other side of the bush? Another coyote blocking the way (man! are they great pack hunters.) They cat froze–a puff ball of raised fur. The coyotes closed in, actually snapping their jaws. And I went bat-sh*t on the balcony yelling, pounding the railing, stomping my feet and throwing lounge pillows. The coyotes bolted back down the bluff and the cat streaked off the opposite way, intact. It took me 2 hours to get back to sleep—dang adrenaline.

  6. Whoops! Pushed ‘submit’ a final line and a few spell checks early:
    LW — make that: see YOU.
    JES — make last word: medium.

    All — Have a good save week Kickers and pets-of-kickers. ha!

  7. Seung-Hee,

    it was a pleasure to meet you and your work at MICA – both, well deserving of this showcase! I’m sure I’ll be seeing your work many, many places soon.


  8. Wow, that Medusa sure woke me up when I clicked over this morning. What amazing intense artwork this morning, really enjoyed enlarging and looking closer.

    Jules, I have LM cued up for when I go in to work later as I have music from Nashville playing this morning. Hope you have a great time with your class, and I agree with everyone else, those are some lucky grad students!

    Steven – thanks for sharing such a lovely poem.

    LW – go you! Hope the show is a fun one!

    John – Thanks for sharing that poem this past week. I loved your short story celebration, and have bookmarked a few authors to put on the must-read list. Congrats on the 5 years, 1000 posts! Wow!

    Hi Shadra – congrats on getting the work done, and yum to that iced coffee and rhubarb scone.

    Denise – congratulations on 27 years! And what a beautiful and thoughtful present. Hooray for scaring off the coyotes!! I’d have a hard time calming down from that much adrenaline too. : )

    My kicks this week:

    1)Ordered “Alias Smith and Jones” the complete series and started watching it. I have vague memories of watching this from when I was 5 or 6, and happy to report that my 5 year old self had good taste. Its a very fun western & the leads are famous for never shooting anyone.
    2) Been super busy at work, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel – a break is coming in another week with a work conference in a sunny place – cannot wait.
    3) Cole – that dog is a delight and such a fun personality. The longer he is with me the more he blossoms into a great dog. I cannot believe how lucky I am with the animals who come into my life.
    4) Have “Looper” & “Celeste & Jesse Forever” waiting for me to have time to watch them.
    5) Working in the yard in the sunshine. Still lots to be done, but the garden bed at the back of the house is starting to look like a real garden.
    6) Lots of social events this week, both goodby parties and birthday parties, lots of nice people.
    7) 11 pm soccer game last night. Good game and we won. Then the midnight game one of the teams needed girls, so 3 of us stayed and played a second game before meeting teammates for drinks. Tired in a good way today.

    Hope everyone has a warm sunshine filled first week of June!

  9. Denise, not that I’m glad for your delayed sleep, but I just flat-out loved the image of you as a pillow-hurling banshee, chasing coyotes from the neighborhood from a watchtower (as it were) on your balcony. With some flaming arrows, you could’ve done some real damage!

    And I’m also very glad the Baga Serpent wasn’t what I’d feared. Have you worn it yet? (Promise us pictures!)

  10. Just missed you, Rachel. Wow, the “Smith and Jones” series — had forgotten all about that. Hope you like Looper… we’re fans of those twisty-timey premises, and of Joseph G-L and Willis, too, so we would’ve had to strain to dislike the film. 🙂

  11. The artwork today is a real treat. Just gorgeous! And the intent of Seung-Hee Lee’s work is so interesting too.

    Jules, I am so excited for you & your daughter starting out on something new & exciting like learning an instrument!

    JES, I will have to try to remember to go check out your blog & links this week. Are you planning to go to Costa Rica while your stepson is there?

    Denise, I’m kind of feeling sorry for those coyotes, I bet they didn’t know what type of strange predator was yelling and throwing cushions!

    Rachel I am utterly impressed you can play soccer at 11pm. I am hard pressed to hold a vaguely coherant discussion at that time of night.

    Shadra, rhubarb scone? Yum!

    I have been flat out for the last couple of weekends, and have run out of time to write kicks. But one big one is that we have managed to get a huge chunk of chores done including painting our bedroom, the future nursery and are getting ready to paint the study. As this has included much clearing and tidying (in addition to the painting) I am feeling a lot more organised!

    Every now and then I have been pausing to be aware of just how lucky we are that we get to worry about inconsequential things like picking things out for the baby’s room that we haven’t been lent (e.g. wardrobe and dresser) rather than facing horrifying birth statistics, fear over feeding our family and other aspects to motherhood that women in some other countries have to deal with. Truly feel blessed.

  12. That Medusa is appropriately menacing.

    Jules, GO YOU with that course! And the piano, too. June is going to be full of good times.

    Little Willow, I’ve seen more mentions of Orphan Black since you recommended it to me. I’ll have to figure out a way to catch some episodes. It sounds like June is full of good times for you, too, and I’m glad.

    My kicks are all about our splendidly hot weather here this week and how much I’m enjoying it. Yay, summer!

  13. I am late to the party today. Seung-Hee Lee’s work is amazing. Love gouache especially the ladybug. I love all the kicks today.
    Jules, rock that course! Wish I could take it.
    My kicks:
    1. Bikram yoga
    2. Sunshine and big puffy clouds
    3. Starlight Parade with grand girl last night.
    4. Spontaneity.
    5. Poetry workshop.
    6. Fresh strawberries.
    7. Friends
    Have a great week.

  14. Steven: Fantastic!

    Little Willow: Next Sunday? Ooh, break a leg.

    John: Man, I wish I weren’t so behind on your blog. A short-stories series? Dang. I am behind on all my favorite blogs, ’cause of prepping for this grad course. At least I can always get caught up later. …. I’m laughing about the barrelhouse piano comment. … I’ve not even heard of the show Elementary. Huh. I’ll explore. …. AND, per Rachel, I missed your 5-years-1,000-posts mark? BAH on me! Happy anniversary!

    And, Shadra, I haven’t heard of Being Human either. Dude. I have some catching up to do. Also: THANKS for telling us about Seung-Hee!

    Denise: My favorite of Seung-Hee’s work is Succubus. It’s all the adjectives you mentioned in your comment! … Happy (belated) anniversary! (And what a beautiful gift.) And I love your coyote story. Good for you, saving the cat, but I bet it was amazing to see, too. All of it. … Congrats to your son!

    Hi, Jonathan!

    Rachel: Congrats on your hard work, but even better, your upcoming break. And Looper is so good. An 11 p.m. soccer game sounds so fun. I want to try again this summer with the adult kickball team at the Y. It will depend on when they have games.

    Emmaco, you are so right about motherhood and how it is in other countries. (If I weren’t so tired, I’d say that more eloquently. The girls and I went swimming today at an indoor YMCA pool, and it wears me out the rest of the day.) How far along are you again? Do you mind me asking?

    Enjoy that sun, Adrienne.

    Jone, what is bikram yoga? I’ll have to look it up. Are you off for summer yet?

  15. Jules: I watched both of the Laura Marling videos between errands and rehearsal. I love when music and dance (or movement, otherwise) are aligned so well. The use of shadows and light, and color and continuing – definitely had artistry.

    JES: If and when you watch Orphan Black, let me know what you think! How do you feel about Fringe, and Doctor Who? I have yet to see The Americans, and have only caught one episode of Elementary. Oh, and in case I didn’t tell you already, put Four Summoner’s Tales on your radar – it will be out in September, and it’s cool. Here’s the beginning of the official blurb:
    – Four terror-inducing novellas from acclaimed bestselling authors Kelley Armstrong, David Liss, Christopher Golden, and Jonathan Maberry beginning with the premise: “A stranger comes to town, offering to raise the townsfolk’s dearly departed from the dead – for a price.” –

    Shadra: A paper on Stonehenge, or a small replica of Stonehenge made out of paper? 😉 Hope you can catch up on rest, and that you like what you’ve created/are working on.

    Denise & Denise’s Husband: Happy anniversary! Happy graduation to your son! Wow – I’m so glad that the outside cat AND your cat are both safe. Let me know if you want to come to the show – email me.

    Rachel: Let me know if Looper is good. And C&JF too. Haven’t seen either. Enjoy your break! Sounds like you’ve MORE than earned it. Enjoy. Hello to the garden, and to those celebrating birthdays and special events. Thank you. It’s a wonderful script, a meaningful story, and I’m so glad to have this opportunity and this experience.

    emmaco & family: Smiles, just smiles galore as I read your post.

    Adrienne: Thank you – thank you for your support, and for that last line in particular. If you watch Orphan Black, let me know what you think. We haven’t talked a lot about TV lately, you and I.

    Jone: There will be a day, someday, where I get to try yoga. Someday.

  16. Yes to the dancing. The videos were just an excuse to play the songs, but I do like the dance in both of those. Very impressive.

  17. Jules: One of these days, I’ve gotta get you hooked on Brooke Fraser. So then when I use her music in everything I do*, you’ll already be familiar with it.

    *By everything I do, I mean my original films and TV shows. ‘Cause if it’s in my power and my budget, I would love to obtain the rights to use songs I love by artists I think are amazing. This includes, but is not limited to, Duncan Sheik, Jonatha Brooke, David Poe, Norbert Leo Butz, Lauren Kennedy…

  18. I can see you doing that, LW.

    And I’ll look up Brooke’s music. Tomorrow! Right now, sleep calls.

  19. Little Willow – That would be, Stonehenge paper ;-), my weapon of choice.

    Yes, I am MUCH happier with the second draft. Two more spreads to go! Sleep is for suckas~
    Happy week everyone!

  20. Holy Guacomole! (as Skippy John Jones would say!) what intense art. I especially love Abraxas and the lotus flowers. Gorgeous color.

    Everyone is up to such interesting things as usual. SO glad the cat is OK – Denise – what a hair-raising experience.

    And Steven – you made my week again.

    Jules – really enjoying the music.

    My Kicks:
    1. good thing I waited so long to write these because I just connected with THE Elisa Kleven. A friend of mine posted an article on fb about her work. I replied and talked about how much my library classes enjoyed her latest book ‘Glasswings’. She messaged me on fb – yowza! I replied and then she friended me. ‘Lion and the Little Red Bird’ is one of my favorite books ever.
    OK, I’m moving on!
    2. Lovely, lovely weather in LA this week.
    3. My 7-year old Little is doing the most amazing chalk art on our sidewalks. I’m trying to find a place to put some pics and post a link here. His drawings in MS Paint are blowing my mind. He drew the 3 creepy carrots from Peter Brown’s book from memory on the sidewalk – unbelievable. Next up – art classes.
    OK, let’s try this fb link:
    4. Our Darling Tiny turned 3 months last week. Her bio mom has said she wants us to adopt her. Hopeful, inching our way forward.
    5. Discovered Trader Joe’s maple cookies – do they have these in other parts of the country or just here in LA where we all get homesick for maple syrup and maple sugar trees.
    6. Tea with my mom on several occasions

  21. Jules, I don’t mind you asking at all 🙂 I am just past 32 weeks, so it’s all very real now!

    Denise, just noticed you said 27th anniversary. Wow! Congrats!

    LW, your kicks always make me smile!

    Allison, great drawings 🙂

  22. PS: meant to say good luck with the class, Jules. Hope you have a lot of fun. I know the students will!

    And thanks Emmaco – glad you could see them. And congrats on the coming baby.

  23. Rachel – I’m with emmaco: in awe of 11pm encore soccer!

    JES – should I ever manage to dance around with a 6′ snake sculpture on my head, sure I’ll post a photo. ha-ha!

    emmaco – cozy motherhood, yes, most here, we are so lucky. I’m wondering what color you painted the nursery.

    Adrienne – hi. And I’ll join your “Yea summer!” cheer.

    Shandra – your 2nd draft comment made me laugh.

    Allison! Little’s chalk drawings are great; yes, art classes are definitely called for.

    Jules and All — THX for congrats. : – )

  24. Jules: *grin* My favorite Brooke Fraser songs include Something in the Water (I cannot help but smile and bounce along when I listen to that song!) and Shadowfeet (first song of hers I ever heard – thanks to So You Think You Can Dance!)

    Shadra: Ooh. Ooh. That looks so pretty. Enjoy!

    Allison: Points for referencing Skippyjon Jones. Cool connection! Yay for chalk. Sending your family all the luck in the world.

    Thanks, emmaco!

  25. LW – just finished Looper – really liked it, think I understood the ending. JGL is such a talented actor, he really blows me away. But I am especially impressed that he is such a smart producer with a keen eye for new and innovative stories.All to say -I think you’d like it. It was my reward for a very very good day at work. Not quite at relaxation point – but next week, definitely.

    Emmaco – yay for the coming baby and the painted nursery. To you and Denise I say 11 pm soccer is easy because its a group – you promise the others you’ll be there, so you have to show up. After that, the game just sucks you in, your blood flows, adrenaline surges and its fun.

    Allison – those drawings are impressive indeed.

    Jone – almost missed you – glad you had fun at the Starlight parade!

  26. Hi, Allison! Elisa is dear, and I just tagged Peter Brown on your great sidewalk pics so that he can see them. He’ll get a kick out of those, I bet. Congrats on kick #4! Such good, good news.

    32 WEEKS, EMMACO! Hoo boy!

    Thanks to everyone (I forgot to say this the other day) for the good vibes for my grad class.

    Rachel, I also love how well JGL can sing and dance. Did you see him on SNL?

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