What does a typical day in the life of Jina Kwon look like? From the time you wake up to the time you go to bed?
A typical day for me is not anything exciting! I wake up and get ready for work, while I enjoy coffee… I have to have my coffee! Once I get back from work, I have a laid back dinner with my husband at home and watch some TV or a movie. Most of the time we watch Korean shows, because they’re my favorite. I also enjoy doing a little browsing on Facebook or Instagram. I follow other artists, which I find to be inspiring and motivating. I also like to see what my family and friends are doing.
If you could have ANY job for one day what would it be?
I would be a CIA or FBI agent because honestly, it looks like such a cool job and quite frankly, comes with the coolest badge / uniform.
Did you always know you wanted to be an artist or did you have intentions of another career?
I’ve loved drawing since I was young but I was exposed to music at an early age, so I knew I was going to have a career that was in an artistic field. If it wasn’t drawing or designing it would be performing music. Both of my parents went to school for music, where they met each other. Also, I have a lot of relatives who are in the music industry as well. However, my true passion was for art and designing.
Where did you go to school and what led you to going to design school?
When I was graduating from high school, my passion for art and designing was growing even bigger and I wanted to get a proper education. So I started preparing a portfolio on my own so I could get into school. Also, I wasn’t sure which industry was the right one for me. I did some research and found OTIS and immediately applied. Fortunately, I got the acceptance letter and during my first year of OTIS, I learned the basic skills and technique and in my second year, I came across motion graphics which really caught my attention and from there, I chose my major as a motion graphic designer and never looked back. Honestly, I am so happy that I picked this industry because I truly love what I do, everyday.
What was your favorite cartoon growing up and why?
When I was young, my favorite cartoon was a Japanese cartoon called Doraemon. Doraemon has this little pocket which contains everything he needs or could want and I just simply had to have that pocket that could get me anything I wanted.
What are some things you miss about Korea besides your family?
The thing I miss the most about Korea is definitely the food! There is SO many delicious Korean foods that I can’t find here in America. If anyone plans on going to Korea, let me know and I can tell you allll the hot spots!
What were you like as a kid?
As a kid, I was adventurous and always had questions about anything and everything. I wasn't really into sports but I liked running around with my friends. However, most of the time I wanted to spend time drawing which was clearly my thing. I always did something with my hands like painting or doing origami. I even continued to draw with my right hand after I broke my left hand (I am left handed).
Is there something that you would like to explore or learn how to do?
My job is mostly designing but I am also very interested in animation and 3D. In another words, I want to learn everything that is related to motion graphics. There is a limit when I do the illustration or photo comping in 2D. I understand each person is specialized in one area but I think understanding the concept of animation or 3D gives me a different perspective when I work on frames.
What is your best memory?
It’s probably the moment when my husband and I had the “first look” at each other on our wedding day. He had tears in his eyes which I’ve never seen before and that feeling is not describable in words. Even if his tears were fake, it would still be my best memory.
What is your favorite quality about yourself?
I am continually striving to be better. When I am faced with difficult situations, I always look for the opportunity to learn, which I think has made me a stronger person.
You have this impressive ability to make everything look incredible, are you a perfectionist?
Thank you! Honestly, I think I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my work at GS. However, if it is personal work, I don’t strive for perfection, I focus more on exploring and trying new things that maybe I haven’t perfected yet. Not that anything can necessarily be perfected. It’s a challenge for me sometimes to appreciate my work, so I’m currently working on overcoming that challenge. I think a lot of artists can relate to this.
When it comes to your craft, do you find that you have a specific style? Do you want to expand that style and try new things or do you like having a signature style?
I use to be concerned that I didn’t have my own unique style. But one day it dawned on me, when multiple people said this is very Jina-ish work, that I did indeed have my own unique style and didn’t know it because I was too close to it. Now I am able to see that each piece of work has the artists personality. Instead of trying to find a specific style within one area, I really want to constantly try different things and not fixate on one particular thing or limit myself in one area.
Who is your favorite person?
Definitely my husband.
What is the most valuable experience you have had as a designer at Gentleman Scholar?
The most valuable experience at GS is being able to work with such an incredible team. I get valuable experience everyday with a team that helps me grow and feel empowered. As an artist, I get inspired by seeing work from other talented artists. I also have got to experience projects from beginning to end which to me is invaluable. It’s already been a year since I started at GS and everyday working at GS has been an extremely learning experience.
What do we see in the Magic 8 Ball for your future?
“You can rely on it”