based in Seoul . Korea
38 years . designer . illustrator

Hi, my name is Hajin Bae (a.k.a. Soulist Aurora), an illustrator/graphic designer/art director based in Seoul, Korea. My work includes music albums and festivals, as well as fashion magazines such as NYLON JAPAN. My work also appears on Sprite and Accuve's limited edition package, and also a cover of book by an Italian publisher, Rozzoli.

Hajin Bae por Projeto Curadoria
// Which media do you use to express yourself?

I have been drawing and crafting art with whatever materials and tools were available around me. 12 years ago, I came to prefer digital work when I began using Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator to create. This allows me to quickly edit a project based on client change requests, and ultimately create a final proof more effectively on commercial design. Currently, Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator are best fit for my artwork and design.

// What is your biggest motivation to create? What inspires you?

I was thinking very hard for a long time about this. Where do I get my inspiration from? What I realized a while ago was that, I'm inspired by a lot of things from my life. The music I love, the fashion I'm fascinated with, you know. Everything I ever loved is inherent in my life. What music was I into back then? What touched me back then? It's the answer to those moments that had the greatest impact on me as well.

// What is your creative process like?

These three components, Inspiration, Passion, & Sensation, are well blended with the balance.

In fact, when I unconsciously feel lacking in any one of these components, I stop working for a while and refresh myself by savoring a movie, drama or fashion. Creative energy is only possible while I allow myself enough time, physical and mental condition to find an answer to the question, “What is the most creative?”, which I constantly ask myself.

Hajin Bae por Projeto Curadoria
Hajin Bae por Projeto Curadoria
// What do you do in your daily routine to help maintain creativity?

"Continue to create, and absorb nutrients for better creative ideas."

From the very moment I recognized the name, Hajin with myself, I have been drawing and crafting every waking hour. Looking back, my individual identity is intertwined with creativity that has been developed throughout my life. My eyes, hands, and thoughts continue to move even when I don’t draw. This flow of energy hasn’t changed a bit, and has become my subconscious pattern, and a recurring daily routine. Perhaps, you can compare it to a plant that gets nutrients from the soil.

// What are you favorite works or projects that you have done? What was the motive?

For commercial project, "Sprite Summer Special Edition 2015" - in Korea - is my favorite.

This work was a great honor to me, understandably. I was pleasantly surprised to see a picture of my art taken by friends on social networks. What’s shared on SNS motivates me a lot and I feel grateful to be living in such interactive day and age.

Hajin Bae por Projeto Curadoria
Hajin Bae por Projeto Curadoria
// Have you had a decisive moment in your career? How did this influence your trajectory?

When I heard that my art work is used at art schools as inspiring reference as well as study tool all over the world, I left a message on my blog; “Hi, my name is Hajin Bae (a.k.a. Soulist Aurora). I'm an illustrator & graphic designer & art director. I live in Seoul, Korea. This is all my artwork. They are mine but 'inspiration' can be yours. So go ahead and take it if you want.” The reason for that is to encourage art students to take advantage of my art for educational purposes. I believe talent begets talent.

// Who are your influences, inspirations, or preferred artists? How do they reflect in your own work?

"Anonymous audience, so to speak"

I imagine an anonymous audience quietly watching me from inner and outer space. I see myself as an actor in a monodrama, facing an audience in the dark. In reality, what I’m really facing is nothing but a blank canvas. The constant loneliness and solitude are a part of my job and thus, my karma. I’m simply playing my part. I imagine the audience is judging and clapping at times on my performance. This imaginary companion impacts my work more than anything, and ultimately pushes me to my creative limits.

Hajin Bae por Projeto Curadoria
Hajin Bae por Projeto Curadoria
// Do you think there still exists a bias in relation to women's free expression? Do you feel this in your work?

Not in my work. However, I do witness prejudice in our society against women for freely expressing their natural beauty when I read spiteful comments on SNS channels or YouTube about female pop singers’ outfit or performance.

// What makes you happy?

This question. Being asked about what makes me happy is a greatest thing. I also love music, movies, fashion, walk around the city of Seoul and coffee!

// What tips could you give to other women to help them bring their creations into reality?

"I hope you don’t give up easily or you don’t get exhausted easily"

Sometimes, pain and sadness can be a driving force for creativity. Just don’t be swallowed by emotion. Keep harmony and balance between life and work, and project pain and sadness onto your art. Being an artist is a hard journey but sweet and rewarding.

Hajin Bae por Projeto Curadoria
Hajin Bae por Projeto Curadoria
// Do you have a new project in the works?

I’m currently planning a collaboration with an English photographer in a project where pictures meet illustration. Right now we are brainstorming. We are looking forward to a beautiful blend of her photos and my art.

Hajin Bae por Projeto Curadoria