INTERVIEW WITH MIJI LEEJanuary 30th, 2015

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I want to introduce you to one of my new favorite artists, Miji Lee. A product designer and illustrator for Imm Living, Miji recently took time away from her commitments at the Toronto Design Festival to answer a few of my questions and share the inspiration behind her stunning pattern works.

Of all the works you create – why patterns?

They are just so fun to play with. I like the way images can weave around each other to create something completely different from the original work. Also, patterns are not just beautiful images on their own, but can also be collaborated with various objects such as textiles, products, and interiors. I think patterns make the world a more beautiful place.

Pear

Originally from Korea and now living in Canada…where do your main influences come from?


My major influence is Nature. It always amazes me and is very inspiring. Also the uniqueness of the world’s people, and cultures. Music, everyday life, travel, and off course – Pinterest images!

Your patterns are very colourful, what are your favourite colours?

I prefer pastel and natural tones; peach and mint are my favourite!

If you had to choose just one medium, which are you most passionate about and why?

I would say watercolour. When I’m painting with watercolour it makes me feel magical. Watercolour is pretty diverse, and can be expressed in a ton of different ways. It’s very fun experimenting with different amounts of water versus paint mixture – as well as it also being easy to mix with other mediums. I just love how delicate, pure, and soft it is.

An artist has a multitude of subjects, what is your preferred?

My favourite subject is anything from nature, and specifically botanical themed. I also love to play around with watercolour brush strokes.

Bird
Do you paint only when you have inspiration or do you have technical ways to keep yourself working when you’re not having a ‘creative’ moment?

I prefer to paint when I have inspiration and some cool ideas. Obviously it’s stress free and just fun to work when inspired. I also strongly believe that I can create better pieces when I’m working at this time. But I think inspiration is not just waiting, it’s DOING something. I actually get more great ideas after failing and screwing up many pages of my sketchbooks. At this point I’m doing more research and/or looking at various art works and images to get to a better stage.

I’m always reading online art magazines, checking out design blogs and pinning images on Pinterest everyday – it’s like a newspaper for me. These mediums are fuel and a source of inspiration to me, and it really helps me to get started painting even if I am not in very “creative” moment.

What led you to become a designer/ illustrator/ artist?

It sounds a little bit cheesy but I became a designer just because I wanted to be one! I just followed my heart. Since I was very little, I think I always dreamt of being an artist/ designer, and that dream came true. I strongly believe that art and design can make the world a better and nicer place, and I just want to prove this to be true – with my own creations!

Fruit Collection1

Fruit Collection2

Fruit Collection3

For enquiries or to see more of Miji’s artwork visit her website here.

All images by Miji Lee

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