Artist in Residence
The Korean-US artist keeps his nerd-heaven inspiration and VR boxing gloves close at hand while in the zone
Paul Kwon keeps his VR boxing gloves and nerd-heaven inspiration close at hand, even when he’s deep in the art zone.
My setup has always revolved around my posture and health, and with that in mind, I bought a desk that’s high enough for me to stand at while drawing. Sounds uncomfortable, right? But back in college when I’d crunch projects for days, I’d sit like a statue for hours at a time, which really hurt my back.
Health is so important and nowadays I value it immensely. It’s why I stand on a yoga mat and draw, take breaks once in a while, and remind myself to stretch and exercise. You get surprisingly used to it, and feel better both physically and mentally.
After my standing desk was established, I added a widescreen monitor, several monitor arms, a 27inch Cintiq, a 13-inch iPad Pro and
the yoga mat. A new, unexpected addition to my workspace has been my six-inch iPhone X, which now supports Procreate. Lately, I’ve become so addicted to using it. The phone is so convenient in terms of mobility, and forces me to be creative without relying on hundreds of complex art tools.
I’ve also found it relaxing to just paint on the tablet with reference material on a third of the screen and a YouTube music playlist playing in the background. I’ll often go back and forth between my powerful gaming PC and my iPhone/iPad to paint, because it feels more casual and relaxing in terms of posture. Music is also a huge part of creating art because it enables me to escape the present. I can be creative without being distracted by the worries and thoughts that crowd my mind. One of my hobbies is archery, and this requires me to be precise and focused, which acts as a good mental break from drawing.
I have the dream job of creating characters and I absolutely love designing them. This explains why I have a big collection of cute and badass anime figures to keep me inspired, and act as references.
Anxiety issues, stiffness from stress and just being too focused on art have taught me to listen to my body and take good care of it. Doing the same will enable you to enjoy art more in the
Lately I’ve been so addicted to using it my iPhone X and Procreate
long run. Take frequent breaks, stretch, enjoy other physical activities like boxing, dancing, yoga, archery… anything that gets you up and about. Balance that with doing art and jamming with your favourite music, and you won’t go far wrong. For the past seven years Paul’s worked at Riot Games as a senior concept artist, designing original characters. He’s also developing his own IP, and is a part-time Patreon creator. You can explore his art at www.artstation.com/zeronis-pk.
Here’s Iron Man and Batman on the top of my bookshelf protecting my figurines and art books. Steel wires for hanging my paintings, which keeps me motivated to grow as an artist. I prefer to see my work printed out rather than just on a screen. The steel wires were really hard to install, by the way!
A recent piece I did for Deathverse, my own world. These people have bleached pink hair with black glass demon horns.
This is my 13-inch tablet screen setup. I have my references on the side while sometimes watching my favourite show Critical Role in the corner of the screen. I also have music playing in my headphones. Using the tablet to create art has been both intuitive and convenient.
This artsy-looking bookshelf is home to my favourite art books and Japanese figurines.
This is a original character design that I painted just for fun! She’s a bunny girl who wields a giant rocket scythe to kick the ass of enemy robots.