Artist in Res­i­dence

The Korean-US artist keeps his nerd-heaven in­spi­ra­tion and VR box­ing gloves close at hand while in the zone

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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.

Mu­si­cal dis­trac­tion

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 at­sta­­ro­nis-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.

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