The cat in the wrap



Have you always been an arty type? What’s the first thing you can remember making? When I was young, my dream was to become a musician. I really liked playing the piano, and sometimes I would compose a song when there was something I wanted to express. I’ve forgotten most of the songs I wrote at that time, but one song, “Turtle”, is still in my memory, and I often hum it when I’m alone. The first thing I made materially was a clay, heart-shaped necklace when I was about six years old.

What kinds of techniques do you use in your art now? I learnt oriental painting in Korea for several years, and when I combined acrylic paints and watercolou­rs with those techniques, I got the result I wanted. Some people say they like my brushstrok­es, and I think it probably comes from the oriental painting. At first, it was difficult to control the water and colours because thin paper and soft brushes weren’t familiar to me, but now I think it was a very good experience to make my own style.

What puts you in the mood to create? Listening to music. The British band Queen and American band Cigarettes After Sex are always on my playlist. Also, looking at cute animals and beautiful landscapes makes me pick up a brush.

Tell us about this series of cat portraits. Where did the idea come from? When I was young, I liked making clothes and small scarves for my cats. It was so fun to find colours and patterns that suited them. When they were wearing clothes I made, they looked as if they were from a fairytale, and I loved imagining them as protagonis­ts. I’ve always preferred drawing animals over people, and often draw portraits of my cat Gomi. I’m not sure how many I’ve painted so far, but I think it’s quite a lot!

Why did you choose to put the cats in headscarve­s? I think scarves are a lovely fashion item. The first time I felt that way was when I saw a picture of Audrey Hepburn wearing a scarf and riding a bicycle. I’m a fan of hers, and the way she smiled while wearing a scarf looked so lovely. So I decided to give my cats scarves, too.

What do you like so much about cats? My love for cats probably started from Gomi. Gomi is my dear cat with a pink nose, and he loves me as much as I do. I love the way cats express their love for people they like. They’re usually quiet and peaceful, but they do their best when they play, and I like that a lot. Looking at their eyes and cute gestures, I can’t help but fall in love.

What other things do you like to create? These days, I'm interested in making children’s books. Even though it’s more difficult than just drawing, because I have to think about the plot and words myself, I love thinking about that. I’m also interested in making small toys and short animations.

Tell us about your studio (or wherever you work!). It’s a bit embarrassi­ng, but my studio is always chaotic with tube paints and drawings. I’m not a very organised person, and I always find a sense of stability in a slightly cluttered space. The problem is that because of this environmen­t, I can’t find things easily, so I sometimes buy the same ingredient­s twice. I wish there was a magical machine that could find things for me.

What’s one thing we should know about you? Well… this is my secret, and I hope people don’t hate me for saying it: I like pineapple pizza. I just wanted you to know.

Where can we see more of your stuff? On Instagram at @itsselynn.

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