I’m consistently amazed by how many talented humans I’ve discovered and connected with over Instagram. A platform that once consisted of mostly over-filtered and blurry photographs, now showcases carefully curated and highly enviable images! One of these lust-worthy and enviable accounts is Art Director and Illustrator Jaesuk Kim. I instantly fell in love with his whimsical and delicate illustrations that showcase the best and latest designer goodness with his iconic Susu girls. After scrolling down his entire feed – and wanting to own every piece he had illustrated, I realised I had to find out more about the artist behind this beautiful account!
Kim who is based in Sydney and Korea, began fashion illustration back in early 2010 when he designed a series of quirky bags under the name of Susu. He then started illustrating the type of girls that he imagined would carry his designs, which he named the Susu girls. These girls became a pivotal element in his illustrations, garnering the attention of an Art Director at Bloomingdales who offered him his first collaborative commercial project for their Holiday 2011 campaign.
It is his biggest project to this date, and one of his favourites “because it was my first commercial project and seeing my illustration on the Bloomingdales shelves during my New York business trip made it extra memorable and special!” After illustrating for a number of different clients and juggling a full time Fashion Art Direction role, Kim decided to dedicate his time to his illustrations. And it has certainly paid off, recently along with two other Illustrators Kim was lucky enough to be invited and flown to Moscow to attend and cover the shows at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia, in an illustration format. It is one of the first time in fashion history that Illustrators were flown to a foreign location to illustrate the shows. “My illustrations appearing on Vogue Russia’s website daily also made it extra special!” See more of his MBFWR illustrations here.
Kim’s inspiration is mostly taken from the fashion industry, the reoccurring theme of luxury accessories and apparel comes from his “obsession with leather goods and designer bags”, which gradually progressed into an overall appreciation of fashion. When illustrating for a specific designer or their collection, Kim likes to read the collection review to re-interpret their original vision into his own.
To create his beautiful imagery Kim firstly hand draws “his girls”, then scans them and uses several editing softwares to bring the illustrations to life, sometimes he even superimposes his illustrations on real life photographs like the one below.
When I asked Kim what his current illustration obsessions were he answered “I am currently lusting everything Valentino. They really make the best accessories and beautiful clothes! Celine’s cruise15 line also caught my attention lately. I will be illustrating those very soon!”
Jaesuk Kim does commercial works for commissions, but you can own your very own print or Susu bag by shopping on his online store here. Be sure to follow Jaesuk Kim and all his Susu girl’s adventures on Instagram at @jaeskukim!