This week’s interview is with Juliette Kim, a graphic designer from Seoul, South Korea. Here, we discuss how she started freelancing, how different cultures impact a freelancer’s attitude to work, and how Juliette started her very own graphic design studio.
Hi there! It’s a pleasure for us to have you in our Insides series. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Juliette and I am a creative director at a graphic design studio, ‘Studio Juli-ette’, in Seoul, South Korea. I was originally born here in Seoul, but I have lived in various different places like Indonesia, Australia and most recently, the United States.
What exactly made you want to become a graphic designer? And why did you decide to be a freelancer?
I started freelancing in my sophomore year at RISD, and I continued to freelance during school years. When I graduated,I knew I love doing this and wanted to continue working as a freelance designer, so I started my own graphic design studio.
I knew I love [freelancing]…so I started my own graphic design studio.
Besides South Korea, you lived in other countries too, like Indonesia and Australia. Do these different cultural backgrounds influence your work or the way you work?
As a senior in high school, I actually wrote a thesis essay about whether the culture influences designer/artist’s work or not. Back then I was living in Indonesia, so I wondered if Indonesian culture influenced my work. I still don’t know for sure how much it influences my work, but I am sure it broadens the way I think and allows me to think in different perspectives.
Was it difficult for you to start freelancing? Did you face many problems?
I think good communication is the key to every project. I think of every project as a collaboration between myself and the client.
What do you love most about your work? Is there one particular project that you are especially proud of?
As I am a starting designer, I don’t currently have a favorite, but I am happy about my personal logo which graphically combines my English name Juliette and Korean name Nahyeon (나현).
If you would search for your profile on Google, which are the three keywords you would type in the search bar?
studio juli-ette, graphic designer in seoul, risd graphic designer
How does your working routine look like and how do you manage the pressure of meeting deadlines?
I really dislike working on the same schedule everyday from 9 to 5 because I feel like that routine kills my creativity. Instead, I try to change my environment everyday. Sometimes I go to work at night and the other times I wake up early in the morning when my mind is fresh.
I love traveling, seeing new things and talking to many different people. That way I get a lot of good inspiration. I am a recorder, I document my days in my journal and plan out each day the day before. I also have a Google spreadsheet that has a list of all on-going projects to manage my schedule.
Routine kills my creativity. Instead, I try to change my environment everyday.
Besides your work, what are you passionate about? What do you like to do? Do you have a hobby?
I love learning new languages. it’s really fun and because I love to travel, I think the experience is a lot richer when you know that place’s native language. – I care about women’s rights. Any kind of projects (commercial or non-profit) related to women’s rights are always welcome for collaboration. – I love cats.
What tools are essential to your life?
– ‘Align’ tool in illustrator. and my iPhone!
Freestyle! Is there anything you would like to tell our readers?
I love food and especially hamburgers.. I would love to brand a restaurant, cafe, or a burger place. Please reach out to me!