Authenticity, Realism and Inspiration: Mina Park
Korean artist Mina Park talks of her struggles with authenticity, her creative process, and how she got to the place she is today - dropping her graphic design career to persue something that truly inspired her.
"I attended many art courses throughout my education, since I was a young girl. I went on to work in the design field for many years - but I never thought of myself as creative. I was just sceptical and I thought of my paintings as ‘well-done’, but not necessarily as ‘good paintings’.
When I quit my job as a graphic designer ten years ago, I just knew I really wanted to create my own work. I'd mainly been working on the computer following my clients’ orders and working to their taste; as all designers usually do.
I looked into my heart and repeatedly asked myself what I really wanted to do and how I could express what was inside my soul. I did my best to find ‘something’ that would help make my life flourish and I found my old art supplies in my desk drawers - they'd been left waiting for a long time.
They brought back old memories and reminded me of genuine dreams.
I fearlessly practised with all the materials and I got to know that there’s no such thing as failure because there’s no reason to make perfect art. That was just my own way to develop my skills and the real reason why I’m so happy with my works now.
I love nature and find it to be the best thing to express my state of mind.
Plants and flowers are the greatest tools to capture some heavenly colours and remain fascinating enough to be inspiring all the time. I’m still looking forward to meeting more magical colours and more from nature, I haven’t found anything better yet. That’s why I’m currently painting beautiful flowers and greenery and I think in general they make a place look more attractive.
I make products with my designs because I want to spread the beautiful colours as much as possible.
Sometimes I sell them, sometimes I gift them.
In that sense, it’s very useful to share my art with many people and luckily I’m comfortable with computer programmes - with my experience as a graphic designer.
I made a limited edition of 2018 floral calendars titled ‘Bouquet’ as a seasonal art product and they all sold out last December. I also create two different kinds of 'flower design' postcards and gratefully gift them to my watercolour class students every month. Recently I did a giveaway for my Instagram followers and I was really happy when they sent me so many lovely messages back.
If I could make someone’s life brighter with my paintings, that would be my true pleasure.
I wanted to create something that would encourage me to keep my art plan up and a platform that I could use to share my art. In that respect, Instagram is one of the greatest tools to show my work and receive feedback from the world (Mina’s Instagram has a following of over 50k). Besides, I can make create wonderful relationships through this account. My fans are just awesome. They are so supportive and always giving me positive energy that increases my self-esteem up. I think Instagram friends are my co-painters.
In terms of stolen content across Instagram, I don't think it’s a new problem. I know many creators have been suffering from it long before now.
The lucky thing is that it’s improving public awareness of this issue.
It’s still challenging for all artists but I don’t think it should stop people posting their art on Instagram because we just want a platform to communicate with each other and develop self-promotion as a freelance illustrator.