Jinhee Han’s illustrations stem from an unapologetic attitude towards colour

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Having such wide-ranging experience, Jinhee does not approach every project in a uniform way, instead, trying to tailor something more specific to suit each task, and in many cases focusing purely on aesthetics over practicalities. “My work depends on the projects. I choose a method that is more rational and solid. With this, I can convince myself and other people. Sometimes I try things just for visual quality. If this convinces me more, I prefer to make this choice rather than agonising and crying for a logical approach.”

Her varied practice has also informed her of when she should step back, particularly in her role as a designer. “As a book designer, I try to take up the least space possible. I don’t want to interrupt the rhythm of the featured artists.”

When asked about who she admires in her field, Jinhee doesn’t name specific people, instead citing those who work so hard to catch a break in the competitive world of publishing. “Exhibitors who I’ve encountered at art book fairs more than five times, I respect them. When I see their names on the exhibitors’ list, I feel a kind of relief.”

She is also adamant about not becoming a fan of anyone, ensuring that her views on a person remain separate from views on what they do. “It’s the easiest way to lose your sense and critical mind. I admire works from some artists or graphic designers, but that’s all. I don’t want to be confused between a person and their work.”

It is clear that Jinhee is no stranger to hard work, and the lengths that her and her partner at Animal Press, Baptiste Virot, went to when creating some of their publications are examples of this dedication. This included becoming entirely independent during the printing process, which with the aid of crowdfunding they managed: “We spent two months or more in Seoul to print Delirium and Bad Karma Comix. We ate takeaway food two times a day, trapped in the smallest Riso atelier in the whole universe, printing seven to eight hours per day.”

It is only now after this long slog that she is able to truly enjoy the work she put so much time into, and reflect on what she did: ”Last week I finally read Delirium as a normal reader, taking my time to enjoy it,” she says.“I really love that book, it was a great achievement.”

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