Q: How do you tap into your creative potential?
A: I practice what gives me joy and happiness to nurture my creativity. I actively venture outdoors on hikes and touch the earth. I also value daily routines like Yoga, meditation, cooking, petting the cat, reading, and sharing with my family. I love building these experiences and precious moments that often become the subject of my work.
Q: How does creativity express in you?
A: I live creatively by finding alternative ways to be more sustainable and connected to the natural world. It’s important for me to live in connection with nature and find creative ways to reduce waste and help heal the Earth. Some changes I have committed to are living in a tiny space, going minimal, not contributing to mass production, and transitioning into a zero-waste and plastic-free lifestyle. I enjoy the process of making my own eco-friendly toothpaste, doing the laundry by hand and sharing my story with others.
Q: Do you have any tips for cultivating creativity and innovation?
A: The most important thing for me is learning to sit with my inner self and opening my imperfections to others. I went through the change of becoming more emotionally and creatively open by focusing less on my vulnerabilities and what I didn’t have. This transition helped me nourish my mind and creative spirit.
Read the full Q&A section here
Exploring ways to invite awareness within conversations and to practice Non-violent Communication.
I thought that a neighborhood stoop would be perfect place for city folks to share and have long meaningful conversations. This piece took me back to when I just began dabbling into self-help and found Marshall B Rosenberg's book on Non-violent Communication. I have learned so much from his mindful approach on communication and ways of building compassion.
"Sustainability: Fabrics, Fibers & Facts" infographic about conventional fabrics and natural sustainable alternatives.
It's good to know that there are many alternative fabric options that are plant based and chemical free. Some of my favorites are organic flax and linen! I go for natural fabrics because it's important for me to eliminate toxins from being in contact with my skin. I'm also cautious about chemically treated bedding, furniture, and other household items that can be harmful to my family and especially our cat.
Bi-annual print magazine for artists and makers to share their work and stories. This month's theme is around "Movement." My illustrations are about my personal journey of moving to a tiny space and another piece about the alternative living movement.
Here's an excerpt from my interview:
"Moving to a tiny space has taught me the joy and ease of possessing less. I am no longer distracted by my things and I spend less time trying to organize them. I have more free time just by cutting down on household duties, because it’s very easy to maintain a small room. We also produce less waste from no shopping, are more sustainable by doing laundry by hand, and are not contributing to mass production and sweatshops. I can be more mindful of my consumption and practice sustainable living. I also love being able to work and live in the same space. I am more focused during my creative process and have the time and energy to practice the things that nurture my creativity."
Order Issue 6: Movement here
Illustration for Sustain Magazine, an online platform supporting a healthy eco-friendly lifestyle through style, wellness and food. Plastic Free July kicked off few days ago and I'm so happy to collaborate with Sustain to make this cute illustration of my cat next to zero-waste and plastic free alternatives. It feels to do be able to make meaningful changes by making conscious decisions for small everyday things.
Follow their work @sustainthemag
Independent crowdfunded magazine on slow living, nature, folklore, and adventure. Issue 4 Light: "Somewhere off grid. Travelling coast to coast. Harvest celebrations. The twilight hours. Light through the leaves. Sunflowers of the soul."
E-book illustration for nonprofit organization focusing on providing free educational children's books.
About Place is a literary journal dedicated to re-forging the links between art, spirit, earth and society. This art work is about self sustainability and returning to our roots of being growers and gatherers. In the modern world, we are so disconnected with our environment and the food we consume. My illustration is a bit of a nostalgia of the ways of the past where we were so involved spiritually and physically with the earth and life-giving forces.
Read the full "Rewilding" issue here
Consented Magazine is a UK based independent magazine focused on social and political change.
Tory Hoke: As an illustrator, how did you get where you are today?
Youheum Son: I'm here because I do what I like! I made a bunch of art that I liked and disliked before choosing only ones that I really enjoyed doing. I kept myself on a steady flow of just doing that, and I never go back to doing what I don't feel happy doing.
Tory Hoke: Your work depicts a variety of cozy living spaces and abundant houseplants. What inspires your creations?
Youheum Son: I never feel removed from the work I make because a lot of the objects in my illustrations are also in my real life. It's important to convey the message in the story and also keep the part that is me intact. I'll often incorporate my cat and the houseplants I have at home into an illustration piece.
Tory Hoke: The variety of spaces suggests you've experienced a variety of ways of living. Do you enjoy travel? How does it influence your art?
Youheum Son: I have lived only in the city, so I feel a strong need to go see new things. I'll often grab a quick snap of the cozy places I've been and do a sketch based on that. Whenever I travel to the countryside and in different cities, I take inspiration from the alternative ways people incorporate nature into their environment. I have yet to see a cob house and a hobbit hole!
Read the rest here