Dongyun Lee

  1. conceptual/narrative
  2. spots
  3. bio
  4. work process

Dongyun Lee was born and raised in Seoul, Korea. After Dongyun Lee has received his BFA in Visual Communication Design, he has worked as a graphic designer for a while in Korea. Then he moved to United States and received his MFA degree in Illustration as Visual Essay at School of Visual Arts. His illustrations has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers and advertising, such as; GQ, Harvard Business Review, The Washington Post, Wired, Utne Reader, The progressive, Time out, and etc. His work has been recognized by several publications and organizations including: The Society of Illustrators, The Society of illustrators of LA, American Illustration, 3×3 Magazine, CMYK, The Association of Illustrators, Creative Quarterly, Computer Arts, and Communication Arts. Dongyun Lee’s work has been exhibited in New York, L.A., London, and Seoul. Currently Dongyun Lee works in New York City and focuses on commercial illustrations and gallery shows.

Client List

The New York Times
The Washington Post
Red Bull
Deloitte University Press
Wall Street Journal
LA Times
Harvard Business Review
Popular Mechanics
Popular science

My first step is to visualize my ideas and compositions with making small rough sketches. I spend a lot of time in this process with talking much about it with people around me, doing web search and reading books. The first thing I finish is action. Then I decide angle and background.

As soon as I make few rough sketches with different ideas and angles, I start to search images for more specific ideas and sketches. Research is not just gathering images. It is a lot more than that. I always get so much inspired in this process from images, conversations, and media. So sometimes I go to the Photo Library, sometimes just find images or video clips on the web and sometimes go out to take pictures. I try to make references by my self because they have my own feelings in them.

Next step is picking a right one. If it is commissioned work, I discuss with art directors. Once I get only one rough sketch, I digitalize it with scanning to blow it up on Photoshop. Then I print it out in original drawing size and trace it on watercolor paper on the light box. After making more details on it, I do black ink drawing using watercolor brush. I usually do ink drawing by hand and finish the rest in Photoshop, because it’s easy to make revisions.

Now it is time for digital work. I scan the black & white ink drawing and change line colors, fill colors and apply textures in Photoshop. I use textures to add a natural look to my digitally finished work. My main texture source is usually watercolor, but I apply various textures in some pieces. I found that each texture serves a different role and helps to exaggerate a feeling I want to focus on.

At the end of the process I add shadow and apply lighting effect thinking that it looks like my original thought.

back to top