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Featured PersonsIn 3 WordsInspirations

Kim Jung Gi – Mr. Willful

Kim Jung Gi with his favorite green rolex

Kim Jung Gi. One of the original urban sketchers that made this genre hip. He knew he had a passion for drawing since he was a child. Like most amazing overachievers, you get a strong sense from his interviews that he grew up an outsider to his peers. With the extra alone-time only a misfit would know about, he devoted his time honing the craft that he is famous for today. He creates whimsical yet intricate artworks by merging reality with his imagination, He has distinct style and precision. Today he is a household name in the art community and, I dare say, a cultural ambassador to South Korea. His passion journey is recognized and appreciated among us, here at 11ish. His can be defined in these three words: Willful, Consistent, Imaginative. Whether you’ve got an artistic bone in your body or not, let’s talk about why you should be inspired by Kim Jung Gi.



First of all, anybody who wants to turn their passion into a career HAS to be willful. However, few require the amount of will one must endure while learning how to draw well. To put things into perspective, achieving mastery on not just a particular drawing technique, or originality, or style, but simply master drawing the human figure took him 10+ years! Even most professional artists today still draw guidelines, but Kim Jung Gi jumps straight in then put guideline in afterward to show you what he did. This can only be explained by an individual who’s been drawing with crafted determination, predetermined end goals, and the ability to be will intention into reality. 



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With all things worthwhile in life, you must make time and consistently attempt at honing your passion to achieve greatness. This is the ironic double-edged sword that we have to deal with while younger. If you grow up with a less-than-thriving social life, you may not be the happiest son or daughter, but you sure as hell will have more time to spend on yourself. Thank god Kim Jung Gi is willfully self-determined to come out ahead. Anything less can easily send an individual spinning into a mental abyss. He is not one to shy away from pointing out that he’s been rage drawing since 16, determined to be the star he is today. What is rage drawing, you might ask? A shit ton of practice over years and years. 



To be quite frank, one cannot succeed in turning one’s passion into a career without legit imaginative creativity. Even a copy-cat artist has to be creative in their own right to succeed (ie. that creativity lies in business acumen).  Kim Jung Gi’s creativity shines in his unique style: a combination of urban sketching + uncanny imagination you cannot copy even if you tried. John Mayer said it best. (paraphrasing here) You learn from people you aspire to be, but you can never reach the ability to copy them because they’re they and you are you. But one day, you will realize this and chill the fuck out and the next thing you know, you have your own style of which is clearly influenced by X, Y, Z.


Voila, and that’s the roadmap to mastering creativity with two beautiful examples: John Mayer and Kim Jung Gi.



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