Q+A: Hyshil Sander
Korean-born and Netherlands-raised, Hyshil Sander is a talented and introspective artist whose career was born from a mix of a childhood immersion in drawing and a calculated study of graphic design. Hyshil’s modern structured design work can be found on the glossy pages of the European issues of Elle, Vogue and Marie Claire magazines, just to name a few. Now primarily a freelance illustrator, Hyshil shares her playful, ethereal, dream-like visions through the tactile and more personal paper and pencil, deliberately drawing each line with intent and focus, yet with a light and happy heart. Her creations are available on Etsy, but I’m excited to announce that Hyshil is graciously donating a piece of her artwork to Move to give away to one of our readers! Click on the link to enter to win.
Where are you from? Tell us a little about your life and childhood.
I was born in Seoul, South-Korea on September 7th 1983, which was a Wednesday. Adopted when I was three months old, I grew up in The Netherlands, on the country side in the north. The only facility our village had, after the last post-office clerk was fired, was a mailbox. The beautiful and quiet surroundings are still a source of inspiration today. I remember riding our horses in the early morning, without saddle or shoes, finding a giant koi fish in the pond and walking through the forest and discovering a huge old mansion. Even though this was all very wonderful, I moved to the city to find a job when I finished art school. I currently reside in Amsterdam with my husband and five year old daughter.
Your art is ethereal, playful, yet structured. What sources of inspiration do you draw from?
Drawing has always been a big part of me, as a child I drew lots and lots. All children draw, (I wish nobody would stop), but my mom told me it was pretty excessive with me. I’d spend a lot of time alone in my room drawing scenes of girls in their houses, seen from the branches of the tree outside their windows. Nowadays I’m inspired by books I read, like Zadie Smith’s family stories and visions or, currently, Jane Eyre. Charlotte Brontë was about my age when she wrote it and it is autobiographical. She was so strong and her strong will is something I can relate to. I also love to choose one song for a project and listen to it endlessly while working. The “Beginners” soundtrack is wonderful and I love the first seconds of MGMT’s “Time to Pretend,” and She & Him is my favorite band. People inspire me as well. I have some lovely friends who tend to say funny things and some of them are amazing creatives themselves. But sometimes it’s the lawyer that says the one funny thing that triggers a new drawing ☺
Tell us a little about your work life. As a wife and mother, how do you find the space and time to focus on your illustrations?
After finishing art school, I started working as a freelance graphic designer at magazines, resulting in jobs at Elle and eventually Vogue. I left the latter last year to focus completely on my illustration work. The freedom of a creative, freelance life and is invaluable to me. I work from a studio space here in Amsterdam that I share with a group of friends who have a creative agency called Booreiland. I love going there because it gives me a daily rhythm and a social environment. Things would get a little too Emily Dickinson if I’d work from home all day. I love the diversity of my days. I am currently working on an illustrator’s book, making new work to sell on Etsy, commissioned illustrations and graphic work like identities, birth announcement cards. Up next I’ll be doing live illustration during the book launch for Quiet Paris by Siobhan Wall at the American Book Center here in Amsterdam.