by Belle Lee

I came to the States almost 8 years ago from South Korea to pursue my dream of being an illustrator. But during my time at art school, I was very burnt out from the school workload and language obstacles. I was also very exhausted with the competitive environment in my department. I felt like I was losing my soul.

I decided to take a break from school and started to create this monster series.

For this piece, I wanted to draw a girl (who represents me in a way), drawing freely and happily in a whimsical place, surrounded by friendly curious monsters. While I was working on this series, I tried to think of what makes me really happy and why I want to be an illustrator. It cured my deepest wound and it motivated me to create more and more pieces with joy. Overall, I felt free and It brought me enough energy to run again with enthusiasm. It made me appreciate my art and the things only I can do.

We tend to exhaust ourselves from all the daily struggles and start to take everything for granted.  I hope, as an illustrator, we can remember that what we do is still wonderful and fantastic.

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