Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Jinho Kang ("JK") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?

JK : I’ve never gotten any education for designing. I got into illustrated images and started drawing. I’ve been in the animation business for over 20 years.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?

JK : I like the fact that I can put many meanings into a single image.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?

JK : I loved designing so I started doing it and before I realized it, I was in the world of design.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?

JK : I’ve done many science-fictional pieces that deal with human’s anguish, and I want to continue working on them with cyberpunk elements.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?

JK : At first you will probably need to mimic other people’s works but you need to find your own style, and develop it.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?

JK : Good designers create something visually impressive. Great designers create something that has profound messages relating to the lives of human beings that respect other human beings.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?

JK : I think individualism should come from respecting the world of others and understanding them.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?

JK : Good designs give more convenience and bring goods to many people. It brings good to everyone.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?

JK : I want to satirize people’s agonies. I want to work on things that make you reassess about yourself and give hope to you.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?

JK : I wish I could actually build the giant robots from my designs and put them next to Eiffel Tower.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?

JK : You need to keep discovering yourself and find your strengths.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?

JK : The French cartoonist and artist, Moebius (Jean Giraud)

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?

JK : I have high respect for any other designers.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?

JK : Scissors. It is so useful and well designed in our lives for so many things on a daily basis.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?

JK : You need to study the works of other great designers.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?

JK : I would’ve become a researcher of DNA at a plant related lab.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?

JK : Designs are like women. Without them, there’s no purpose in life.

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?

JK : I might sound strange but I always get help from someone from my dreams.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

JK : Well, I'm not a great designer but I'm working on it.

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?

JK : When I have negative thoughts like thinking my works are not improving, and will not take me anywhere.

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?

JK : I think showing your works to the public through a competition like A design award is a good way to do that.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?

JK : It could be cyberpunk works of satire style.

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?

JK : I want to create a work and make it happen in the real world so people will realize such a world exists.

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?

JK : They look forward to my next work as if a fan would from a movie director.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

JK : I think to make that happen, we will need a system that helps designs become part of the society.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?

JK : I’m working on things where I attach many objects onto some famous people’s heads.

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?

JK : Crazy Head I submitted. I had lots of fun working on it because it deals with human nature.

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?

JK : I hope there will be more designs that are more practical and friendly towards real life.

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?

JK : But my guess is it’s heading towards something more environment-friendly.

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?

JK : It takes three to four weeks.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?

JK : I need to find out first who the design is for, and I start collecting materials needed to make it.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

JK : Work on something that’s fun and joyful.

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?

JK : I think it’s like the relationship between husband and wife. Neither leads. Rather, they help and affect each other.

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?

JK : Using them allows me to experiment with my design in many different ways in a short time frame.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?

JK : Mostly I use Photoshop but sometimes I also use animation programs.

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?

JK : I don’t think there’s any limit as to what materials to use since the world of design change the people’s hearts in a big way.

DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?

JK : That my design expresses themselves. How I came up with the idea.

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?

JK : It blows my mind, and inspires me to create something.

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?

JK : Right now, I work alone, but I’m open to working with a partner depending on the project.

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?

JK : I mostly get influenced by designers from other countries, and they inspire me to work harder too.

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?

JK : The illustration book of Moebius (Jean Giraud)

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?

JK : Practice after practice with a work that I enjoy working on.

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?

JK : The one that designed blue jeans with jewels. I want to ask him/her where he/she gets ideas from.

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?

JK : Awards are a good way to let yourself be known to the world.

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?

JK : Blue, red, orange, stream side, bulgogi(Korean food), autumn, scissor, Levis

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?

JK : It’s not really a memoir or a funny incident but when I came up with the idea for the making animation of Crazy Head - Einstein and explained it to people, they all got excited telling me it was a very funny idea. It gave me a lot of motivation and had lots of fun explaining to them. So the idea was that if you touch his tongue and drag it down, an animation plays above his head.

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?

JK : I set the amount of work for one day and I spend all day working hard to get it done.

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?

JK : Never. I never thought about it. But I remember I had a lot of fun drawing stuff, really enjoyed doing it.

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?

JK : Maybe It will be either the world like the one from Mad World or the one from Star Wars.

DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?

JK : I hope I will be known as an eccentric designer who shocks everyone with mind blowing ideas.



Crazy Head Digital Art

Crazy Head Digital Art by Jinho Kang

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