Meet the Australian Illustrator Taking the Fashion World by Storm

Lauren Powell

Courtesy of Lancôme

While you may not have heard of Jaesuk Kim, it’s highly likely you have admired his iconic illustrations in luxury fashion campaigns on your go-to shopping sites, or gracing the pages of your favourite publications.

The Seoul-born, Australian-Korean, who is best known for his ‘Susu Girls’ illustrations (short haired, long-legged fashion characters with small pouty lips), has created his signature whimsical illustrations for the likes of Gucci, Cartier, Bulgari, and most recently Lancôme.

JSK, as he’s affectionately known, has collaborated with the coveted French beauty house to celebrate its highly anticipated 2017 product launches—including limited edition cosmetic bags and pouches—with a series of joy-inducing customised illustrations. We caught up with the internationally renowned illustrator to find out why this collaboration has been a career highlight and what he believe is the secret to his ever-evolving success—read on.

MYDOMAINE AUSTRALIA: In civilian terms how would you describe your job?

JAESUK KIM: My job is quite liberating. The great thing about being an illustrator is that I can work from anywhere at any time. Finding inspiration on the go and being able to recreate artworks in the flesh allows me to feel very autonomous and free.

MD: What part of your job would people find most surprising?

JSK: I think the part that most people find surprising is how quickly I execute and create an artwork.

MD: What are your go-to resources for keeping up to date on your industry?

JSK: I guess everything fashion and beauty inspires me. It’s important to always keep up to date with what’s hot and what’s not—my go-tos include online and print editorials as well as inspiration acquired on the road. My job allows me to travel a lot and I have to say that different places stimulate different approaches and feels to my artwork.

MD: What would you say has been a career highlight so far?

JSK: I am very happy to say that collaborating with Lancôme has been an absolute dream come true. Partnering with the beloved French brand is definitely a highlight in my career. The brand has allowed to me to express my creativity with no boundaries—it has been refreshing being able to make beautiful artwork that aligns perfectly with Lancôme’s sense of purpose. Joyful, modern, and Parisian elegance is represented in everything I have created.  

MD: What is one thing in your career that you’ve regretted?

JSK: To be perfectly honest, nothing so far. There are things that I could have done better with more time but sometimes it happens to be out of my control.  

MD: What would you say sets you apart from other illustrators?

JSK: I guess my Susu girls are very unique. I haven’t come across any other illustrators that uses a character as their signature style. My Susu girls are very fundamental to my art, they are the very essence of my illustrations.

MD: What advice would you give to up and coming illustrators who want to work in fashion?

JSK: Perseverance. Things can get tough, it takes a lot of time to settle in but don’t give up. It’s important to find your style and believe in your talent.

MD: What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve received?

JSK: Do what instinctively works for you. It’s important to love what you do.  

Shop Kim's works for your very own fashio masterpiece and shop the Lancôme collection.

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