Feggy Min has become a household name in South Korea. Everyone from trendy club goers to underground Korean hiphop artists and idols rep her namesake street-wear clothing brand. We're wondering how exactly the Swiss Illustrator went from creating portraits of her favorite musical artists and sharing them with friends online to becoming an influential icon herself. Feggy tells all in this fascinating interview!
Interview Gissella Ramirez-Valle, Photos Feggy Min & friends, Banner Ross Du
Please introduce yourself to the readers. Who are you? Where are you based? What do you do?
Feggy: My name is Feggy Min, I live in Switzerland and I do a lot of creative stuff.
When did you start illustrating? What were your initial inspirations? Please explain your history as Feggy Min the artist!
Feggy: There was no specific starting point for me. Since the day I could think I've always used my pencils to create something and my dream as a kid was to become an artist. Drawing is not something I force, it just happens naturally. I think because I put 90% of my energy and thoughts into art, it lead me to the career I have today and I couldn't imagine my life any other way. It still feels like it's just the start and I am really excited for everything that the future will bring my way. That's why I always look for ways to challenge myself and work even harder.
Where did you share your artwork in the beginning? Was it your Tumblr page?
Feggy: I first started to share my artwork just on my own personal Facebook account. After getting a lot of feedback from my friends, they gave me the courage to create a public Facebook page to share my artwork. For Tumblr, even though I have used it [for other purposes] since about 2010, I have only started to post my artwork there in 2013.
What drew you to illustrate Korean Hip Hop artists?
Feggy: I grew up with Hip Hop and making art based on Hip Hop artists, whether they are Korean or not, gives me a lot of inspiration. I try to show my appreciation for the music through the artwork I create of them. It was around 2006 that I came across a video by Big Bang and it caught my attention right away, because the language and the visuals were extremely pleasant to me. After that I started to research more about the Hip Hop scene in Korea and the first rappers I started to listen were Drunken Tiger, The Quiett, and Garion. I still love to listen to Tiger JK, and the artists of Hi-Lite Records are very impressive and appeal to me the most with their music.
Which musician do you enjoy drawing most?
Feggy: When it comes to drawing, even though he is more a singer than a rapper, I enjoy drawing Zion. T a lot. I love the fact that he has his very own color and style in music and fashion, so it's always a unique experience to draw him.
Has your style transformed over time? What’s your daily workflow these days?
Feggy: My style has definitely transformed over the years. I used to draw a lot of dark, black and white artwork that represented the way I felt in that era of my life. As time passed and I became more aware of what I really wanted in life and what made me happy, I started to work more with colors. I am happy and I love to show it in my work and try to share my happiness with people. I can get inspired by so many things though - hip hop culture, old-school cartoons and comics, ice cream, or simply reading a street sign can inspire me laughs. When it comes to my daily workflow, I have the luxury to decide my own schedule since I work independently. I usually work at night. I start a new artwork and work on it until sunrise.
Please tell me more about the Feggy Min Hip Hop Shows!
Feggy: The first time I visited Korea was in 2013 and I managed to host a small Feggy Min party. In 2014, I gathered a team together and we created the company Feggy Min Asia. That summer we had the first big "Feggy Min Hip Hop Show" in Club Lucidream in Itaewon with amazing artists. I came to Korea again in April 2015 and we had our second Hip Hop Show in Club Ellui, which is Korea’s biggest club. The club was packed and it was a crazy experience. [The goal of] these shows is to bring the Hip Hop community together through art and music and we also promote my brand. With each new artist I work with, I also learn new things and it helps me to expand my visions and ideas because I can see how they work. It's very interesting and fun!
You are designing clothing and accessories now, and they're very popular. How did that expansion come about?
Feggy: Everything happens very spontaneously in my life and art career, to be honest. So, the expansion of my works into a brand happened the same way. I love to try new things and push my limits and see what I am capable of with my art. I would definitely love to experiment with animations in the future and when it comes to fashion, I can't wait to create shoes one day...shoes that take you to good places.
What other mediums would you like to experiment with?
Feggy: My biggest wish is to never put limits to my works or creative visions. That's why I am pretty much open for everything that seems appealing or interesting to me. There is no particular thing or artist on my mind but working for an animated movie or a video game would be really dope.
Are there any other artists or Illustrator that you are a fan of? Is there anyone else we should be paying attention to?
Feggy: I am in love with Chromeboy's and Akiia's artworks. They are two of my favorite upcoming artists, and are very humble and hardworking! I can definitely recommend that everyone should check out their work.
What are your favorite things to do in Korea? Which neighborhoods do you usually hang out in?
Feggy: I love to eat Korean fried chicken with all my heart. (laughs) I also love just simply walking around and looking at all the cool stores and cafes. It is very inspiring. I used to hang around a lot in the Hongdae area, but this year I also found the love for Gangnam since I stayed there the first 2 weeks of my visit! Ah...there are so many awesome places to go! If you want to eat delicious tacos, definitely visit Coreanos in Gangnam’s Apgujeong neighborhood, and if you love Hip Hop go to Club Lucidream in Itaewon on the weekends for dope-ass parties! Say Feggy sent you!