Park Songlee practices visual-therapy. A bright, comforting, color-scheme connects her work throughout various mediums. In this piece, she introduces us to the materials she works with, her creative space, her sources of inspiration, and how her goal of spreading joy through her artwork came about.
Words and art Park Songlee, Translations Yena Chung
My name is Park Songlee. Songlee is a purely Korean name as it doesn’t have corresponding Chinese characters. I’m an artist. I draw, but I majored in textile design and so I also create knitwear.
My personal belief is that drawing for one’s own pleasure and pride doesn’t mean anything. I believe that even a small picture on a sheet of paper has the power to heal and save someone’s soul. That’s why I practice a type of visual-therapy.
Ever since I was a baby, I remember being so happy when I drew. After I attended an arts high school, my goal to become an artist became clearer. That’s also when I jumped into the lovely and interesting world of textile design. I love how fluffy yarn is and it really suits my tastes as an artist. Many people have told me despite how different the materials are, my knitted work is very alike to my hand-drawn illustrations. To me, yarn, colored pencils, crayons, and markers are all the same. I think all of them are the best, warmest mediums.
There are so many cool, outstanding, and famous illustrations out there. I questioned about the meaning of simply being a skillful artist and thought about the role of my artworks when other people see them. After a long process of thoughts, I came to the conclusion that if my works were made with warm, bright colors, it could make others happy. I wonder, is there anything else more valuable than transforming a viewer’s emotion into a beautiful pink? The fact that a small person like me, is capable of doing something big like that makes me feel very happy.
I usually work in my studio. Sometimes I work in my bedroom, where it’s filled with my own world. When I am able to work in places where I feel like it’s my place, I can work with a big smile on my face. Oh, and it’s easier for me to work when I can listen to comfortable music!
New works of art always starts from people. When I continue the precious relationships with the people around me, I get inspired by their world, the way they speak, their loveliness, and that really affects my art. That’s why I think of the people around me as my gems.
There are many ways of deciding who to draw a portrait of, but usually I paint people who I am thankful of, people with similar perspective as me, people who have a clear vision of their dreams, and people I personally want to give a present to. To be honest, until last year, I was pretty self-centered. I doubted the importance of other people’s life and emotions. But all the situations and people I faced day by day gave me the ability to see the world with a wider perspective. That realization was so big. It was bigger than the universe. It was hard for me to accept it at first, but from now on my goal is to heal as many people with my talent and everything that I’ve got. Because of financial problems and feelings of inadequacy, I sometimes feel like I can’t go any further, but whenever I think of my goal, I feel myself getting recharged. I don’t ever want to lose this energy.
You may view more of Park Songlee's work on Instagram :)