GWANGJU, South Korea – Twenty-three-year-old Korean American cartoonist Jen Lee came to Korea in 2010 from Texas after studying graphic communications at the University of Houston. Following a nine-month stint in living in Japan, she made her way to Gwangju where she works at Gwangju’s English radio station, GFN 98.7 FM as an assistant script writer and segment reporter.
Jen is skilled in a variety of media, but has most recently turned her creative hand to digital tools. In a recent interview with GwangjuBlog.com, she talked about the transition and the importance of it for a mobile artist.
“Growing up I always wanted to work with more than just pencils and paper and more and more, as time passed, I was drawn towards working digitally. The reason why I like to work digitally is because it doesn't require a lot of tools. When you're constantly on the move, that is a very important factor.”
While she wears many hats as an artist, she has lately been focusing her attention on her comic strip, Dear Korea. It offers her view on Korea from the eyes of an expat trying to adjust to a new life in a new culture.
“Dear Korea comments upon life in Korea,” Jen explained, “and I created it because I love doing short, simple comics that readers can relate to while also having an opportunity to laugh.”
“I grew up in a Korean household, and now I live in Korea, so a lot of the strip’s contents are things that I’m familiar with from my own life and my own home and within my own family.
Jen is careful to note that it is all in good fun and shouldn’t be taken as anything more than that.
“I don’t want anyone to think that I’m suggesting that what they do or how they think is wrong. The goal of the comic is simply to document mine and other’s thoughts and experiences because people’s thoughts and experiences are really interesting."
Jen's first Dear Korea strip
Busan Haps Magazine will now feature Dear Korea in both our print version and online. You can check out her strips here. And you can find her in the "Media" menu on the Haps’ site under "Haps Comics."
Dear Korea has moved here!