Korean Illustrator Chun Eunsil

February 4, 2011

Last night I watched Korean film, I’m a Cyborg But That’s Okay (ha ha funny title I know) and it made me think about all of these creative cultures that we’re surrounded by and that so much is still out there waiting to be explored. I really live for this, I love exploring and finding things that I’ve not seen/heard or experienced in some way before. This led me to think of the beautiful illustrative works I’ve noticed coming out of Korea over the years and how beautiful and original they really are. Then I recalled a Korean Flickr contact of mine, Chun Eunsil, and thought I’d share her work with you today.

Korean Illustrator Chun Eunsil

Chun illustrates children’s books (I love how she illustrates classic German fairy tales) and has a line of stationery and other products like calendars and iPhone skins that you can see on her darling website. These images put me in such a good mood… the soft colors and detail of her work is quite magical… I can imagine little children loving her books. I wish I had access to a Korean bookstore where I could find her books and similar illustrations.

I once collected foreign language children’s books, in fact I have the cutest Winnie The Pooh in Russian that is also illustrated by a Russian artist that I held onto for years. It helped me when I was studying Russian in Cambridge in ’98. I was dating this guy from Los Angeles who wanted me to run away with him to live in Moldova and I almost went, so I studied Russian and nearly ran off with him but…. didn’t… And thank goodness for that because he turned out to be a bit of a nutcase! Ha! But often nutcases can be the best men to date (temporarily at least) for the sheer emotional explosion of it all — their often wild, eccentric, unplanned, no rules lifestyle can be a springboard to things you’d not explored had you never been exposed/heart broken by such a wacky person.

That whirlwind romance helped me to learn some Russian and though I never became fluent, I still learned a lot about Russian life and culture and am fascinated by it still. It also helped me to better connect to some of the letters and postcards that I remember my aunt sending to me when I was a child. She lived in many parts of the world during her lifetime and was living in Russia once where she learned to speak the language fluently. She would often send me beautiful books that I sadly no longer have, and when I studied Russian myself it reminded me of those books so I went on a wild search for Russian children’s books and found a few gems. I should show you the Winnie The Pooh book sometime. Very cute.

But yes, I love foreign language children’s books despite the fact that I cannot understand most of them. The German ones are lovely and I understand those, as my language skills are better than before and so my collection of German children’s books help me tremendously. Have you ever flipped through Japanese and Korean books for kids? Oh my goodness, they nearly make my heart explode from the cuteness, and oh yes, French books are just the best too. Now that I think of it though, I’ve never in my life spotted a book for kids from India. I need to google that one.

Ha, my head is all over the place today. Sorry for that, I’m thinking out loud a bit. I have a lot going on in my life right now and I’m overstimulated from it all so my brain is buzzing and gushing stuff out left and right. My poor husband, as he has to listen to be babble on all day… It’s a good Friday feeling to have (at least for me) as I know I’ll get some decorating projects done at home this weekend as a result of this over-stimulation and explosion of ideas. What about you, do you have any projects planned for this weekend?

Do check out Chun Eunsil today, I know you’ll love her website and Flickr stream.

(images: chun eunsil)


  • Reply Mariana February 4, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Gorgeous work, thank you for the intro :)

  • Reply Barbara February 4, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    ooo I love love I’m a Cyborg But That’s Okay, such a beautiful photography and brilliant idea, they are so cute. Actually I love the director, Chan-wook Park, you should see Old boy, Lady vengeance and Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance if you didn’t already. Great Movies.

    Those are fantastic illustrations, thanks for sharing.

  • Reply rossana February 4, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Such beautiful prints !

  • Reply Melody February 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    I love that movie too! And I love how Koreans make their movies – funny, touching and very beautifully shot!

  • Reply Glenda Childers February 4, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    This is a great and funny post, Holly. . . great ramblings!


  • Reply Sanja February 4, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    It’s a great feeling to be so full of life and ideas on any day. I love when it happens and I live it out, as I know that it won’t last that long and that I’ll have time to rest later. Enjoy it :) My weekend will be filled with outdoors, cooking and crafting and I’m looking forward to it already!

  • Reply Wrenaissance Art February 4, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Thanks for sharing the link to the beautiful work by this illustrator. Very delicate and whimsical.
    BTW, a great way to see the latest gorgeous offerings in worldwide children’s books is the illustration exhibit of the Bologna Children’s Bookfair. They haven’t yet posted the accepted entries to the 2011 exhibit, but past exhibits can be seen at http://www.bolognachildrensbookfair.com/en/mostraillustratori/ Just click the links for the archives for 2010 and 2009 for a dreamy slide show.

  • Reply soul to substance February 4, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Congrats on your new book and I am in love with these whimsical illustrations…and Korean food is an art in and of itself too!

  • Reply jodi February 4, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    so pretty!

  • Reply Erica February 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    I love that movie ?
    These illustrations are gorgeous! So soft and beautifully detailed. I love looking at children’s book art from around the world. I did a project for my Children’s Lit class comparing fairytales and looking how differently each one was depicted was fascinating. I would love to see the Russian Winnie the Pooh.

    Good luck with your weekend endeavors! I really want to frame some photography that I bought a while back, but I don’t know that I’ll be able to get around to it.

  • Reply Erica February 4, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Please ignore the ? after the “I love that movie” in the previous post, it was meant to be a heart <3

  • Reply Amy F February 4, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    I’m a big fan of Chun’s work and wish I could find her books in person, too! Love the travel and romance musings.

  • Reply Shanon February 4, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Oh my, children’s book illustrations can really be the best, can’t they? This work is particularly lovely. Makes me want to run out and buy stacks and stacks of books.

  • Reply Alyssa February 4, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    Really pretty & talented!

  • Reply ANETTESHUS.COM February 4, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    Beautiful prints!!

    Have a great weekend!


  • Reply Bhavna February 4, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Lovely illustrations!

    Here are a few unique publishing houses that focus on books for children in India (as well as promoting local art form):



  • Reply Meenoo February 4, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    I used to read Amar Chitra Katha when I was a kid in Ohio. I loved the pulpy illustrations of ancient Indian myths.

  • Reply Jo February 4, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    What breathtaking work. Delicate, childlike and with beautiful composition. It is so soft and magical.Thanks for this wonderful post.

  • Reply Kris February 4, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    I love this post! Chun Eunsil is amazing, I really love her work.
    I grew up in Russia, so I’m totally obsessed with children’s books from there. When I went back for the first time a few years ago I brought back a whole stack, there are some photos here if you’re interested –
    http://blog.krisatomic.com/?cat=28 :)

  • Reply Lisa February 4, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    Did you ever check out Schoenhof’s when you were in Boston? I think it’s in/near Harvard Square and it has all sorts of foreign language books–including children’s books. I went there once and it made me wish I’d studied more foreign languages. Here’s the link: http://www.schoenhofs.com/

    • Reply decor8 February 4, 2011 at 8:54 pm

      @Lisa – Yes, I used to go there. There is/was also a Russian bookstore in Brookline that I used to go to all the time, not sure if it’s still there or not though.

  • Reply Beatriz February 4, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    I’m a Korean/Japanese person born in Argentina, who moved to the U.S. at age 8. It makes me a uniquely trilingual and multicultural person. This may be why I love learning about other cultures and their children’s stories really say a lot about their belief system.

    I love Korean and Japanese illustrations…they are so cute. Thanks for introducing Chun, Eunsil!

  • Reply Maria February 4, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    Hi, Holly! It is so nice to read your blog here in Moscow, Russia))) love it very much! thanks a lot. I’m a real fan of children’s books now (since my son was born) and it is real boom of children’s literature in this country.))

  • Reply Brook February 5, 2011 at 2:25 am

    thanks again for introducing this wonderful artist. i would love to find her stationery. i googled but only find her work on other blogs. so sad! some online shops need to get onto her work don’t you think?

  • Reply ARTiculateART February 5, 2011 at 2:43 am

    Lovely work!!! Love her use of colour!

  • Reply nancy @ {COZAMIA} February 5, 2011 at 5:41 am

    Living in Toronto I totally agree with the idea of exploring and appreciating all the creativity you can find in different cultures and backgrounds, its all great inspiration. Chun’s work is so lovely!

  • Reply Eyechartprints February 5, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Love these prints! Thank you for sharing her work with us.

  • Reply Shala February 6, 2011 at 6:25 am

    I love exploring and experiencing new things also. The prints are gorgeous. I can look at them and try to create stories that go along with each scene. They are soft and detailed. They have that old gentle feel to them.

  • Reply Guusje February 6, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Love the little fox!
    What is it about foxes that give them so much magic?
    X Guusje

  • Reply Ilze February 6, 2011 at 11:35 am

    HI Holly – lived in Moscow for 5 years before moving to Seoul, South Korea where I live now….so I totally enjoyed this post as it hits home !! It also reminded me how much I loved the Russian fables…so I bought a set of handpainted plates there that illustrates them! Not sure if you have ever seen them, but I will make a note to blog about it to share. It is SO special and reminds me of those great days there…

  • Reply shellie February 7, 2011 at 4:46 am

    her work is very pretty and whimsical but YOU already know that!….hahaha i have small children….there are always projects!

  • Reply Stephanie Ryan February 7, 2011 at 4:46 am

    Thanks for sharing that story with us Holly. I love this artwork. It is so soft and beautiful. A true inspiration.

  • Reply Sandra February 7, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Wonderfull Blog!

  • Reply Elisabeth February 7, 2011 at 8:58 am

    I love this illustrator, thank you for the discovery !

  • Reply Daniel February 7, 2011 at 11:39 am

    Great illustrations! Thanks!

  • Reply ifi February 7, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    love the aesthetic!!

  • Reply Azy February 7, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Holly, I think you would love this website:

    It’s a collection of children’s books (in digital form) from all over the world, with beautiful illustrations. I lost count after 30 languages; most of which I’d never even heard of before. Real, physical books would be perfect but these are still pretty amazing.

    • Reply decor8 February 7, 2011 at 10:28 pm

      @Azy – Thank you so much for sharing that link, it looks like a nice place for me to get lost for awhile. :)

  • Reply Gaelan @ Uschi and Kay February 7, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    I love, love, love these! They are so beautiful.

  • Reply janis - pinecone camp February 7, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    what beautiful illustrations. I adore children’s books too, and the occasional “nutcase”! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply monica of hola!design February 7, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    I love illustration. and wasn’t familiar with Chun. Very magical feel. Already a favorite

  • Reply Rebecca February 7, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    These illustrations are adorable and would be perfect framed for my daughter’s room. I’m sure they would encourage some creativity with their delightfully magical style. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply justine Clay February 7, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    these illustrations are gorgeous Holly and I’ll definitely be sharing them with a couple of friends and colleagues who I know would love them. I also enjoyed the nutty boyfriend back-story!

  • Reply Christine February 7, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    I’m super intrigued to watch that movie now, what an adorable title. I love the style of those prints, especially that adorable little fox!

  • Reply Jen February 8, 2011 at 2:22 am

    I really like her work! It has such a wonderful translucent quality that I find to be just so sweet and pretty! Thanks for posting such lovely things all the time!

  • Reply Sharon February 8, 2011 at 4:48 am

    Yay for Korea!

    There’s so many talented artists in Korea I’m glad that there’s some recognition. You would love Hong-Dae area in Seoul where there’s art everywhere!

    And for Korean movies, there’s so much to see. Oh how I miss Korea my other home even though I’m not from there.


  • Reply buessay February 8, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Congrats on your new book and I am in love with these whimsical illustrations…and Korean food is an art in and of itself too!

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente February 8, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    Oh, I love these….that last one makes my heart break it is so sweet. I totally know what you mean about those kinds of men & that is a great way of thinking about it….I had a similar experience with a lithuanian….:) I adore your thinking out loud, makes me feel like we are sitting together, having some tea & chatting. Have I ever mentioned a children’s book called Mouk? Maybe I originally hear about it through you….well, if you haven’t seen it, I think you would love it. Here’s a link hun: http://www.amazon.com/Around-World-Mouk-Marc-Boutavant/dp/0811869261

  • Reply Sash September 6, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    I really love Korean talents most esp. on their drawing skills.
    Their illustrations was really inspiring … the concept <3

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