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Writer Noh Inkyung

A Writer Who Discovers “Moments” in Every Thing in the World

 

2021.04.05

 

Noh In-Kyung is a beloved writer for her heartwarming stories and pictures. Her works are recognized across the world. While she was designated as the Illustrator of the Year at the 2012 Bologna Children’s Book Fair with her Soso Cancellina (Munhakdongne), she won the Golden Apple Award at the 2013 Biennial of Illustration Bratislava (BIB) with her Mr. Tutti and 100 Water Drops (Munhakdongne). Plus, she was selected as the White Raven at the 2015 International Youth Library in Munich with Hedgehog X (Munhakdongne). As such, she has been expanding her spectrum as a writer by designing creative worlds with sensitive expressions. Following is an interview with writer Noh In-Kyung.

 

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It is a pleasure to meet you. Please introduce yourself to our subscribers.

 

Hi, I’m Inkyung Noh, an author-illustrator. I’ve been working in Seoul, creating picture books for 15 years.

 

What made you become an author-illustrator?

 

Since I was a child, I’ve been in love with various colors. So, I just wanted to do something related to colors. Then, I came upon picture books, and I thought creating one could be good for me. But looking back, I think I didn’t like picture books as much as I do now. My love for picture books has grown through the years of working.

 

 

I think writers are people capturing moments.

 

 

Is there any particular reason for your book featuring a lot of children?

 

Before I gave birth to my child, the main characters in my books looked more like me. Like I was an actress. But now, I feel like a director with eyes to see things from a different perspective. Maybe having a baby changed something inside me.

 

What’s the most important thing when you illustrate?

 

Well, I like to find the right way of expression for the theme of a book. I feel catharsis when I discover a way of expression that is very smart and just right for the theme. ‘Eureka! I think I nailed it!’ If I have this feeling, the theme of the book can be more vividly expressed. So, I use different approaches every time. Or, in other words, I can say that I might have not yet found the best clothing for me. And I think I’m still on a journey. So, I enjoy my work.

 

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Mr. Tutti and 100 Water Drops, Breathing, Mr. Bear's Chair

 

 

How do you balance texts and pictures?

 

There are times when you imagine the whole story just with pictures. For example, I had illustrations only for Mr. Tutti and 100 Water Drops, while Breathing and Mr. Bear's Chair had more text until the structure of the books was almost done.
When I start with these images, I add text at a later stage. If there’s text that goes very well with pictures, I draw all different pictures. It could be typical, but anyway, I make some sketches with different versions (1, 2, 3, 4) and discuss with editors and designers before completion.

 

 

I want to write books that give courage, love, and power
to people so they can live through their everyday life.

 

 

What’s the most important thing for your creative process?

 

I think it’s sensing and capturing daily miracles. I think within the very mundane things is the hidden truth of our life, and the key to unlocking the truth is also within those things. I love to write down conversations even when I don’t work. I believe conversations are the tools to capture a real moment. That’s why it is so vivid and full of surprise. Some people might have strikingly different answers in which I can find meaning. I can say that my hobby these days is jotting down conversations.

 

How would you define a writer?

 

“A life collector.”
I say this because writers are the people who discover a life of their own or others, or, all moments of all things around the world. And then “express with their own voices.” So I define it as such.

 

What books do you want to make?

 

Whenever I make a picture book, I think that all I can do is satisfy and amuse myself. So that my books can give some power, courage and love to others as much as they can go through their daily lives. I hope just that.

 

Mr. Bear's Chair Reading by Inkyung Noh

 

No way! What am I supposed to do?
I worked so hard.
I’m the kindest bear in the world.

 

This bear might have an illusion about being perfect. A kind bear, a nice bear.
But you would still be a kind and nice bear even if you reject something.
When the moment is broken, it would look like this. And after that moment,
You could meet Mr. Bear, who has grown to be wiser.

 

 

 

* The interview and video were produced as a part of the K-Book Online Marketing Support Project of the Publication Industry Promotion Agency of Korea (KPIPA).

 

 


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