About 2 million years ago, the island of Jeju was formed by a volcano eruption. Jeju, with its beautiful nature, is also home to the highest mountain in South Korea - Halla Mountain. Given the fact that the distance between Croatia and Jeju Island is 8,868 km and I probably won’t visit it anytime soon, I was honoured to receive a book which was highly inspired by the gorgeous nature and scenic views of the Jeju Island - “Finger Play” by design studio Round ground. “Finger Play” was sketched on Jeju Island and then finished in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province. I was also lucky to receive their second lovely book - “Face Play”.
“Finger Play” was published in 2017, then “Face Play” came out and third book called “Toe Play” is coming out soon. All books are designed so that parents and kids can play together during story time. Although each page has one written line (in both Korean and English), books provide open-ended play, allowing children (and parents) to express themselves in play freely and creatively.
I asked Suhyun Bae (dding dong), a Creative Director of Round ground few questions, so I’ll let her do the talking.
1. Hello! Could you, please, introduce yourself?
I majored in visual design, with 10 years of experience as a designer including brand experience designer, creative designer and toy designer. I am currently running design studio round ground. Design studio Round ground has the old view that the large world is made when all elements of the world including sprouts, soil, water drops, sun, human, animals and plants, house, etc. gather together. Round ground is making contents brand that convey warm joy, its main topic being innocence of childhood.
2. We love your illustration style. What would be your dream project?
Focusing on development playbook series, toys, stationery goods, etc. under development now, I would like to expand our spectrum to more various areas. In the center of the contents Round ground wishes to make are kids, and we will make contents that can give positive energy and help to everyone including the adults who go along with the kids.
3. Do you ever experience creative blocks and how do you deal with it?
When I design, I tend to shape up thoughts for a long time and start my work accordingly. It seems I can work faster and concentrate better when I shape up design in my head, and I happen to acquire new ideas in the process of drawing freely. I take a walk, observe the nature and attend various exhibitions to break away from the range of my work to widen the range of my thoughts.
4. Can you tell us a bit about illustration scene in South Korea?
There are many artists who make creative and awesome illustrations in Korea. The illustration style is so massive and various that it is difficult to define Korea illustrations in one sentence.
Illustration is used not just as drawing, but is also collaborated with various areas such as advertisement, fashion, products, etc. to make synergies. I believe in the importance of illustration.
5. How can we order your books?
Soon, Round ground website will open and global sites will be made as well so our goods can be bought worldwide. We agreed to export to Gallimard for French, Penguin Random House for Spanish, and Chinese Eastern Publication of Taiwan for traditional Chinese. Our products can be bought at on and offline bookstores of the country. We are taking measures so orders can be placed on our website from early 2019. We can provide detailed consultation if you send us Instagram direct message or e-mail.