Artist Profile: Kim Jung Gi (Practice, Practice, Practice!)
Kim Jung Gi is possibly the most prolific artist who ever lived. Every year he publishes a massive tome showcasing his sketches, drawings, and doodles. Much of his work is highly detailed and his range seems to be infinite, including people, machinery, architecture, plants, trees, robots, comics, cars, planes, spaceships, monsters, animals, anthropomorphic animals, aliens, caricatures, guns, cityscapes, road-scapes, crowds, product and ad design, complex perspective, etc., etc., etc.
Gi contrasts sharply with fantasy artist Brom, whom I also profiled recently. Brom is good “at one thing”, but Gi seems to be good at everything. He does not appear to do a lot of painting, but the (relatively) small amount of colour work in his sketchbooks demonstrates he is quite comfortable with colours.
You can’t help but be amazed by Gi’s work, and I think the thing that makes Gi’s drawings so remarkable is that they are both detailed and dynamic. It is quite rare for an artist’s work to have both qualities.
Although Gi’s drawings are truly incredible, the truly astounding thing about Gi is only revealed when you actually see him at work. He doesn’t sketch out a drawing in light lines and then go over it adding shading and detail. Instead, using a brush pen, he draws each individual thing in the image bit by bit, completing each part before moving on to the next. When asked about this, he replies that the “sketching” part takes too long! He can plan out an image in his mind, complete with compositional considerations, and then he just transfers it to the page.
Many people, when they see this, conclude that Gi must have some sort of autism, since there are some autistic individuals who draw this way, but from his video appearances and the testimony of his acquaintances, it is clear that he is not on the spectrum. He appears to be a normal individual with no difficulty interacting with others.
This seems inexplicable---for someone with a relatively normal mind to possess such unearthly artistic ability---but there is an answer. Kim Jung Gi looks at a lot of reference material and draws for TWELVE HOURS A DAY. This takes discipline, and I suspect his time in the army helped him learn this kind of discipline.
Practice makes perfect, but practice a lot and people will begin to think you must have made a deal with the devil in order to achieve such skill.
The more you practice drawing, the more the thought processes of drawing become ingrained and unconscious. You no longer have to consciously consider, “Is this the correct perspective?” or “Is this in proportion?” or “Is this a pleasing composition?” In Gi's case, he no longer even has to sketch; he just jumps right to the finished product.
Also, practice helps you build up a mental library. Draw a hundred cars, and you’ll be able to do it from memory no problem. You’ll also be able to combine elements from many different cars to create something original.
More here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmqFbgKWoao