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Yigit Cakar


Why Kim Jung Gi Was Great

The pinnacle of human imagination, kind, wild, and free soul, one of the living masters of art, Kim Jung Gi, passed away. I am incredibly sad.

For those who didn't have the chance to cross paths with him, here are some of the reasons why he was great:


    1. Kim Jung Gi was a master of visual arts

    This might seem like the most obvious reason, but when we are talking about Kim Jung Gi, this is one of the least impressive facts. To be honest, this is usually unimpressive in the art world because we have a lot of living masters.


    2. Kim Jung Gi drew everything from his imagination

    People think that artists usually draw from their imagination, but the reality is that most of us use a lot of references to aid us. We only draw things that we are used to drawing from our imagination. Kim Jung Gi had the most extensive visual memory known, and he drew everything from his imagination.


    3. Kim Jung Gi preferred to draw directly with ink

    When artists draw, they usually do it constructively, starting with simple structures and underlying drawings before they move to more permanent tools. Kim Jung Gi used ink and drew the finished work without structures or underdrawings.

    Watch the master at work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGbvhyTZXfs

    4. Kim Jung Gi drew in front of everybody

    Kim Jung Gi was a South Korean who didn't speak English, but his talent was so immense, the world wanted to see him draw. So he turned drawing in front of people into a new kind of art form. He travelled around the world, drawing, showing people the joys of art, opening people's minds, cracking them with jokes we only understand because of the translators.


    5. Kim Jung Gi Created Visual Narratives

    One of the greatest things about Kim Jung Gi was him sharing his great genius with the people. He would start with an idea, and as he went around the canvas, drawing, he would keep sharing what was going on in his mind while he was drawing. He would tell you how he was developing the narrative as he was drawing one thing after another. He was enjoyable to watch for everybody, but for artists and storytellers, he was a wealth of knowledge, and as you watched him, you would get new ideas, new ways of approaching stories and art would emerge in your brain.


    6. Kim Jung Gi taught people to love the drawing

    A lot of people love art, but drawing has always been looked down upon. Artists draw a lot, way more than they paint, but their drawings have always been hidden from the public eye, and were rarely considered as art but as a byproduct. The drawings were just the blueprints, and the paintings were the end-product, the product that mattered. As artists started sharing their sketches, Instagram changed this a little bit. Then Kim Jung Gi came and swept away all the misconceptions about drawing. He was a great painter himself, but we will always remember him as a great sketch artist because he loved drawing more than painting, and he preferred to do what he loved instead of following what was hip.


    7. Kim Jung Gi was shamelessly himself

    One of the main reasons we loved Kim Jung Gi was because he was himself. He never acted; he never tried to hide who he was or why he was doing what he did. He never tried to take the high ground. He was a man who loved to draw, wanted to draw, and would love to get paid for doing it. He loved to draw women. He was a big naughty, and he was proud of it. In a world where everybody is trying to look like somebody, to show their best self around, it was refreshing to see someone who was shamelessly himself, and accepted a lot of facts about himself that would horrify people. And people loved him for it, showing that you can be who you really are on the internet as well.


    8. Kim Jung Gi was incredibly humble

    Kim Jung Gi was a living legend, and everybody, including other artists, treated him as such. He lived the superstar artist life for around a decade, and his ego didn't even grow a bit. He was always the humble artist he was, being himself, sharing what he knew and thought. He encouraged other people to draw, telling them anybody who draws a lot and tries to draw from imagination by understanding the structure of the things they are drawing would be able to do what he was doing.


    9. Kim Jung Gi was much much more.

    You cannot understand who Kim Jung Gi was just by reading this. You have to watch the master in action.

    In mourning, I will do the same.



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