Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

January 3, 2013

Drawing attention: AHS grad's illustrations

AHS graduate is successful illustrator

Judy Wakefield
Staff Writer

---- — If you have a National Public Radio calendar for 2013, make sure to check out a red, white and blue illustration for November titled “Cook.”

The illustrator is JooHee Yoon, a 2007 Andover High School graduate, whose illustrations already have appeared in the New Yorker, New York Times and Village Voice, among others. She’s been out of art school for less than two years.

“JooHee Yoon was a fantastic student that has gone on to a successful illustration career,” Meghan Michaud of the fine arts department at AHS, said in an email. “It’s a great example of what our students can accomplish.”

Yoon said the art program at AHS was “really amazing, especially for a public school.”

“I even got to try a bit of printmaking for the first time in one of my classes, which definitely sparked my interest, and I took further printmaking classes once I got to college,” said Yoon, who graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in 2011.

Yoon’s illustrations are typically colorful as bright colors have always appealed to her, she said. She uses traditional printmaking techniques in her work.

“I think rather than style it’s my ability to solve problems that interests publications. I enjoy the challenge of trying to come up with an image that best captures the themes and ideas of an article while presenting it in a new way that interests the viewer,” Yoon said.

Yoon, who lives in Rhode Island, is working as a full-time freelance illustrator for several publications. She is clearly finding success whether her illustration work supports text or stands on its own. Both approaches allow her to be creative and she enjoys that, she said.

“I also appreciate the ability to reach people of all ages and backgrounds, whether it’s a child looking at a picture book or an adult reading a newspaper and seeing a black-and white-drawing,” Yoon said.

During her days in AHS art classes, teachers encouraged her to draw outside the box, so to speak, she said.

“It was a very supportive environment with amazing teachers who encouraged me to try new media and experiment. They had a great variety of courses, including drawing, painting, ceramics and even graphic design,” Yoon said.

One of her latest accomplishments is to have one of her pieces featured in the 2013 calendar for National Public Radio. Her “Cook” illustration is used for November. The piece also won a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators in New York City.

Another popular piece by Yoon is “Dog Dream.”

“It’s for a collaborative book project between artists and scientists exploring the mysteries of the universe. The book is titled, ‘The Where, the Why and the How’ and I got to illustrate the question, ‘why do we dream?’” Yoon said.