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Children's Book Illustrator Turns Talents to Charity, Fashion

2012/09/22 | 163 views |  | Permalink | Source

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The illustrations of Kim Seung-youn are usually found in children's books, but they now fill the fridges of convenience stores nationwide as she has put her skills to a different use by joining a campaign to help African children.

Despite the array of bottled mineral water on offer at stores, more people are opting to buy CJ Cheil Jedang's Mine Water these days, lured by Kim's drawings of African children and a big water droplet along with the message, "Please share water with children in Africa". Every time the barcode inside the water droplet is scanned, W100 won is donated to help kids in the impoverished continent receive clean water.

"I loved the idea and the objective of the campaign, that just by buying a bottle of water, people can help African children. I also had the idea of donating part of the proceeds from my books".

Kim writes and illustrates picture books, including "Foxhat" -- which was later turned into a short animation and screened at local theaters -- and "Yarnyarn". She also runs Text Context, an independent publishing company for children's books (

"I love writing and drawing, so I adopted the medium of illustrated books to satisfy my desire to express myself", she said. "I come up with the storyline first, then start drawing. I knew it wouldn't be an easy road to take, given the difficult conditions in the publishing industry right now. The market for printed books isn't good either, but I don't think paper books will disappear for a while yet".

Lately, Kim added another string to her bow by taking up a job as a fashion designer for a children's clothing company.

"My clothes will be showcased in next year's spring/summer collection. I designed clothes that would suit the characters which appear in my children's books".

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