Interview With Gongdreen Cat Art, Tea Time With Cats Has Never Been This Much Fun

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Q1: Please Introduce Yourself to Our Community

Hi, I am Yoo Juhyun from Seoul, South Korea. I am very happy to introduce myself.

My major in university was print and I became a muralist after I graduated.  During that time, I dreamt of having a big canvas board which could be filled with all my ideas, but mostly I envisioned making the city look more beautiful with my paintings.

At that time, before I painted on a wall, I had to visit the place I was about to paint and get an idea which could fit the space and environment perfectly. I enjoyed it a lot and came out with many interesting ideas at that time. However, as time went by, I realized that a muralist’s audience is limited, while I aspired to show these interesting ideas to more people. So, I asked myself “why don’t I make some products out of these paintings, so it could be possible for people all over the world to see?”

This is when I made the decision to combine my art together with other products. Now I am a visual artist, illustrator, and a product designer. I enjoy this life very much, And I would like to continue being a creative director in the future.

Q2: Tell us more about the inspiration behind your work

I love traveling and I have traveled a lot all over the world. I visited the Amazon rainforest, different deserts around the world, India and much more. I love our nature, which inspires me greatly every time I go out and about. The colors, the sounds, everything is just so amazing out in nature. I prefer to visit places that people normally do not go. Even though I encounter many difficulties along the way, the effort is very much worth it.

I still remember one of the nights I stayed in the desert, on an especially-starry night. When I looked at the night sky full of blazing stars, I felt as if I was standing in the middle of the universe alone. I will never forget this incredible night sky. As time goes by, this beautiful memory and experience became a part of me. It taught me that every time when I want to create a new design, great ideas can come out naturally when traveling.

Besides going out into nature, I spend a lot of time with my nephew and children. By talking with them and discussing all kinds of things, I can see the world through a whole other point of view.  I feel like I go back to my childhood time as well. I love children’s eyes! Through them, you can find a new and beautiful world, which you might ignore in your daily life.

Q3: What do you like most about making cat art?

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I want to bring love and happiness to people, and I feel great when I know that people really share my feelings of happiness.

For example, with the cat tea bag I made, I designed the package as a gift card which you can write down a message on it directly. I believe that we need these chances to express our love and appreciation to people we care about.  The reason why I made the tea bag is that I want people to have an enjoyable tea time with their loved ones.

Seeing someone feel warm and happy by using our product is the ultimate moment for me. Nothing beats it.

Q4: What do you have planned for future?

In the future, I want to expand the product line further and make more interesting products.

Also, I would like to make a tea room for people, so they can enjoy premium tea with a joyful atmosphere.

I will also keep supporting animal protection as well. Nowadays I feed street animals based on our sales turnover, so I will try to find more ways to support those animals in the future.

Q5: Do you have any special story with a cat?

When I was a child, I had a cat. My mom and I took care of her very tenderly. We had lots of nice moments with her. Somewhere along the line, like many other cats, she gave birth to five baby cats.

After giving birth, she became very weak. At a certain point, she was so weak, I am guessing she knew she was going to die. That’s when she lay on the floor and waited for my mother to come back home. As soon as my mom got home, she died. I guess she waited because she wanted to say goodbye.

I was heart-broken for a long time, and this experience became one of the saddest memories of my childhood. Needless to say, this had a profound effect on me. Even today I still have a hard time raising cats, since the fear of losing another cat still haunts me.

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