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I met KIM IL KWANG in 2009 at JM ANIMATION STUDIOS in Seoul, South Korea. He was just a 21 year old kid and even then he was way ahead of the skill level of many of my peers in TV in Hollywood in my opinion. He was also the one who introduced me to Kim Jung Gi’s 2007 artbook, far before the illustration world were humbled by Jung Gi’s insane, viral, one-shot drawing videos. 

IL Kwang, myself, along with many of the many insane talents at JM animation ( many of them, kids), were picked to help develop Legend of Korra and eventually we all split from JM Animation to form Studio Mir, with IL KWANG and Kim Jinsung as the lead character designers. It’s been five years and I believe he’s grown so incredible it brings a tear to my eye. Super humble, soft-spoken and ALWAYS practicing, IL KWANG’s work as lead character designer on Books 1, 2 and 3 are an example of some of the very best in TV animation production.

South Korea for many reasons too long to discuss here are constantly hidden by the shadow of the American pre-production bubble established through years of sub-contract work and lack of exposure on many of our favorite, American-produced animated shows. I believe IL Kwang is one of them. Above are a sample of his many, daily sketches, many of them are 30-min studies.

Go say hello and thank the kid for his immense contributions to the designs of one of the best, modern animated shows in the states.

Kim il Kwang’s Facebook Page:

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