My name is Seung yun Yoo and I live in Seoul, Korea. I make hand-printed home textile goods inspired by my plain but beautiful surroundings for my shop, knife in the water.
I find inspiration from collected images and objects. I love to visit flea markets and traditional marketplaces to find beautifully imperfect things with a history. Their individuality is a happy surprise that always excites me. Many parts of my collections are inspired by old movies. My shop is named after Roman Polanski’s first black and white film, which has been my favorite for many years.
For me, getting an idea for the collection is actually the hardest and longest part of the whole creative process. Once I have something in my head, everything flows smoothly from there. I start drawing the images on my computer and collect swatches from fabric vendors. After finalizing the print image, I have my screen and fabrics ready and the actual printing process starts.
My mother was an artist, and I grew up surrounded by paint smells, drawing tools, and many great art books. I think I always wanted to be a person who creates things with their hands. In college, I studied fashion design and got to learn screen printing. That’s when I started to make my own images and put them on t-shirts and fabrics. Making them one-by-one made me the printer I am today. Later, I found that my mother also did much of her work using silkscreen, and that I had a plenty of resources to start on my own.
After moving back to Korea and hectic and uninspiring mass-production day jobs, Etsy was my after-work shelter. Admiring many unique handmade artworks and watching the small makers find their place to stand and grow really inspired me. I made my mind up to quit my unhappy life and decided to do something I really liked.
A year later, I opened my Etsy shop and started to sell my printed items. It’s so surprising and amazingly encouraging that people from different countries and different cultures see your creations and buy them. It gave me a great deal of confidence to keep on doing what I love, and opened my eyes to the proud ownership of being a maker. I’m so glad to be a part of this hardworking creative community.
Most of all, I’m very happy with what I do. There are still lots of challenges producing hand-printed goods and running things all by myself, but doing what I love repays every bit of effort.
All photographs by knife in the water.