Shiyoon Kim Art Style Study

For this week, I did an art study on an artist that I really admire, Shiyoon Kim. Shinyoon Kim is a character designer currently employed at Disney Animation Studios whose portfolio spans many popular animated films such as Raya and the Last Dragon, Zootopia, Big Hero 6, and Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse where I first discovered his artwork. I really admired his art style because of his smart use of simple shapes and geometry to convey complex items such as facial features, emotions, and body language. I wanted to break down Shiyoon Kim’s stylization so that I can later apply them to my own art style.

For this art study, I looked at concept art for one of the characters that Shiyoon Kim did for the Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse film. For this particular art study, I looked at the character Gwen Stacy (A.K.A. Spider-Gwen). Here I tried to break down what exactly Shiyoon Kim did with when designing the different emotions being conveyed and what steps he took.

Since there are so many concepts to break down for Shiyoon’s stylization, I thought it is best to break down the most prominent idea that I noticed first when studying his art style. I noticed how Shiyoon Kim used strong geometric shapes (like rectangles) that were angular to convey stronger emotions such as when Gwen Stacy is conveying a more serious reaction or when there is a force being applied (such as when Gwen is raising her eyebrows or scrunching them). He uses rounder shapes whenever Gwen is conveying a more neutral or surprised expression as shown in the art study I made below (left side).

Art style study of Shiyoon Kim
Art study of Shiyoon Kim with character, Gwen Stacy

Shiyoon’s use of angular and rounded geometric shapes is not the only concept that I abstracted from his art style. Using one continuous line to define facial features, simplified shapes, and color-blocking are concepts that Shiyoon has applied to his art style that I am also trying to extract from. There is still so much for me to learn from Shiyoon Kim’s stylization that it would take quite a while to break it down into one blog post. So, I won’t do that.


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