Drawing Korea

This is the travel sketchbook Drawing Korea of a seasoned artist vagabond. It had been years since I’d taken a proper vacation, freeing my mind from pressure and putting my plans aside. I was invited by a friend to his wedding in Seoul, and took the opportunity to meticulously record all my observations in an entire notebook dedicated to drawing!
Well, what defines a successful trip? It’s a combination of destination, pleasant company and, above all, unexpected encounters! It’s immersing yourself in local stories, embracing unexpected twists and turns, and cherishing those spontaneous adventures that create unforgettable memories. And let’s not forget the magic of admiring a few breathtaking sunrises along the way.

Sketching in all postures, whether standing or sitting, is the quest of the passionate artist. I scrupulously record everything I observe, every exchange overheard in conversation, every tiny detail that enriches a journey.

The program for my stay is very simple. Spend as much time as possible in Seoul, do some hiking and see nature in Seoraksan, visit Busan and the sea before ending on a high note with my friend’s wedding.

The winter low season attracts few tourists due to the freezing temperatures. That’s why we were able to hold the wedding during this off-peak period.
January turns out to be an extremely cold month! We endured temperatures as low as -14 degrees, with the cold seeping down to the bones, making any attempt at warming up arduous. Even when you’re snug and warm inside, the icy feeling doesn’t let up!

Seoul offers an incredible diversity of neighborhoods! Between tradition and modernity, you’ll find huge shopping malls that open onto other equally imposing centers. There’s the bustling Yongsan electronic market district, where you can explore a multitude of open-space boutiques. Then there’s the lively bar district of Itaewon, as well as the upscale neighborhoods of Gangnam, where ultra-modern buildings stand side by side with even more luxurious private galleries. And let’s not forget the traditional houses around Gyeongbokgung Palace, the Myeongdong night market and the young district around Hongik University. Personally, my favorite spot is the small cheonggyecheon stream where you can relax away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

I vowed to capture every moment of the grandiose ceremony in my sketchbook! In the heart of Gangnam, surrounded by 300 guests, we were dazzled by a sumptuous buffet and an opulent ceremony, overflowing with flowers and glitter. The bride and groom’s guests came from all over the world: France, USA, Australia, Japan, Austria and Kenya. The evening ended in a very drunken atmosphere, where I ended up handing out balloons to all the passers-by in Gangnam after having screamed too much in front of the bride and groom’s slides.