Illustrator and SVA faculty member Hyesu Lee (MFA 2011 Illustration as Visual Essay) is fond of sketching on the subway—people spying, as she thinks of it—and the energy, diversity and sheer messiness of New York City often makes it into her work. As seen in the most recent edition of SVA’s Sketchbooks video series (below), she fills her pages with humor and play, candid drawings done in colored pencil, crayon, and marker, abstract doodles, and simple scenes left unfinished. The eclectic mix includes some of her signature styles—crowded, chaotic cartoon parties and more dainty, carefully enumerated visual lists of, say, French café foods or things that help her to stay calm—as well as bouts of experimentation with paper cut-outs and collage.
Lee’s work is also currently on display as part of the SVA alumni exhibition “Street Smart: The Intersection of Art and Design in the City,” for which she has produced a bodega-themed mural to accompany her pocket-sized guides to Brooklyn and Queens, available as takeaways for visitors. See the show at the SVA Chelsea Gallery, 601 West 26th Street, 15th floor, before it closes on Wednesday, December 20.