Eunnie is a Korean-American illustrator based in Washington. She loves exploring relationships through her art and writing, and finds much joy in the portrayal of queer intimacy. When she’s not cooking up new stories, Eunnie spends her time napping, watching video essays, and collecting hoodies in every color. Follow her @eunnieboo
I had the opportunity to interview Eunnie, which you can read below.
First of all, welcome to Geeks OUT! Could you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi, I’m Eunnie, and I’m a lesbian illustrator and cartoonist. I love drawing and writing character interactions, watching animated films, and singing, especially while I work. Happy to be here!
What can you tell us about your debut graphic novel, If You’ll Have Me? What inspired you to create this project?
If You’ll Have Me is a YA sapphic romcom about two girls named Momo and PG. It’s a quiet love story about communication and intimacy, inspired by the sweet, fluffy feelings of shoujo manga and my own desire to see a queer college romance.
Can you give us any trivia (that hasn’t already been given) about the characters from If You’ll Have Me?
Oh I love this! Yes.
- the type to carry everything in her bag or purse—she’s always extra prepared when she goes out
- loves RPGs, but will usually avoid first-person games because they tend to give her motion-sickness
- played the flute in high school band
- fell out of a treehouse and dislocated her right wrist when she was young—she became left-handed because of this
- secretly hates spiders but will never admit it because she likes being Momo’s knight in shining armor
- would probably be interested in audio engineering
How did you find yourself getting into storytelling, especially comics/graphic novels? What drew you to the medium?
I’ve always liked telling stories, whether it be in conversation, writing, or art, but whenever I drew an illustration, I’d often feel like one picture wasn’t enough! Comics seemed like the next logical step, especially since I was already a fan of manga and webcomics. The fact that you can just pick up a pencil and create a world all your own, with endless opportunity to fill it with everything you love… It’s so exciting and so good.
How would you describe your art background?
I’ve been drawing ever since I was little. Around seventh grade, my brother gave me my very first tablet, and I became obsessed with digital art. When I was in high school I started seriously considering it as a career. I went to art college, got a degree in design, and now I work full time as a production artist for a small game company.
How would you describe your creative process?
On a typical illustration, I tend to jump around a lot. I’ll start coloring before I’m done inking, or I’ll have multiple WIPs up so I can constantly be doing whatever I’m most interested in. For my graphic novel, I had to focus on one part of the process at a time, so that was a bit of a challenge, mentally!
As a creative, who or what would you say are some of your greatest creative influences and/or sources of inspiration?
I’m constantly inspired by the artists I follow and the stories I read. I have a special place in my heart for indie comics—ShortBox Comics Fair is coming up soon, and that’s always such a treat. Music is a big source of inspiration for me, too. I often find myself wishing that I could make others feel the way a song makes me feel. I want my art to evoke emotions like that.
Growing up, were there any stories in which you felt touched by/ or reflected in? Are there any like that now?
I can’t recall any stories that spoke to me in terms of my identity, so I think the closest answer might be A Series of Unfortunate Events. At the time, I felt it really grasped the unfairness of being a child, and having adults dismiss or belittle you because you’re young. Nowadays, I think My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness captured a lot of feelings I had as well, about sexuality, anxiety, and self-doubt.
Besides your work, what are some things you would want readers to know about you?
It might not be apparent in my art, but I do enjoy horror! I’m too much of a weenie to watch most horror movies (unless I know literally everything that’s about to happen), but I like watching in-depth reviews and reading scary stories. I think it’s a genre that deserves more recognition.
What’s a question you haven’t been asked yet but wish you were (and the answer to that question)?
So this isn’t really a specific question but I just wanted to talk about games because I keep hearing about Baldur’s Gate 3 and I’m like, do I need to get this? I don’t know if I’d be any good at D&D, but I’ve always been curious about it. The character creation is so intriguing to me. Disco Elysium has also been on my radar, and I’m dying to pick up Ghost Trick and River City Girls 2, but there’s still favorites I want to revisit, like Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing and Splatoon… Ahh! I miss playing games.
Are there any other projects you are working on or thinking about that you are able to discuss?
I’m currently writing the script for my second YA graphic novel! It’s another sapphic romance, and it’s going to be a bit more serious in tone—something more fantastical and dramatic. I still have a long way to go, but I’m really excited. I can’t wait to share more, in due time.
What advice might you have to give to aspiring creatives, especially those interested in working on their own graphic novels one day?
Wow there’s so much I could say, but for brevity’s sake: If you want to get into traditional publishing, you’ll need multiple sources of income or some kind of support system in place. The reality is, if I tried to live off the first quarter of my book advance alone, I wouldn’t have been able to afford rent. I got by because I had another job with a steady paycheck and health insurance, and friends who looked out for me. I think artists tend to deal with this sort of thing because we love what we do so much… but it’s still labor. And until the conditions in these industries improve, you’ve got to take care of yourself.
Finally, what LGBTQ+ books/authors would you recommend to the readers of Geeks OUT?
I’m personally fond of the Kase-san series by Hiromi Takashima. It’s just so sweet and gives me the most fluttery feelings. More recently, I started reading She Loves to Cook, and She Loves to Eat by Sakaomi Yuzaki, and I’ve been enjoying that too!