We introduce JunHyung Hong, Senior Creative Specialist at Aarki Korea. An artist at heart, JunHyung is passionate about arts and design, which is reflected in his professional and personal life. He talks about what it’s like being an artist in the mobile adtech industry, as well as how he stays creative, inspired, and motivated.
Q: Tell us about your role in Aarki.
My role is to identify design trends in Korea. I also ideate and then execute creative strategies to produce ad creatives in different ad formats. My job requires using creative tools such as Aarki Studio and Adobe programs, as well as providing insights into Korean design and art culture, such as typography, copywriting, color balances, etc.
Q: Why did you choose a career in the mobile advertising industry?
I specialized in Graphic Communication Design.
"I became very interested in advertising because it tells a message through images, rather than just words, which makes it a very powerful way to communicate."
I chose the mobile advertising industry because the mobile market is getting bigger and it makes me very happy to see the creatives I have done being served on users’ mobile devices.
Q: Describe your typical day as a Senior Creative Specialist.
Being in a senior position makes me feel more responsible, so I spend some time each day searching for insights on Korean mobile ads and reading design articles on visual trends, as well as refining my creative skills on platforms like After Effects.
My typical day is totally dependent on my daily tasks and team sync-ups. I normally handle Korean accounts, but if there are urgent or localization needs, I work on them as well. Recently, I have done new storyboards for a couple of Korean accounts to refresh their ad creatives.
Q: What task do you find most challenging, but fulfilling? Why?
The most challenging task is delivering creatives that match what our clients have envisioned. It is important for me to catch what they imagined visually, but it is sometimes difficult to execute an idea from someone else. For example, clients can request modern concepts with an antique design, or simple concepts but with fancy patterns. As a solution to overcome this situation, I communicate a lot with clients to fully understand their ideas better and to get my output to be close to what they envisioned.
It is very fulfilling because it gives me a better understanding of the clients and helps our team generate great outcomes.
Q: How do you stay inspired creatively?
I constantly search for inspiration by observing my surroundings. I vary my work environment because it allows me to see new perspectives.
"I visit exhibitions and book shops to get inspired and I also research about mobile design to get new motivation."
Q: Can you give advice to people who want to start a career in creatives?
Being skilled in creative tools is not all that’s required for a career in creatives. There are many things required like: communication skills, finding inspiration, searching for trends, being sensitive to change, problem-solving, visual technical skills, the ability to see things in a different perspective, and more. It might sound like it is not that simple and easy, but if you think you can enjoy creating something, I highly recommend trying it out. There are many things you can do with your creativity.
Q: What do you appreciate most about working at Aarki?
I really appreciate working with great people from global teams because their energy and attitude make me happy and feel positive.
"Working with great people always motivates me and it directly reflects on my work. I really feel lucky to work with them."
Q: When you’re not working, what do you like to do?
I like to go to my art studio, and love to express my ideas and thoughts through painting, drawing, and doodling. I always wanted to be an artist and designer, so I have been working on my personal work to achieve another dream: having my personal exhibition next year.
Q: Tell us about your favorite place.
Anywhere that has sunlight, nature, jazz music, arts and design books, and nice furniture. These elements make me feel very peaceful, comfortable, and inspired.
Q: If you could instantly perfect a skill right now, what would it be?
It would be to find out the perfect hardcore and midcore game creative strategies. In Korea, these types of mobile games have a huge market, which we are targeting. I have been trying to explore more insights and technical skills to capture more users in this market.