New week, new blessing as for the first time we get the chance to talk to Rato Kim. The creator of the lovable Breadcat that has taken the world by storm. We get to ask a few questions and a small glimpse behind the scenes. Sit back and lets enter the world of Rato Kim in South Korea.
Breadcat has been a global success and you’ve steady put your stamp onto the art toy scene. Did you think Breadcat would be adopted throughout the world so quick?
I never expect it to happen and I still don’t feel that it’s real, but I am happy to see my Breadcats when it is reported by the media. I am feeling it is real when I see my Instagram growing numbers of followers or reviews from my customers.
Art Toy Culture is one event we would love to have a chance to experience. What’s your experience of ATC?
Lots of people have their interests in Art Toy recently in Korea. They are trying to develop various contents in our pop culture. You can see the wide variety of people have interests at ATC. You should come over soon.
Going back to your adorable Breadcat, what was the thought and process behind the design?
I prefer simple designs work to sophisticated ones. I always want to put my feelings or emotion into my works. I tried to put my feelings of happiness into the Breadcat, and I feel happy when I make Breadcats.
You’ve had many variations your platform boxcat, from watermelon, wood, ugly doll and obviously Breadcat. How do you get all your ideas?
Fancy designs and colors were my first thing about the designs, but I realized that it was my weakness. It was a level I needed to break and get more ideas instead of just colour variations. I started to look around the things easily accessible and normal. It makes me awaken how to express ideas through Boxcats. So I think, we can gain a great inspiration sometimes from something small and plain.
We love your drawings too. Will you be launching any prints anytime soon?
I am just concentrating on toys now, but if I have a chance, I would like to challenge many related contents with my drawing.
Do you sketch out your designs before putting them onto your platform?
It can be spontaneous sometimes I do my art from sketching before hand and sometimes go with the flow, with my instinct.
We love Korean food, what’s your top 3 dishes or restaurants you would recommend the readers to try?
I would like to recommend these three. Kimchi fried Rice, Jeyuk Bokkeum (stir-fried spicy pork) and Kimchi Jjiigae with pork(Kimchi stew). They are all little spicy, but most typical meals that Korean people enjoy are a little spicy.
Have you got any favourite western artist that you like or get inspiration from?
Yes, there are many western artists I get inspiration from. One of them is Buff Monster. I even did collaboration work on drawing “Easter Rabbit” with him, in my imagination.
We’ve seen so many great artists from South Korea and the community over in Korea looks very tight and close with each other. Do you have any mentors who’s based in Korea?
There are a lot of mentors around me to help increase my thinking and confidence. So I think that I am very lucky.
You guys have a couple of designer you stores and events. Do you feel like it’s helped Koreans art scene?
I think that these conditions in Korea are keen to give the work motivation of the individual artists and provides inspiration, so 100 percent it helps.
Korea is a big eating and fashion hub, not forgetting the KPOP what’s your interests apart from art.
My favorite thing is watching a movie like horror or cooking. Another thing is watching the contents on YouTube or SNS ( Social Networking Service like Instagram and Facebook). I enjoy cosplay and i’ve been taking part with friends over the years.
Your studio looks very organised, do you cast, sculpt and paint all yourself?
I do. I like to do everything myself directly. Being involved in every step of the way possible. It’s all about the personal touch.
You’ve just recently worked with our friends at MyPlasticHeart how did it feel to be called up from folks in the USA wanting your art?
I was very happy. I had to SCREAM because I was so happy! It’s definitely one of my most memories for 2016 .
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What does Rato like doing in her spare time when arts not involved?
I often enjoy a Mobile Games, watching YouTube content or date with my boyfriend.
What’s the worst part in making Boxcat?
Not really a worst part. I’m just enjoying every moment while working, but sanding is a pain.
We first saw your version of the kidrobot dunny “Easter Rabbit”. You made plenty of designs and a much darker style. We regarded it the Dunny of the East. Will you be planning to bring back Easter Rabbit?
Of course, I’m preparing a remake of Easter rabbit more cute now. I will soon plan to publish the all new Easter rabbit.
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Can you walk us through your work space, and what are some of your favorite things about your space.
It’s summer is now, The best thing about my studio is that the air conditioning works well.
When you wake up what’s the first thing you do?
First, I check my SNS when I wake up ( Social Networking Service like Instagram and Facebook)
Do you listen to music when you’re sketching/customising
I prefer to watch YouTube and movie content than listening to music.
Some quick-fire questions
I often change the favorite color, I like hot pink now.
Money is no object ? what do you do first ?
I wanna World Travel.
If you could meet any person (dead or alive)
I miss my boss when I was working at a company. She died too young. There are lots of bureaucracy images in Korea such as working overtime at night or relationship hierarchy.
She was one of victims of the society. I was really shocked and I decided to stand up and fight against such custom. She really motivated me strongly, and I still wear the shoes she gave me.
What is the one book or film you think everyone should see ?
“3 Idiots” would be helped in life. Or I like this movie named “Julie & Julia”, about cooking, it makes feel HUNGRY or missing something in my stomach.
Here’s a quick snippet of Rato Kim working on her Breadcat.