The strength of the Incheon International Conceptual Design competition!
About the internship
The winners of the 2019 Incheon International Conceptual Design competition will be selected by Sir Richard Taylor, the Head of Jury for the competition, to attend New Zealand’s Weta Workshop as an intern for a period of one month.
Living costs in New Zealand during the one-month period of the internship and one return economy airfare will be funded by Incheon city.
Incheon city aims to cultivate conceptual designers who understand the science fiction and fantasy genres, and as such are directly supporting the 2019 Incheon International Conceptual Design competition.
Furthermore, by introducing conceptual designs to filmmakers through the Pairing workshop within the Weta Workshop Fantasy Academy, and to others in the contents areas of TV, Games, and more via Exhibitions and the Sci Fi Conference, IFCON aims to kickstart a new and fertile era for the Korean SF / Fantasy creative industries.
IFCON had its roots in Gwangmyeong’s Fantasy Festival, which awarded 5 internship programs over the last 5 years. As a result, Sung Yujin, a winner from that festival’s 2015 competition started her career at Weta Workshop as a designer. She was the first Korean to be hired at Weta Workshop as a full-time designer.
The goal of this program is to develop Conceptual Designers in Korea by finding them opportunities and experience amongst the world’s pre-eminent Conceptual Designers at Weta Workshop. Our dream is that these fortunate artists become world-class conceptual designers themselves, ultimately contributing to the progress of Korea’s SF/Fantasy contents industry.
Development of Conceptual Design competition awards:
- Winner of 2014: winner and a runner-up visit for 1 week (Choi Hyunhwa, Lee Junho)
- Winner of 2015: 1 month internship for 2 Winners (Kim Sieun, Sung Yujin)
- Winner of 2016: 1 month internship for 2 Winners (Park Hyeonho, Kim Sujin)
- Winner of 2017: 1 month internship for 2 Winners (Chang Dae Geon, Heo Daeyun)
- Winner of 2018: 1 month internship for 2 Winners (Ryu Jiyeon, Park Sang Yeop)
Interview with 2018 Winner Ryu Jiyeon
Q. Why did you apply for the competition?
Hello. I am 2018’s Fantasy competition winner, Ryu Jiyeon.
I’ve always had interest in Weta Workshop’s conceptual art and hoped to visit the company one day. Then one day, a friend of mine introduced me to this competition and I applied for it.
Q. Tell us about the work you submitted and the theme.
The theme was according to the brief that year.
“A planet of medieval age exists somewhere. Describe this middle aged planet with a dab of fantasy.”
I wanted to show a beautiful and bright aspect of the culture. So my theme was, “A festival to celebrate peace, not to relive the past’s wars and mistakes.”
Q. How did it feel to receive the 1st prize?
First, I was surprised and couldn’t believe that was happening. Is it happening for real? I remember zoning out when I received the award. I still can’t believe I’ve spent my time at Weta Workshop as an intern.
Q. What are the differences between Korean content companies and Weta Workshop? What do you think we should learn from them?
I am currently working as a game Concept Illustrator in Korea. My job may be different from what I did at Weta Workshop, but the biggest difference is that Weta Workshop tends to focus on the individual’s creativity and promotes them, as a company. Weta Workshop revolves around the designers so they tend to bring out the best in the conceptual designers. I can’t really tell which is better or not, but as a designer, I was both surprised and pleased with how Weta Workshop tries to find each designer’s capability.
Q. What is Weta Workshop’s main concern?
They try hard to keep a good environment for artists to come up with creative output.
Q. Is there anything that you’ve experienced or an episode you want to share?
Every day was treasurable for me, but I guess the fondest memory was working shoulder to shoulder with the greatest designers. Being an intern can be misunderstood as being less involved and doing chores. But during the Weta Workshop internship, I was able to participate in quite a lot of practical work and actually participated in the process of designing, confirming, and handing over work to the director. The work I’ve experienced there is still a positive influence on me and the work I’m doing today.
Q. What kind of work are you doing now?
I am a character designer at NCSOFT, Lineage M team.
Q. Any comments for conceptual artists and SF/fantasy creators of Korea?
I am still learning as I work. I can’t give you any pointers… but if I had to share what’s on my mind, it would be, ‘Try to experience more, don’t be afraid to try new things and don’t let go of the chances presented to you.’ It is more important to stay on your path rather than working to achieve heights quickly. I am sure if you keep doing what you can and love to do, you will be another step closer to your highest goals.