Illustrator Jason Raish followed his creative passion wherever it took him. Born in Seoul, South Korea, he came to the U.S. with his family at the age of three. After being raised in upstate New York, he studied fine arts for two years at SUNY Albany, then one year abroad at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, after which he started over at the Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.) in NYC, receiving a four-year Bachelors in Illustration.
But after another seven years in NYC, he decided to move to Beijing in 2008, not knowing when or if he’d be back. His trip turned into a six-year adventure around the globe, living in cities like Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul, Barcelona, London, and Paris, all while working as a freelance illustrator. His long list of selected clients included the New York Times, Nike, Facebook (Singapore), and the Smithsonian.
Now back in NYC, where he’s based in Park Slope Brooklyn, Raish’s creative journey has yet to come to its final conclusion: “It’s been a slow struggle that’s slowly paid off,” he admitted in an interview with Working Not Working Magazine. “And I don’t know if there’s really one turning point. It’s just been putting in the work, pushing myself, and not settling on good enough.”
Know for his hyperrealist illustrations, his work includes portraits as well as landscapes and cityscapes. Choosing his colors and compositions carefully, his pieces are likely to draw you in, where you might linger on details such as skin texture or the folds of a coat. “I want to keep pushing myself to think of better concepts and not over render everything, which is hard because my brain just wants to render stuff,” says Raish.