Soyeon Kim, the Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence, Shares Highlights from her Event-filled October

Children’s book illustrator Soyeon Kim combines sketching, painting, wood working, and construction techniques to create magical 3D diorama works of art. This October, she joined the Toronto Public Library as the 2021 Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence.

Soyeon was kept busy over the month as she engaged virtually with both children and adults. Soyeon was able to connect with students of all ages. She hosted 16 elementary school workshops, three high school workshops, and one for Seneca College students. Her elementary school workshops adapted to different learning settings (hybrid, online and classroom learning). All workshops were delivered through Zoom or Google Classroom and teachers played a really important role as they became Soyeon’s eyes and ears in the classroom providing updates on where the students were with their progress and helping those who needed more support. Soyeon sends big hugs and thank yous to all the teachers!

Soyeon also hosted four adult-focused workshops that were attended virtually from Toronto, Saskatoon and Vancouver. Over 120 people tuned in live and nearly 100 more took advantage of the recordings to watch after the events.

In addition, Soyeon’s residency included Monday night portfolio reviews connecting with inspiring illustrators. She managed to fit 14 reviews in over four days! Soyeon reflected that in preparing for the workshops and meeting aspiring illustrators, she was taken back to her younger years when she was an aspiring illustrator and artist.

One highlight for Soyeon was the collaboration between IBBY Canada and IBBY Dominican Republic. This was a very special international session. Soyeon created a script, which was translated by Marcela Mangarelli and Géraldine de Santis. Before the presentation, she and the coordinators held a practice session to practice timing the PowerPoint and live demo translations. A big thank you to the team for making this opportunity possible. For Soyeon, this opportunity was definitely one of the perks of being able to use online tools.

As a last thought on her residency, Soyeon shared, “Sometimes, it is still hard to believe that I came this far, but I am very fortunate to be surrounded by people and a community who are supportive and love art! I hope that sharing my experience and journey of how I became an illustrator has inspired those who are dreaming, because their questions from Q&A sessions definitely have inspired me to grow!”

To learn more about Soyeon Kim, her incredible artistic process, and her picture books, visit:

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