I am interviewing Shin Min-Ho – web and graphic designer, artist and art director from Republic of Korea – about his Webpingstory. Webpingstory is one of our Favorite Foxes and it is a fantastic opportunity to get to know it a bit better.
First thing to be seen on your site entrance is “E-mo” art work. Why did you decide to show this particular work over others? Is the reason is that there is a special meaning personally to you or it is just your latest project?
Oh, that is because “E-mo” is my latest project. While I was working on my new project, I just made this “E-mo” for fun to be refreshed.
emotion > E-mo. A personal work / character
How strongly emotions affected your working process on Webpingstory and in general while working on any of your projects?
I think emotions very strongly affected most of my works on Webpingstory.
First of all, the most important thing in my working process was my personal emotions such as love, or sadness that I experienced while communicating with others.
I also did my personal works when I felt so stressed out because of commercial projects.
Can you remember a particular emotion or situation that influenced your site design element or elements?
My dream is working as a designer for life. So I keep checking whether I fall behind and try to develop by myself.
One of the things that I’ve tried to develop myself is renewing Webpingstory and this version is the 7th outcome.
I thought about what kind of layout, tone, and manner could show me and my works effectively and then, I thought about the recent trend that I could reflect on my site.
Since most of my works were grotesque and make a strong impression, I tried to make the site design as simple as possible so that users could focus on my works.
I would say that the site structure more logical than emotional, but in your works seems like lots of emotions. What did guide you most between the two when you have decided on Webpingstory design?
I think the most important thing for design is clearly delivering its purposes. In my case, Webpingstory is the space for showing my works and my thoughts. To show my works effectively, I needed the logical structure where users could use the site conveniently so that they could focus on my works, not distracted from other site elements. On the other hand, my personal works are what show my every emotion. When I broke up with my girlfriend, when I was passionate about design, , or when I felt stressed out by design, I tried to express those emotions by my works and I hoped I could deliver my thoughts and emotions to people through my works.
In sum, I think I have completely different styles/ways to design. I try to be logical when I need to make a big layout, (or do commercial works), but I express every last emotion that I’ve experienced through my personal works.
How would you define the difference between art and design?
질문주신 내용은 디자이너와 예술가들 사이에 가장 큰 논쟁이라고 생각한다.
개인적으로 보통은 대중성이나 상업성을 기준으로 디자인과 예술을 나누기도 하지만, 사실 디자인과 예술 모두 그 둘을 포함하는 것이다. 다만 여기서 중요한 것은 작가가 객관적이냐 주관적이냐에 따라 나뉘는 것 같다. 좀 더 보편화된 객관적인 근거로 논리적 접근을 시도하는 것이 디자인이고, 예술의 경우는 보는 이에 해석에 따라 달라지기도 한다.
I think your question is a kind of big question in the field of design and art.
In general, people think design and art can be divided by popular appeal and commercial potential. But I think design and art can be divided not by popular appeal and commercial potential but by the intention of the works/projects. In other words, design can be supported by generally objective evidence, but art seems to be more subjective than design. But this seems to be changed by each person’s view.
In my personal opinion, however, the boundary between art and design is getting more ambiguous. Joseph Beuys, German artist, said that every human being is an artist, if they are creative. So I think I am not only a designer but can also be an artist. In this view, I think you are an artist too. :)
web ping story, web pulse story…
The word “ping” has many meanings. What meaning you have put in the word? What is the story behind this name?
Frankly speaking, when I was in high school, I had a kind of pressure that I should make a nice nickname. I think one day I was doing a kind design project which was making maps and I learned the word, ‘mapping.’ At that time, I didn’t know anything about English or the principle of making English words. So I just thought that… since ‘mapping’ meant making a map, if I changed the ‘map’ of ‘mapping’ into ‘web,’ the word ‘webping’ would mean ‘making web’… haha…… well I’ve used this nickname for about 15 years, and now I’m just using it.
Often the case helps us to find new forms. Let us be attentive to our misses!
I feel like that the combination of words web and ping can be related to individual and the combination of words web, ping and story feels like more group oriented, the word story makes it more general. What is your vision of the title? What I mean is are you trying to tell a story of all web pings, even ours… because me and my friends also pinging the web, as well as all others do… ?
As you said, the works that I, Webping, have made seem to just show my own personal growth or personal emotions. But as I showed my works on the open space, “Webpingstory”, and communicate with others including you, I thought my works or thoughts in them seemed not just my personal story, but could be the story that you and me, we, could shared. So I made “Webpingstory” as a title of my website.
Seems like that this question is irrelevant, if the Webping is your nickname :) I prepared this one along with the next question – “story – ambition. Are there any ambitions behind the meaning of the title? Does in this case [story] indicates any kind of ambition?” – and was really interested to ask them, but… :( Let’s move on :)
Is the Webpingstory all handcrafted? How do you feel using others’ scripts?
I made all the works on Webpingstory by myself, and in the case of artworks, I used my picture or got other sources on the Internet. But actually I didn’t get what you mean. Can you explain it in detail?
The question was particularly about the site structure: CSS & JS.
Since I cannot develop website, basically I used the templates of WordPress and I modified them partly considering the site design.
How long approximately it took you to create this, correct me if I am wrong – 7th version of the site?
Because most works of my portfolio were already made, it took about one month to decide the concept, tone, and manner and make the layout.
Since when do you use WP? What advantages you see using WP? What plugins you are using?
This 7th version is the first one that I used WP. I think I can more easily manage my portfolio using WP. I don’t know much about plugins. :(
Is the site design based on all new ideas or it is partly based on the previous design version? Can you say that on a regular basic your works growing from previous projects or there is no obvious relation?
Through the seven renewals of my site, I always thought about how I could show my works more effectively. I mean the purpose of my website was always same. But since whenever I made new version of the site, I tried to think over more creative or better ways, concepts that met this purpose, the latest concept or appearance of the site is always different from the previous ones.
And in the case of artworks or projects, there is no obvious relation between the latest one and the previous ones.
I am curious how did you come-up with the idea to animate content in the header section while scrolling?
I think many people are tired of clicking, a common way to move on from the main page to sub pages. So I thought about another way to show people as many works as possible using the simplest interaction. That’s why I used the way of scrolling in one page structure.
I am full of respect and want to thank Shin Min-Ho for his time. We wish you all the best in your creative work.