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International Trends: Korean Children’s Book Market

Published on 05/06/2023

International Trends: Korean Children’s Book Market
Teacher: Yeeun Kim, Yeon Agency

There are a variety of prominent themes for children’s books in South Korea. One of the steady, best-selling themes is still Fairy Tales: Korean traditional tales, Andersen’s Fairy Tales, and Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Warm and traditional media styles of illustrations tend to be hired for this genre of children’s books. This style is also often used in storybooks and child’s therapy where they foster children’s manners as well as their mental and emotional health.

Korea is known for competitive education and parents would like to have their young children learn and experience new things from a very young age. This way they can naturally build learning and studying habits as they grow up. So for publishers to meet parents’ needs, they have started to focus more on creating high-quality content to build children’s exploration, observation, creativity, thinking, and EQ development.
As the content of the picture books gets difficult and informative, the publishers prefer bright colors for a fun and pleasant atmosphere in the book to keep the children’s attention and successfully convey the knowledge.

A Tip for Illustrators

Once you are hired on a job, it is important to build strong trusting relationships with your clients and to provide good illustrations in the style of your portfolio (that’s why they hired you, after all)! The publishing community in Korea is very small, which means editors know one another, and being true to your style, and being a communicative and on-time illustrator means a lot when they consider hiring you for future titles.
They recommend illustrators to their friends in the industry and they do check their competitors’ books and check the illustrators if they find artwork interesting.

For more free tips for how to improve your illustration portfolio, subscribe to our ITSme Learning Newsletter!

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