We are in LOVE with Yubin Lee’s adorable ceramics (a tiny duckie swimming in a bowl of soy sauce, people, c’mon!) and were tickled to learn that she’ll be selling her work at OCAD Artist Alley, coming to 100 McCaul on September 29.

“I currently have ceramic wall hangings/mobiles, moon-shaped bowls, sake bottles and glasses, and milk bottles!” says Lee. “I’m also planning to sell some push pins.” The event will have plenty of art on offer, so if you’re wanting some new paintings or ceramics to decorate your room, a one-of-a-kind jacket, custom ring, prints, zines or stickers, come! It’s free.

Lee studied design at OCADU, majoring in graphic design and minoring in ceramics. We chatted her up this week.

Yubin Lee

SDTC: At what point did you realize you wanted to be a designer for a living? 

YL: I’ve always had my passion for art since my childhood. I realized that I wanted to be a designer in high school and was influenced by my sister, who also wanted to be a designer, and naturally passed it to me.

How has your approach to design changed in the last few years? 

Starting in my third year of school, I decided to take a semester abroad to France to learn and get out of my comfort zone. After I came back, I took a bunch of ceramic classes at school, which was another starting page of my design life. Even after spending six or ten hours inside the studio, time flew by so quick and I had so many ideas to make anything with clay. I would say the greatest influence on my choices and the works I create come from my surroundings, especially my friends and peers. By hearing their stories, [it encourages me] to try new things.

What is your favourite medium, and why?

I would definitely say clay. It is such a fascinating medium. Clay can be liquid, soft, or hard. Each stage has pros and cons, and it’s fun to learn about those things and it’s also about chemical. Another thing I love is that I don’t get control over everything. Sometimes, I have to trust the kiln (where we fire ceramics) to do its job, and it’s like a surprise box every time I open it. So many unexpected things happen in working with clay, and it’s a learning process.

What projects do you have coming up that you are excited about?

I just started my new job at a company, and my focus right now is learning from them. I wish I could do more ceramics in the future, but I always know that I will go back at some point in life to create more. (I still have so many more ideas!)

What should we be paying more attention to?

I think we should be paying more attention to our minds and how to become a mindful person. Also, listening to our body is important. I’ve started to have an interest in meditation these days; I guess that is where it came from. There are lots of benefits of meditating, and one I personally heed is self-awareness.

What is your mantra lately?

Being thankful for my life and the people around me.

Rewind five years. What advice would you give yourself?

I would say take more risks, more challenges, and travel more. Be fearless and have confidence because I know I can handle some shit. Don’t be afraid to take some responsibilities.

What tip, technique or hack has made your life better in the past year?

I’ve been very interested in learning more about digital design recently. My thesis was a VR project, and learning 3D software opens up so many opportunities to look at other design-related jobs.

What outfit makes you feel the most you?