Jiyoung HWANG

AVP, Brand Creative | KIEHL'S


 Jiyoung is an art director, graphic designer, illustrator, painter, creative thinker, and a visual story teller. Born in South Korea, she moved to the US for an education and received her undergraduate degree in Illustration and her graduate degree in Communication Design. She gained experience designing for SAS Creative Marketing, AR Media, and Harper’s Bazaar, gradually building her career path towards her current position as the Assistant Vice President, Global Brand Creative at Kiehl’s Since 1851.




 1. What was your very first job?

My first job was with SAS Creative Marketing —the university’s in-house design agency that designs and publishes school pamphlets, brochures, and advertisements for school activities and such. I worked

there as a graphic designer and illustrator. My work experience at SAS Creative Marketing really became the stepping stone for what I am currently doing.


2. Please describe, in your own words, what your job is and what work it entails.

I create visual concepts for new, or relaunching, product campaigns. I believe that an eye-catching visual solution is the key to draw-in and recruit both new and existing customers, as it conveys the message of the products in an artistic way.

In order to achieve a successful launch at Kiehl’s, I work with marketing professionals, copywriters, digital/social media teams, and our store design team to complete and maximize a 360 degree campaign.

In the process of the campaign development, I also collaborate with talented photographers, stylists, illustrators, and agencies. I provide them with art direction to ensure all the assets and content we are creating meet our brand’s guideline.

I focus on being creative, collaborative, hard-working, and open-minded in order to bring synergy to the campaigns and the brand.


3. How did you discover that the creative world was right for you? Was there a time in your life that you credit to this discovery? What was there train of events that brought you to where you are today?

Since I was a child, I have loved drawing and forming things with clay. I have a vivid memory from my childhood when I covered an entire wall in my room with my drawings. Thankfully, my parents, who recognized my talent early, exposed me to various kinds of arts. I enjoyed drawing and creating things with my own hands so much that I often forgot what time it was and I would stay up very late even when doing homework - for my art classes of course!

I studied illustration in my undergraduate program and graphic design my graduate program. Today, I rely on both of my educational experiences. My illustration skills enhance my design process as I hand draw my designs, concepts, layouts, typography, etc.


4. In your constantly growing and expanding industry, how do you find inspiration to keep your work fresh, innovative and relevant?

When I graduated from graduate school, digital and social media marketing wasn’t this big. Content and assets needed for these areas weren’t considered a big part of what a brand needs to release final deliverables. Now everything has changed. Many case studies, I’ve read, prove that utilizing social media is likely to bring significant success to their brands. It’s imperative for markets and brands to utilize these platforms to promote their brands. The digital space is evolving and updating at such a fast pace, creating new possibilities and even new jobs.

I am always looking to learn and explore the possibilities of digital and social media. It enables me, as a designer, to challenge myself and produce creative content in new, clever and engaging ways.

I also love to visit stores to see how other brands run their campaigns and see what solutions they use to maximize 


 their effectiveness. It inspires me to be on top of current trends.

Lebook has been an important tool for me to explore many different reps and agency websites. It enables me to see who is available and what capacities are out there. Lebook is a mediator for me and helps me to find the right talent that I need.


5. If you had to pick one piece of work or project that you are most proud of, more for the creative work and innovation it required, rather than its recognition or industry “success,” what would it be?

When I was working at a Harper’s Bazaar as an intern in the promotional department, there was an ongoing campaign called ‘Fakes are Never in Fashion’. The creative director gave me the opportunity to design a concept for that campaign which I solved with an interesting psychedelic typography. It was so loved by the creative director and the editor that they published it in multiple Harper’s Bazaar magazines in 2008. The creative director said that it was the first time they published an intern’s work. This project really opened up new opportunities for me! It helped me find a real job in this competitive industry. So, I would say this work is one of the projects that I am very proud of.


6. Which creative disciplines do you commission most, and are most interested in seeing more of and why? (ie photo, film, social, experiential, vr, etc)

Photography, styling, illustration, animation, social content creation, video, 3D rendering, retouching.



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