An imposing mansion with a wide front yard, a big dressing room filled with a variety of brand-name products, high-grade cars which can be chosen according to their moods and a classical music concert. These are things which come to mind when we mention the rich. However it would be different if there is a son of wealth who became the best at a specific field, not with money and setting but with his own effort and passion. With many prizes from famous advertising festivals like The One Show, Clio Awards, D&AD and New York Festivals, Park Seowon (PARK) became an owner of his own company and became the best at advertising without any help from his father who is the owner of Doosan. The Sookmyung Times (SMT) heard about his unique story.
SMT There are a lot of modifiers which describe you, for example “Son of the CEO of Doosan,” “a crazy man who is thinking,” “a creative director,” “CEO of Big Ant” and so on. Which modifier do you like most? Please explain it with reasons.
PARK I like the phrase “a crazy man who is thinking” most, and it’s the title of a book which I wrote. I agree that being crazy can make people focus on specific things. We can run fast toward something when we are crazy about that thing. We can get the proper answer when we ask like mad and “being crazy” means that I devoted myself to that thing. Also, I think crazy appeals to me as there is something creative which is different from others. That’s why I selected that word as my book title and regard “crazy” as the best title. So I think I am crazy by myself and I want to keep being crazy.
SMT You won the prizes from a variety of advertising festivals and made lots of commercial advertisements like Fucidin, Samsung Card, and Maeil Milk. Among the works that you made, can you choose one for which you have the greatest affection? Please tell us about things that you tried to express when you made it.
PARK I enjoy working which I have to solve every time so I have an affection to my every work. But if I have to choose one, I would choose the advertisement of Gas-hwalmyeungsu (the drinking for people who have indigestion) which I did lately. I got the idea from the different reaction between men and women when they have indigestion. Usually men try to move, but women just lie down on the bed when they want to digest, so I made this idea as a TV advertisement. For interactive advertisements, I tried to express that every food looks tiny so people can digest easily, and for subway screen door advertisements, I brought the concept that a billboard can also be digested. All three works are done pleasantly and I feel happy that the result is also good.
SMT As the jobs related to advertising have been selected as one of areas that have good prospects in the next 10 years, it is one that students show big interest in. However, as it can show an enjoyable job and look good, it is the job that has the highest stress because people have to create something new. When you are finding a talented person as the CEO of Big Ant, what are the things that you think are essential?
PARK The answer depends on each person, but I think personality is the most important thing. There is only one reason. Personality becomes the basis which can make people keep going. I think the skills that they have are just six of one and half a dozen of the other. After the awards I got from contests, many people send me email to work as an intern. Then I say come and work. But mostly, they are not coming after a day, even sometimes without notice. Through this, I can see one’s personality. Everyone has passion, and it is important whether they have strong will to keep their passion for long time. Talented people should overcome it if they face adverse circumstances, not avoid them or just rely on chance. People with upright character can also mean they substitute obstacles and limits as positive stimulation. That’s why I regard personality as the best.
SMT Every Friday, you give a lesson ‘CF Design 2’ at Sookmyung Women's University. With the motivation which made you teach, what do you want to get from the class?
PARK I thought that good teachers got me here, so I considered as an obligation to give my ability which I got from my teachers back through teaching to other students. That motivated me to be a lecturer at a university. I think if the quality of a portfolio which my students have improves, and if it connects to a job with that better portfolio, I am successful as a lecturer. And through this cycle, more talented designers can turn out, which is also good for my company.
SMT “Creative thinking and creative people.” This is the keyword which regards things that talented people should have. However, it is not easy for the people who had cramming education for years to think of something creatively. As you are a creative director, please give us advice that can enhance our creativity. Also, tell us the message that you never exclude during a lot of lectures.
PARK Like street trees, street lamps, and road signs, I try to experience a lot, even during the time walking the street. It is the most important thing to see, feel, hear and enjoy anything. It can be a movie or an act. I think everything I experience becomes an idea. There is not something new beneath the sun. Creativity works when we try to think differently which can be obvious in ordinary life. And I want to say students should give it a try if they want to get the answer to the question why. I hope every student does what is interesting and enjoyable because we only live once!