Student Feature: Subin Yang - 양수빈

August 20, 2018

PNCA International Office, International Student Feature

Name: Subin Yang - 양수빈
Home: Seoul, South Korea
Major: Illustration
Came to PNCA from: Yongsan International School of Seoul
Graduating Year: 2017
Current Occupation: Freelance illustrator
Fun Fact: From 4th to 8th grade, Subin studied at an American school in India.

PNCA’s scholarships made it the best and most affordable option, therefore, Subin decided to study illustration in Portland. Subin didn’t research PNCA much before attending, so she suggests researching art schools’ strengths before making a final decision. Each school has strong programs, and Subin lucked out because illustration is one of the best at PNCA. According to Subin, the illustration and design departments are robust, with active alumni and professors working in their respective industries.

Culture Shock
Although Subin grew up in international schools, her classmates were mostly Korean or of Korean descent. Arriving at PNCA was Subin’s first visit to the U.S. While her fluency in English helped, Subin felt like she was the only international student, and she was clearly the only South Korean student in the BFA program. There wasn’t much of an international community when Subin was at PNCA. As PNCA grows, the International Office is working to build and celebrate the international community on campus.

Encouraging & Knowledgeable Faculty
Subin found that the professors at PNCA care about their subjects. In particular, the liberal arts professors, who teach history, theory, and conceptual art, had a profound effect on Subin and her work. These subjects formed the backbone of why Subin creates the art that she does.

Small Community
According to Subin, the small size of PNCA allows for a close, tight-knit community to develop. Even as students compete within their majors, she saw that they work together and support one another. Together, students create a shared understanding specific to art school that Subin has not found elsewhere. She said that art schools build a unique community of artists and creators.

Using Her PNCA Degree
Subin works as a freelance illustrator. After graduation, she remained in the U.S. on OPT (Optional Practical Training), as she built up her own professional practice. Now home in South Korea, Subin continues to build her portfolio and experience in hopes of returning to the States on an O visa. The O visa is commonly referred to the “artist visa,” within the art and design world, and it can be granted to accomplished artists who can demonstrate “extraordinary ability.”

Advice for Aspiring Illustrators Considering PNCA
From an illustrator’s point of view, Subin believes that PNCA is what you make it. She pushed herself to explore different styles and mediums. According to Subin, students can learn the basics and then they can go above and beyond the requirements of each assignment and explore. Her advice for prospective students is to challenge yourself, work extra hours to push yourself, and research your school.