Everyone knows that a person is happy when he (she) does his (her) favorite job, but a person whose job is related to the hobby is happier. This time The CBNU Globe interviewed a person who could find a balance between work and hobby. Today’s heroine is Oh Se-na, alumni of CBNU who recently published a picture book ‘Eraser’. Let’s find out more about author Oh Se-na and her extraordinary picture book!
Would you please introduce yourself?
My name is Oh Se-na. I graduated from the Department of Fine Arts and majored in Korean Painting at CBNU. I have liked drawing and writing since I was a child and this made me an artist and author in one. I published my second picture book ‘Eraser’ recently.
As was mentioned, you majored in Korean painting, but what pushed you to become a picture book writer?
I was always close to my major and after graduation I actively worked in Jeonju. Then, I moved my working place to Seoul due to my marriage, but still I am working in this area. However, it wasn’t easy to hold down a job and run a household, raising a child at the same time. At that time, I used to read picture books to my child and discovered their charm. Then, an amazing thought came out of my mind, “Why don’t I try to publish my own picture book? I really liked drawing and writing stories from my early years.” With this motivation I started serious preparation for my book. After three years of a long preparation, I finally published my first book, which is called ‘Robot Friend’. This book teaches young readers to take care of a thing they have carefully. A genre of picture books became a big challenge that changed my whole life.
Would you briefly introduce books that you published?
My first book was ‘Robot Friend’. Nowadays, most of the children tend to treat stuff roughly. The message that I want to tell through this book to them is how precious things around us are. Furthermore, I have published an indie publication called ‘Home’.
What is the main difference between ‘Eraser’ and other picture books?
Unlike other picture books, ‘Eraser’ doesn’t have any title, publisher and author’s name on the cover. Instead, you can see a careless drawing and an eraser. Furthermore, in this book, a pencil is used for erasing and an eraser is used for writing. I switched the usage of a pencil and an eraser to express that every object has lots of figures and it depends on how we look them.
What was the obstacle in your way of publishing picture book ‘Eraser’?
Many things happened before I published ‘Eraser’. At first, drawing a picture book was unfamiliar and difficult work that required a different expression technique with Korean painting. However, thanks to changing my way of thinking, difficulties turned into advantages. I gave weight to Korean sensibilities such as wit and forthrightness. These thinking techniques gave me a motivation to mature as the author of a picture book.
What is the most affectionate book to you?
The picture book ‘Robot Friend’ had an important effect in making a new start in a completely new sphere as a premier oeuvre. In addition, my last picture book, ‘Eraser’ gave new breath in the picture book genre, where I could put in my own feelings and philosophy.
Do you have anything to say to CBNU students?
Don’t be afraid of taking new challenges and learn to flip a disadvantage into an advantage and always do your best! I will always support my juniors from CBNU!
The books of Oh Se-na help to encourage critical thinking in readers and find our own different ways of thinking about usual things. Maybe it might be time to change the roles of an eraser and pencil in your life!
Meimankulova Nazbiike, Reporter & Yoon Ji-in, Cub-Reporter