Interview with @_poiton.k - How does k-pop fit in the art scene?

Y: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your work, your artistic style and chosen medium, anything regarding your art that you feel is important. 

A: Hi! My name is Alice, aka Poiton (not poison, or potion - just poiton!). I am 23 years old, I consider myself a bit of a child compared to other artists in the environment. I say I'm from Turin, but I actually live in the middle of hills, fields and woods: my little town literally consists of one single road and roundabouts. My passion for art was born very early: as a child I often drew characters from the Sonic universe; at the time various cartoons dedicated to this franchise were in fashion and I watched them all religiously. In addition, I must admit that the Ninja Turtles influenced me quite a lot as well! If it wasn't clear, I have always loved cartoons: originally I even wanted to become an animator! However, as I grew up and discovered how animation actually works, I changed my mind, I won't lie.

I mainly draw illustrations related to the world of k-pop, another great passion of mine, especially recently! Unfortunately, there seems to be a lack of interest in this genre in Italy, and I have noticed that there are quite few artists dedicated to the field. Obviously I draw other things as well, however I consider this environment as my ultimate comfort zone. Considering my background and interests in childhood, I can say that I never thought I would end up drawing illustrations from the world of korean pop music! The more I learn about it, the more I realize how k-pop groups are able to make me happy through their music, photo sets, interviews, and interactions with fans!

As for my drawing style, I admit I still don't fully understand how it works: I define it as semi-realistic enriched with details inspired by anime and manga, such as the small lines on the nose that recall the aesthetic of Hirohiko Araki, the mangaka of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. That said, all the rest of my style is exclusively dedicated to the precision of anatomy - a great passion of mine, which for years I studied as a self-taught artist (fortunately, my father is a dentist and his old medicine manuals were instrumental during my learning). Consequently, I can say that I can also draw in an extremely realistic style but, to be honest, it's not something that particularly excites me. I studied anatomy for a very simple reason: I love complexity within the creative process, I think that being able to draw particularly complex elements and then being able to simplify them is one of the most versatile skills an artist can develop. Take the chibi style as an example, you need to be able to equate a big head to a small body so that it is still aesthetically pleasing - by doing so, once you learn the proportions you can create whatever you want. I am quite passionate about this subject!

I currently work with both digital and traditional mediums. Although I don't post about it often, one of my favorite mediums is watercolors - the effect they create on paper drives me crazy. Furthermore, I'm currently trying my hand at rendering my traditional artstyle through digital mediums; unfortunately, the digital coloring process takes me too much time, I wish I could be faster and, most importantly, achieve that paper effect I like so much.


Y: What is the art scene like in the area where you live, or where you come from?

A: I find this question extremely useful because it allows readers to understand the divergent opinions of those who live in different parts of Italy. In my beautiful little town, art has never been seen as a field that allows people to earn enough to support themselves, basically. However, my grandmother has always been my No. 1 supporter, she was keen to see any drawing I created and was extremely happy to have a granddaughter with such an energetic artistic streak! She was always telling her friends about my passion, showing them my drawings; there was no old lady in the village who was not aware of my creativity. My family has always supported me within this sphere; they were the first ones to push me to pursue my dream, as much as they are all rather skeptical about the economic potential of art, understandably. I consider myself very fortunate to have such a family! 

Having always received support (and patience, as a child I was quite naughty, I kept drawing on every single wall) from my parents, as I grew older we reached a kind of unspoken agreement. My parents discovered a huge passion for sports around the age of 50, taking an interest in the triathlon competition and devoting themselves completely to this activity. Naturally, I became their supporter and fan No. 1! As they have always been there for me, now I am the one who is in charge of cheering them on: preparing banners for races, accompanying them and always waiting for them at the finish line with a big smile.


Y: What inspired you to enter the world of digital art? How did you begin your artistic journey? Tell us about your course of study. Did you study anything specifically related to art or did your interest come from something else?

A: Actually, I started experimenting with digital because of a great interest of mine - I admired the idea of seeing a drawing on a digital screen! I started two years ago and I am seeing developments every day, which gives me no small amount of satisfaction. In the beginning, my digital style was completely different from the one I traditionally adopt, with time the two aesthetics developed until they reached a meeting point.

I attended an art high school consisting of a somewhat complex structure: the first two years were devoted to a rather broad preparation (they taught geometric, plastic, fine arts and other extremely specific subjects), in the next three years, however, students were required to choose one of the courses provided, including ceramics, architecture, fashion or graphic design. I chose graphic design, and I must say that it was extremely useful for me! Thanks to the study of Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign I can assure you that my creative life is much easier now. The path I took during my high school years was a huge well of knowledge - while I was attending it my opinion was not so positive, of course, however now I am convinced that it was a perfect choice for the future I am building for myself. Also, during my second year I went through quite a complex period, which is why I had to repeat the year. Although it was a temporary setback, I found it to be an extremely useful experience - I occupied my time at home studying anatomy, as I mentioned earlier, and once I went back to school I was able to catch up on everything I had previously missed.

After that, I enrolled in the International School of Comics in Turin, taking the Illustration course for three years and moving to the city with my brother. I had a really great time! Also, since the course housed only a few students, there was always room for everyone. I am extremely satisfied with this course, I have seen big improvements and I am very proud of it. From January I will resume studying at the same institution and will enrol in a Character Design course - creating characters excites me and always gives me a serotonin rush.


Y: Art is a challenging, if extremely satisfying, field. What impact has it had on your life so far?

A: Art is kind of like my lifeline, the comfort zone that I am comfortable in and that allows me to express what I want: thoughts or opinions that I may not physically be able to say out loud. I am a rather introverted person and I don't deny that speaking comes quite difficult to me; drawing, on the other hand, gives me the boost that allows me to communicate with others! 

From a social point of view, moreover, the art environment has given me the opportunity to build strong bonds with many people, and has put me in a position to meet more and more artists. Through this world I met my current boyfriend, with whom I have been with for 8 years, and one of the people closest to me, whom I have known for 10 years now and whom I met in one of those wonderful online groups dedicated to drawing. Art inspired me to create the little clique that gives me joy every day! Having these people beside me, known through art, has changed me completely. I am truly grateful that I was able to intrinsically link creativity to my everyday life.


Y: What platforms do you use to promote your work? Do you think they need to be fixed and improved in any way?

A: I mainly use Twitter/X to promote my work. As an artist who is involved in the k-pop world, this is definitely the most suitable platform, as it is the favorite of fans and agencies working in the field. Despite the recent algorithmic problems, I quite like it and use it often, even getting a fair amount of attention from users! Also, the interactions are super cute and most of the fans are sweethearts. I use Instagram exclusively because it is the most used by most people, unfortunately I don't particularly like it, it requires too much attention in order to make the algorithm work. 

I recently opened a Tumblr account and so far it's been going well! I often find that old illustrations suddenly get attention and start spreading again, and I honestly enjoy seeing this phenomenon so much!

Also, I love Telegram channels so much! I think I was one of the first people to have one and I'm really excited about how they have developed, it allows for even more interactions with users, and they are real interactions!


Y: Have you ever had any problems regarding copyright and its management? 

A: Fortunately, no, and I hope to keep it that way. 

Unfortunately, I have a feeling that as artists grow (in terms of online numbers) and get attention, the possibility of works being stolen, resold, and passed off as their own increases exponentially. Having seen the experience of other artists, I am aware of how serious the situation is. I hope to never experience it, but nowadays it is virtually impossible to avoid this kind of difficulty. That said, remember that prevention is better than cure: protect yourself before something happens!

During my last year at the International School of Comics, a few guys from an artists' collective came to present an in-depth lecture dedicated to how Copyright works and the relationship between art and Artificial Intelligence, which made the whole situation much clearer, at least for me. In fact, I think institutions should increase the frequency of lectures and seminars dedicated to this kind of information - it is of paramount importance to make sure that students are aware of how to protect themselves when faced with such situations.


Y: Are you in favor of Artificial Intelligences using your art to enrich their database?

A: My opinion is quite negative on this. Unfortunately, since it is such a broad field, it is crucial to learn how to venture through it: learning as much information as possible is imperative to understand how this environment works and not risk making irretrievable mistakes. Honestly, I do not want my art to be available within these databases but, and I emphasize "but," if there were a way to make this technology exclusively for private, internal use as a reference creator or for personal study, I would accept it. 

The most serious problem arises when it comes to self-proclaimed "artists" selling prints or items depicting designs produced by artificial intelligence software, obviously trained through the works of real artists who have not given their permission. This behavior is completely unacceptable. 

If the tool were trained and used ethically and properly, I do not deny that it would become a remarkable resource.


Y: What would you change about the current art scene if you could? What do you expect from the future of art?

A: I would like there to be more communication between big companies and small artists, more communication and transparency. I would like to see information spread and reach even those who have never had experience in the environment - we need some change, some spice! I think it is crucial to give everyone the opportunity to set foot in this world, even from a business and professional point of view. 

I would like this environment to be more socially and culturally valued; artists should not continue to be exploited or belittled for the work they do. What we create is not "a simple sketch," it is a job like any other and should be recognized and respected as such. I think it is critically important to make sure that people realize the enormous value of this field.


Y: What do you think about the artist alley management during conventions? Are there any experiences you would like to share with us?

A: There are ups and downs, of course, as in all things - if it was all sunshine and roses we would be living in a utopia. There are conventions that provide the right space for artists, that enhance them appropriately, and that don't overshadow anyone. Unfortunately, there are also those events that instead see artists as "a nuisance": they place them in hard-to-reach, low-quality places, and the organizers don't even remotely bother to take a look at the area to make sure everything is going according to plan.

On the contrary, when fairs enhance the artists and place them at the entrance of the convention itself, I realize that the managers care about the organization of the area and its potential successful outcome! This is what confirms the humanity and empathy behind the organizers of the event.

Temporarily speaking as a visitor, I assure you that I attend events exclusively to visit the artist alley. The chance to meet other artists in person, make friends and be able to meet them in the flesh, is what makes the ticket price worth it, I won't deny that. Spending time in the artist areas is bound to make real connections with the other people there - we are all little dreamers who want to sell or buy, items produced by a kindred mind like our own. I am not interested in those hundred booths that always sell the same counterfeit products, or stuff bought on Aliexpress and resold, without offering any kind of human interaction other than buying and selling.

That said, so far I have fortunately had only positive experiences, but thanks to my relationship with other artists I have been able to find out about other people's affairs and develop a kind of foresight regarding this area. I have been able to avoid those fairs that have a bad reputation with regard to artist alley management, avoiding these problems. 



Many thanks to Alice for participating in the interview!

In case you are interested in her work, you can find her on Instagram as @_poiton.k.

If you have any doubts or questions regarding Copyright management and protection of your works, please remember that the Rights Chain team is always at your disposal! We wish you a good Sunday!


About the Author



Columnist, (He/Them)

Content Creator for cosplay, gaming and animation. With a degree in foreign languages and a great passion for Oriental culture, he writes about copyright to protect the work of artists and young minds. A cosplayer since 2015, Yako is an advocate of gender identity and the development of one's creativity through personal attitudes: be it role-playing, cosplay or writing.