An Art Student Who Lives Twice - Chapter 3
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“The painting is quite good,” Professor Lee Jong said.
My painting wasn’t bad.
It was the first favorable reception ever since the class began.
This was enough.
The other students seemed surprised that Professor Lee Jong had praised the drawing, but they didn’t care about how their faces looked.
‘After all, the real thing is different.’
Anyway, Professor Lee Jong said in a satisfied voice, “Let’s see who drew this, Lee Jae-ha? Is that right? Please stand up.”
He called me.
As I got up and bowed politely, he continued with a pleased look.
“I want to give you a compliment before the evaluation. Students, please give Lee Jae-ha a round of applause.”
At the same time, the students started clapping their hands.
Even so, they still had bewildered expressions.
Maybe it’s because they didn’t know why my work was being praised so much.
‘Even though I’m good at drawing, I’m sure there’s no one who drew as much as me, so of course everyone would be surprised.’
There were certain works that seemed superior to mine in terms of the quality of their appearance. Some of them had such high density that it was as if I were looking at a picture.
And, the works, without exception, were criticized by Professor Lee Jong.
So why is my work being praised?
No, why is only my work being praised?
The reason for that was to be told by the person who praised me.
“If I could describe Lee Jae-ha’s painting in one word, it would be “textbook”. This is a textbook drawing. The traces of his troubles to reduce unnecessary lines as much as possible and to convey the feeling of the work in an intuitive way are outstanding.”
It was as he said.
My drawing was good.
The standard of a good painting here was slightly different from the paintings that ordinary people saw.
In the design industry, drawing was a tool for conveying ideas. So, drawings that are easily recognized were seen as the best drawings.
‘The professor correctly understood my intentions.’
Perhaps it was because Professor Lee Jong was a person who stayed in the same industry—industrial design—as me.
That’s why I drew this picture.
As he happened to mention that part, my intentions were half-successful.
“I believe that this isn’t just about drawing the picture that you want to draw, but it’s also about putting other people’s perspectives into consideration. Is that what you meant to symbolize in this piece?”
I nodded once and said, “I wanted everyone who saw my painting to see the same picture.”
“Good. It’s easy to see and understand. As a former industrial designer, I want to hang this painting high upon the walls.”
It was well-received.
It was more of a raving review, something beyond mere praise. He must have seen so many poorly made paintings before mine that my painting must have been relatively refreshing to look at.
‘All right, by now, I’ve achieved my goal.’
My primary goal.
It seems that I have succeeded in leaving an impression on Professor Lee Jong.
But he didn’t stop there.
“It also seems to me that Jae-ha is very fond of machines. Is that right?”
“It seemed so.”
Professor Lee Jong looked pleased.
“Student Jaeha goes beyond simply liking machines; he designs his own works. So I think he’s looking at his work from a professional perspective. Maybe he’s already aspiring to become a professional.”
‘I didn’t expect you to look into it this far.’
I was a little startled as Professor Lee Jong asked me, “Am I correct?”
“……Yes. It’s just as you said.”
I nodded, and spoke as clearly as I could.
“I want to be a professional. My goal is to improve my skills and enter the design industry someday.”
My answer now wasn’t just a simple self-introduction. These words were meant to tell the professor what kind of person I was, and what kind of aspirations I had in mind.
‘I’m not just a good painter, I’m also a far-sighted person.’
There are limits to the undergraduates anyway.
I wanted to show myself as a talented person with growing buds.
That was what I was trying to pretend to be.
Fortunately, my intentions worked out, as Professor Lee Jong said with a brighter expression on his face, “I see. Everything is fine, but may I point out one of the flaws in this work?”
I readily agreed because there cannot be just compliments in an evaluation.
“The only downside of this work, in my opinion, is that it’s a design that doesn’t look at practicality.”
The professor pointed his finger at the cell phone I had drawn first and said,
“From a practical point of view, these designs are difficult to commercialize. It can be said that the idea is limited, starting with the batteries to heat control to assembling. Of course, it’s a novelty, but when you go into the real world with a design that shows only novelty, it’s not a good design.”
It was to point out that my design wasn’t realistically feasible.
Well, this was unavoidable.
There are at least 3 years left before the design I drew is commercialized. Although Professor Lee Jong is an excellent person, he is someone who lives in this era, so he will not be able to fully understand the future development of technology.
‘He’s still a great man, though. How could a person make such an accurate point?’
In deep admiration from the bottom of his heart, he added,
“However, if technology advances further, I think this student’s design will truly shine.
Professor Lee Jong even mentioned what I knew and was expecting.
He was truly, truly an outstanding man.
He said with a smile, “If you are seriously aiming to become a professional, you’d better consider the technical aspects as well. I hope my advice has been helpful to you.”
“Thank you. I’ll keep your words in mind.”
I accepted Professor Lee Jong’s words pleasantly.
Pointing out the limitations of practical use was the same as saying that there was nothing else to point out.
After finishing his evaluation, Professor Lee Jong turned to the students and said, “That’s all. I hope that the other students will be able to see and learn from Jaeha.”
A subtle admiration flowed from the eyes of the students.
I almost cringed just by looking at them. They’ve only been criticized, but I was overly flattered, so they couldn’t believe it.
Their looks on their faces slightly poked at my conscience.
‘I’m sorry. In my previous life, I was too close to facing death.’
Like others, I had painted a picture full of remnants of the entrance examination education, and the professor covered it up with the others as if it was not worth looking at in detail.
What used to be true in the past was overturned at once.
That was the benefit of a second life.
So let’s just take a moment to take in how the students reacted.
Professor Lee Jong continued to speak in a rather serious voice, perhaps thinking that the atmosphere was ripe.
“In this class, I focused on criticism, but it wasn’t your fault. Students still have time for entrance exams. College entrance art is to show your skills to professors, and to show your skills, you have to increase the density of your work.”
He pressed the podium with his hand and said, “Now, you’re at a level where you have to go beyond the professors’ evaluations and get the public’s evaluation. I hope you find the picture you want to show the public over the next four years. So, I hope my future classes will help you on your journey.”
The students, who had been noisy, soon became silent.
It seems that the class felt something from Professor Lee’s speech.
I had slowed down the class, and the professor taught a lesson.
It was a good time to wrap up the class.
Unfortunately, however, there was one more sheet left.
“I’ll finish the class after seeing this last piece.”
It was the moment when Professor Lee Jong picked up the painting.
The name on the back of the drawing paper caught my attention.
‘Seo Ji-won? Where have I heard that name before?’
Let’s think about it for a moment.
I soon realized the owner of the name.
“This work surprises me in a different way from Jaeha’s.”
Professor Lee Jong opened his mouth with a pleasant voice.
After class, I leaned back against my chair and stared blankly at the ceiling for a long time.
‘…A freshman who was selected by Professor Lee Jong in my previous life. That was Seo Ji-won.’
I realized it the moment I saw it.
I couldn’t help it.
Even if I pretended to be a genius through the advantages of time travel, Seo Ji-won was the true genius. She was an elite who entered Han Yewon at the young age of 17 and was scouted by leading overseas companies before completing four full years of undergraduate study and work.
That was Seo Ji-won’s life.
I realized it the moment I saw her work.
‘A genius is a genius, of course.’
Not only did she draw well, but she also lived in a world completely different from others.
What she submitted was a simple self-portrait.
A self-portrait of Seo Ji-won sitting alone in her own room.
However, that was enough.
The emotions she felt in her life was contained in just one self-portrait.
‘It has a great story.’
It was a picture that left room for interpretation no matter how many times I thought about it. Every little item in the corners of the room showed her identity as a person.
In my opinion, there are two categories of geniuses.
A simply talented person.
And a person who sees what others can’t.
If I was the former, Seo Ji-won seemed to be the latter.
‘I must be vigilant.’
Actually, I was a little relaxed in the class a while ago.
This was because I’ve confirmed that my skills work in their own way at the undergraduate level.
But I shouldn’t have been satisfied there.
In this life, I want to achieve even greater success as a designer.
To do that, I had to prepare to compete with real geniuses, including Seo Ji-won.
‘I’ll have to work harder.’
Did you say that seeing what others can’t see is the quality of a genius?
Fortunately, I’ve already seen what others will see for more than a decade.
So I couldn’t say I was behind.
‘At a time like this, let’s draw another painting.’
Thinking so, it was time to take out the drawing book from the bag.
My cell phone rang.
Who’s calling at this hour? Why would anyone contact me?’
I thought about it for a while before answering.
I burst into laughter.
‘I was within reach of him.’
A building near Seokgwan-dong.
[TL/N – Seokgwan-dong is a neighborhood in South Korea ]
From the first floor all the way to the top, there was a building that seemed to be bragging that it was built by a designer.
The entire building belonged to Professor Lee Jong.
And, perhaps it was the place where I would go to work.
‘In my past life, I was so envious of the people who went to Professor Lee Jong’s studio.’
Rumor has it that he has already received additional points given that he is from this studio.
Maybe it’s not a rumor, maybe it’s the truth.
When I thought that I would also be joining the ‘Seonggol’, my heart pounded.
I heard that usually only one person was selected per year, but if you contacted me, it would mean that you saw me as the best.
‘Still, the hiring has not been officially decided yet. Let’s get our act together.’
It was when I entered the building and went up to the third floor.
As soon as I opened the door, the scene that greeted me was rather unusual.
She was sitting face to face with Professor Lee Jong and chatting.
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