Seoul Illustration Korea 2024 Participation

Hi, Jamila here! I recently participated in a new (to me) illustration expo here in South Korea and wanted to share EVERYTHING about it! Unlike my first time partipicating in an illustration expo, I am actually very excited to type this all out. Earlier in May, from the 9th to the 12th, I participated in Seoul Ilustration Korea. Disclaimer, everything is in my own words, my thoughts and my personal opinions. With that said, let’s begin!


Last year 2023, I participated in SIF (Seoul Illustration Fair). There, I was given a brochure from two people that were scouting artists for their company’s illustration expo. After the fair, I received lots of emails from people that took my business cards, one being from that company inviting me to participate in their upcoming expo in Suwon 2023. I declined that fair but a few months later registered for the one in Seoul for the following year. I want to note that each illustration expo is ran by different companies; Seoul/Busan Illustration Fair (SIF/BIF), (City Name Here) Illustration Korea, and K-Illustration Fair are all separate illustration expos. The person I spoke with at the fair last year, was the person I was in contact with the entire time. We communicated in English. They were very personable and remembered me from the fair, they even remembered that I declined the Suwon expo and welcomed me when I decided to join for the Seoul expo! Very different from my interactions last year with a certain expo.

The registration for Illustration Korea was way easier and very low-stress. I did register a login on the Korean website. From my current knowledge, there isn't an English option available on the website. If someone wanted to participate, they would have to translate the webpage. I did use English for my brand/artist description. There was a required photo submission. Photos of your artwork or your products. There were guidelines for that, like file size, nothing too difficult. I submitted a few pictures of what I would be selling at the expo, I can’t remember but it was like a 4 limit photo submission. There was also a brand logo submission requirement. Very thorough. This part is very important and I will circle back to this later on in this blog. So, remember this section!

After I submitted my application, I didn’t have to wait weeks later to see if I was accepted or not. I received an email two days later welcoming me to the expo and confirming my selected choice of booth and add ons before sending the invoice. Payment was 50 % deposit upfront to confirm my spot. Everything was presented to me in won, so no confusion over USD prices converted back to KRW. I also had to send a copy of my business license for a tax receipt and that went smoothly with no payment calculation mistakes. There was an option to select if you wanted a corner booth but there’s no guarantee that you’ll get it. I did select that option and I didn’t get it. I did panic at the thought of being trapped in a booth stall for hours when I saw my booth placement on the digital map. This was like a month before the expo, I was told to hold my panic and maybe it will be better when I actually see the booth space in person. It was better in person. 

*To participate in any Illustration Korea expo, stay updated with their vendor registration dates by following their Insta account @illustrationkorea or frequently visiting their website at .

Moving along, Illustration Korea did a wonderful job with advertisment! Something I complained about with the last expo I did. For SIF you had to make your own marketing materials then submit it to them by a deadline. Illustration Korea used the photos submitted from participating artists during the application and added their banner to them for marketing materials. This was wonderful! It was so weird to pay so much money to participate in a fair then help the company with advertisment for their social media and website. SIF also had relay reels they posted on their Insta feed and it was selected participaticing artists or they would highlight a few participaticing artists. Illustration Korea went around taking photos and videos of every participaticing artist to highlight on their social media feed! They were truly for the artists and I loved this! Of course, I also posted on my website and social media accounts that I would be participating but it was nice not stressing about additional deadlines.


For this expo, I used Foursome again for my booth’s wall sticker. I did a collab event using Google Docs for my booth’s wall design. I think it came out great. There was a small misunderstanding, the company thought I was participating at SIF and needed the sticker for July. I did panic because I was there at Coex on setup day without my wall sticker. After a quick back and forth, they sent someone to come install my wall sticker. Crisis adverted. I would still use them again in the future.


The first day of the expo was on a week day but it was still fairly busy. It was nice being situated among Korean artists and not being segerated into a Foreigners or Overseas Artist section. It was nice not hearing people say “Oh just foreigners” in Korean then walk past. I felt like I had a fair chance with new supporters where my booth was located. Customers came in waves, so when it was busy it was busy and when it was slow, it was slow. During the slow periods, I got to chat with my booth neighbor, a Korean artist. It was nice to make those connections that I couldn’t make without leaving my booth at the last expo I participated in. The weekends are still the busiest days, so I would recommend having a booth helper around to help and relieve you.

I want to note that SIF did have options for Overseas Artists to receive different payment methods from Korean customers. I’m not sure if Illustration Korea provided this as I have my own card reader and bank account.

I gave away free phyiscal and mobile vouchers to my supporters for this expo. They all entered without having to wait in a long queue. A lot of them mentioned how easy it was to enter compared to the last expo they saw me at (SIF). Saturday and Sunday were the busiet days and it was still easy for people to enter. That was so nice to know because last time, I had guilt for having people come out to support me but having to wait in lines for hours.

I didn’t have any follow events at this expo, so a lot of people were disappointed by that when they showed me their phones after following my Insta. I learned last time that people will follow you, receive the gift, then a week later unfollow. It’s not worth it. I did receive new followers and that was because they wanted to follow.

In my personal opinion, this expo caters more to artists, there were some big companies as exhibitors but it wasn’t overwhelming where it felt like a company expo. Illustration Korea also had a dessert section in the expo, that had different desserts, snacks and even a café! I thought that was nice since some people spend the whole day there, they could stop and have a little treat inside if they didn’t want to step outside of the expo.


Random photography and recording from strangers was still a problem at this expo. Some people would ask and others just walked up took pictures and walked away. If you don't want this happening to your booth, have a sign that can be seen to prevent it. I learned at this expo from a customer that people usually upload them on their Naver blogs but without the artist’s information or they end up in a curated video on Youtube, ouch. I did find a blog on Naver that mentioned my booth with pictures accompanied by the nicest compliments ever! 


I really enjoyed participating in this expo with Illustration Korea. I gained new supporters and new opportunities afterwards. I got to meet and talk with Korean artists and an artist participationg from Australia. I received a lot of compliments on my booth’s wall art and my illustrations. I was asked to sign a print again. I finally met long time supporters of A & K! That was one of the highlights of this expo, it was a great feeling and an amazing experience. Totally long-term memory worthy!  

I’m thankful for my experience at this expo, it totally topped my first time partipaticing in one. I enjoyed it so much that I will be participating in another one in September in Suwon! If you’re thinking about participating in any Illustration Korea expo, I say go for it! I hope you find something helpful here and if you have any questions please feel free to ask them below! Thanks for reading!

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