Suzie Shin is a Korean-American collagist, illustrator, and graphic designer based in Chicago. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from RISD, and worked at Thirst and Span for the first several formative years out of college. In pursuit of a multi-disciplinary practice, she became an independent artist at the beginning of 2021. With the ambition to work at a larger scale and develop her collage style, she obtained an external studio space at Mana Contemporary in July 2022. She seeks to integrate herself with the vibrant community in Chicago while deepening her individual identity as an artist.

Her collage works consist of abstract compositions made with found paper sources, magazines, and old, neglected used books. The pieces react to simple principles of color relationships, contrast in shapes, and rhythm. She channels an attitude of play between rigid rules and intuitive composing exhibited by the legacy of artists Matisse, Sister Corita Kent, Alexander Girard, and Paul Rand. Suzie hopes to inhabit the space between fine arts and commerce, allowing her art to be accessible to a wider audience. To reflect this, her personal work is stocked in lifestyle storefronts across Chicago and New York City.

Suzie’s foremost inspirations are rooted in her heritage and entrepreneurship exhibited by her parents. The self-motivation and sense of ownership necessary to drive a small business is evident in her art direction of community engagement projects. Since 2020, she has donated $4,626 of profit from art sales and collaborated with more than 20 artists to raise those funds. Money was distributed to nonprofits that combat food insecurity and support populations experiencing homelessness. A biennial risograph-printed calendar featuring 12 different artists across the world contributed to raising most of those earnings.

A love of learning is also at the heart of her practice. She extends this passion by engaging others to find art-making accessible. Suzie led collage workshops since her college days, as an intern in Seoul, and as a working artist in the present. With the continual rise of a digital age, she feels the importance of being tethered to analog methods of making. From young to old, the simple act of joining separate elements to create something new brings a moment of discovery – and from that discovery, joy. The joy of working with her hands as a designer and artist is integral to Suzie’s work.