For most people, summer at an amusement park means rides, junk food, and fun, fun, FUN! For me, however, summer at an amusement park usually means heat, crowds….and WORK. Much of my career has been spent working at theme parks, like Six Flags and Universal Studios. I spent 3 of those summers working at Lotte World…a huge and popular theme park in Seoul, Korea. Unlike most parks of its kind, Lotte World has 2 sections: an indoor area AND an outdoor area! For most of the time I stayed in Korea, our company, Fun Caricature, had 2 caricature locations…both of them indoors. The indoor locations were GREAT, in that you NEVER, EVER had to worry about the weather outside! It also meant you could stay open year-round! The only problem with one of those locations was that it was located right across from a smoking room (which is exactly like what you might think it would be). Sometimes, the cigarette odor drifted into our caricature stand, and for a while, it was pretty awful. Thankfully, that area was blocked off during my last year in Korea, and I’m happy to report that the caricature location has been smoke-free ever since! YAAAAYYY!!
The management at Lotte World was usually pretty happy with our work, and the revenue we brought in. They offered my boss a 3rd location, and for 2 summers, we tried drawing caricatures in “Magic Island”…the outdoor section of Lotte World, with attractions like the Comet Express and the Gyro Drop. Our location was pretty visible, and right along the main pathway. Unfortunately, it was also right next to a kids’ motorized car ride, and many people walking by thought that our caricature booth contained the entrance to the ride. As the sun would set in the evening, it would often cause problems with visibility. Fortunately, our boss (Yonie) and our manager (Won Young) really loved us, and did everything they could to take care of their artists! They installed this really cool giant umbrella to shield us from the sun. Still, a person could only do so much to avoid the heat. Eventually, it would get to you, as it did to me one day, inspiring me to draw this little comic strip thing. Of course, the above artwork is a parody of the old Kool-Aid commercials from the ’70s and ’80s (using 7-Eleven’s “Big Gulp” as a stand-n for Kool-Aid Man). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBzPhKaLkWE
Sadly, our company didn’t quite do well enough at this outdoor location, so after 2 summers, we closed it for good. The indoor locations remain open, though—as they have been since 2010—and are still operating to this day!!
For more information about Lotte World, visit the following link: http://global.lotteworld.com/main.asp
And for more information on Yonie Woo’s Fun Caricature, check out THIS link: http://cafe.naver.com/funcaricature