Hyelim Choi, Freelance Creative & Youtuber

You're putting your thoughts and work out there because you see them as special or awe-worthy in some way.

Hi - my name is Hyelim. I'm a freelance creative and the founder of The Seoul Search Studio - a D2C-focused full-scale digital storytelling and marketing agency. I also create content on YouTube, Instagram, and my blog!

What made you decide to start your Youtube channel?

I was in community college and feeling creatively unfulfilled. I had the entirety of my adolescence being creative - through music, journalism, and art - and craved an outlet where I could do something creative. Thus - my YouTube channel was born.

What do you think helped bring attention to your Youtube channel?

If I'm going to be really analytical about this, I started my channel when university/productivity vloggers started becoming more popular and it helped that I happened to create content that fell into that niche. Being a physics student also worked in my favor because there weren't a lot of STEM students vlogging back then and physics is an uncommon major to be studying.

The Seoul Search, Hyelim Choi in Super oversized blazer in beige | The Dallant

Hyelim in Super oversized blazer in beige

How would you describe freelancing? What projects are you working on?

Freelancing is a double-edged sword because you're in charge of your entire day. You can spend a day lounging around playing video games if you really want to, work anywhere you want, travel freely. But on the other hand, every single hour of your life is billable, and finding work-life balance is a Sisyphus-ian endeavor. I'm currently a freelance art director at Palo Santo Studios, a content producer for Cocokind, and work with other D2C brands. I'm looking for ways to put personal projects back into my day because I'm getting a little bit burnt out. 

What made you decide to start your blog & what do you wish to achieve with your blog?

I started my blog when I was in high school actually (though it existed under hundreds of different names) and primarily use it for musings and sharing my thoughts. I really dislike listening to myself talk in long-form so writing was the best way for me to expel my thoughts into the universe. I would love to spend more time writing and growing my blog into a proper digital magazine where I can work with other talented and wonderful creatives. That's really the dream. 

What do you think is your biggest talent?

I think my biggest talent is that I'm foolishly confident and a little bit delusional, haha. Kind of a cheeky answer but there's a certain kind of foolish confidence and self-delusion required to become a freelancer or internet creative. You're putting your thoughts and work out there because you see them as special or awe-worthy in some way. As a freelancer, you also have to be able to advocate for yourself and your work with unwavering confidence.

What advice can you give to those who have felt that they lost their creative touch?

Just keep pushing through. This video from Sha'an d'Anthes (who is a much more accomplished and talented creative than I am - might I add) really put into perspective the idea of burn out and being disciplined.

Hyelim Choi, The Seoul Search in super oversized blazer in beige

How would you describe your personal style?

Vaguely beige, full of classics, and not very trendy. 

Do you listen to any Korean music (k-pop, k-r&b, etc) ? If so, who are your favorite artists?

Not really - Blackpink is the only Korean artist I listen to on a regular basis because their beats are so fun to work out to. I like to describe my taste in music as "nitro cold brew" - really indie, kind of pretentious. If the lead singer is a lanky white guy in a beanie, even better. (Artists I'd recommend: Hippo Campus, Dayglow, Tame Impala, STRFKR)

Has Covid-19 affected your life drastically in any way?

I was actually supposed to move to the Bay Area but my full-time job offer there fell through so yes haha. I'm trying to keep optimistic and remind myself that everything happens for a reason.

How important is sustainability to you?

Sustainability is one of the core pillars of my internet identity. Pre-COVID, I was all about zero waste grocery shopping, composting, and farm-to-table. The pandemic drastically hampered our ability to shop zero waste and it's been a real struggle. My ethos is more about buying fewer, better things that you'll love over an extended period of time, and gradually introducing zero waste alternatives into your lifestyle.

Which sustainable brands do you recommend?

I actually don't have any brands that I would recommend at all - living sustainably for me is purchasing fewer things and producing less waste as a whole.

What are your top self-care tips?

I actually have only one self-care tip: if you're too lazy/tired/whatever to do a task, think about how happy the future you will be that you accomplished said task. 


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