Painting murals has been a part of Park Hee-jeong’s life since 2011 when she was a freshman at Ewha. What started as a parttime job a decade ago has evolved into a growing business and social enterprise called Daygraphy.
After a failed attempt in 2014 to create a mobile application, Park, who is an alumna of the Division of Design, was advised to pursue a business that revolved around creating murals. A year later, in 2015, Daygraphy was born focusing on interior design services and creating murals.
“I founded this company as a social mission about self-esteem. The company name Daygraphy comes from the words, ‘day’ and ‘graphy’ and it implies that writing a diary everyday would improve one’s self-esteem,” Park explained.
Recently, Park and her enterprise have collaborated with major partners in Korea such as Shinsegae and DAEHYE Interior & Architecture. Starfield City, a shopping mall in Bucheon was a particular site of interest to Park and her colleagues.
“Although we planned to work four days, due to the detailed requirements, it took two weeks to finish,” Park said. “We were not able to make a profit, but the experience was priceless.”
Creating murals, according to Park, is a mixture of construction and art and that numerous part-time workers quit because of this.
“The hardest part of creating murals is working on-site. Creating a mural in the middle of a construction site with all sorts of waste is a hard thing to do,” Park said. “I had to carry paint cans that weighed over 10 kilograms and ladders by myself. It’s more like a construction business, rather than a romantic job.”
Although it requires strenuous work, Park believes that her job is worthwhile, especially when looking at the finished product.
“I think that murals have the highest commercial value in the field of art,” Park said. “When a mural is painted, it becomes the center of attention.”
Park aims to reach the top of her field in commercial art and hopes to expand her business and turn it into the largest commercial art company in Korea.
“I achieved my dream of establishing an enterprise at the age of 24. I believe that once you start setting a goal, it helps you to achieve the dream quicker. I always set my goals high.”
As a social enterprise business, Daygraphy, like any other, is eligible for reductions in corporate taxes and less red-tape surrounding private contracts. However, according to Park, this does come with some conditions and difficulties.
For instance, the company needs to appoint two representative workers in the company and the process of changing positions is quite complicated if one decides to quit. In addition, she added that the company needs to donate or provide social services on a regular basis.
“Since our enterprise focuses on providing jobs, we need to have a certain proportion of vulnerable social groups in our company, which makes it difficult to employ new workers.”
However, Park remains as determined as ever and rests much of this on a concept that she came across about long ago.
“I once read in a book that you can be the best only when you consider your job as permanent and enjoy what you are doing,” Park said. “Find a job that you love and feel confident about. Then you will find which way suits you the best.”