ZEPETO creator breathes new life into mini-self in virtual world
ZEPETO creator breathes new life into mini-self in virtual world
  • Han Jun-hee
  • 승인 2022.03.13 23:32
  • 수정 2022.03.15 10:23
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Jang Yu-ju, also known as ZEMZEM, sharesher story as a ZEPETO creator, a recentlyin t rodu ced ca ree r in re spon se to thewidespread of the metaverse.Photo provided by Jang Yu-ju
Jang Yu-ju, also known as ZEMZEM, shares her story as a ZEPETO creator, a recently introduced career in response to the widespread of the metaverse. Photo provided by Jang Yu-ju


ZEPETO, a metaverse platform launched by Korea’s tech giant Naver in 2018, is an application specializing in the creation and personalization of user-customized three-dimensional avatars. Over the years, the platform has become a global success, attracting more than 250 million users worldwide.


The first step, also the most crucial and entertaining step in the application, is creating your own avatar. Users can virtually recreate themselves manually with the app or automatically using a selfie. ZEPETO also provides an enormous variety of fashion items for users to buy with virtual money within the app to style their mini-selves.


Fashion items are not limited to those provided by ZEPETO – users can also design their own content through ZEPETO Studio. Custom content is reviewed by the platform and put out on sale once validation is confirmed. These content creators go by the term ZEPETO creators, a newly emerging career amidst the metaverse wave.


Jang Yu-ju, who also goes by the name ZEMZEM as a ZEPETO creator, shared her story of embarking on this fresh, groundbreaking career.


It was a simple suggestion from a close friend, at the time working at Naver Z Corporation, that first ignited Jang’s interest in the app. When COVID-19 struck, Jang was already interested in the field of art – and had even done some of her own works of illustration since her college years.


“I started to use ZEPETO out of pure curiosity,” she said. “After a while, I tried creating my own items, and unexpectedly, users around the world actually bought them. The thought that I myself had designed them with my own sense of style, made me feel even prouder when people styled their avatars with them and loved them.”


Full-time metaverse creators are mostly freelancers like Jang. She often starts her day in the morning to plan out her daily schedule, and if she intends to create a new item, her work usually lasts until late at night. Jang starts by brainstorming ideas for the item, and when a final design is ready, she creates a 3D model of it, which then goes through a further step of adding texture using a design tool. After that, she goes over the item meticulously, in case anything is wrong, making any necessary changes, before she finally sends it to ZEPETO Studio for qualification.


Since her first day as a ZEPETO creator, Jang’s hand-made items have made the apps’ BEST item chart several times, and she currently has almost one hundred thousand followers on her account. However, at first, her creative activity was regarded as a mere hobby, similar to how many YouTubers are not taken seriously with their first attempts.

ZEPETO allows users to personalize their ownthree-dimensional avatars.Photo by Rhee Jane
ZEPETO allows users to personalize their own three-dimensional avatars. Photo by Rhee Jane

“When I was just getting my feet wet, I too only thought of it as a hobby,” Jang recalled. “Then unexpected things started to happen, like making a profit and getting a chance to intern at Naver Z. On top of that, the arrival of the metaverse was recognized by many, and I think that is when people started considering my work as a legitimate new job.”


She also emphasizes that anyone can become a ZEPETO creator. In fact, becoming a creator does not require full-time devotion, but rather it could serve as a side job.


“If you are interested in fashion and design, or even if you are looking for a light experience, I encourage you to try, no matter your current job or age,” she said. “But it does require hard work to get good results, so keep that in mind.”


Jang’s successful experience leading up to this day has inspired her to dream bigger. She has plans beyond the career of a ZEPETO creator and hopes to become a metaverse creator, working with a broader range of content and thinking outside the box. In the end, she dreams of a future where everyone is more receptive to metaverse platforms and technologically literate.

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