So as of this month, Cute in Korea is officially 1 year old! The last year went by so quickly, and I think a lot of it was thanks to this site because it kept me busy!!

Milk is also 1 year old as well~ look how tiny he used to be, just like the blog *_* ehehe ♥

I first came up with the idea of doing some sort of cute Korea blog long before I moved here~ but at the time I could not get my thoughts properly collected and I found it hard to know what exactly to write about here when I was still learning how to get around myself!   I longed so much for a blog like mine online, and finally after living here frustrated for a year and going through lots of effort to explore on my own and dig around Naver for fun stuff, I decided that if I was going through all this time to find cute places online or on foot that I might as well share it with everyone else

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I wanted to share complete info or better yet NEW info, not the same things I always found on English sites  and  present them in a tone geared towards people who are enthusiastic about “Kawaii” cute things such as myself.

Over the last year this site slowly has taken over as my main focus here~ although it is “work” and a little tedious,  I LOVE sharing everything I post. I found myself really digging into lots of new things to share with everyone else, and naturally as the result I learned so much as well!

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Nara has also been an immeasurable amount of help in researching things buried in the Korean internet and helping me communicate with shops so I learn a bit more about the things I show you, would not be nearly as awesome without his support and help!!

Thank you for reading along and enjoying my adventures here in Korea. I am only doing what I like, so the fact it is enjoyable to others from all over the world just makes me feel really wonderful.  I always say I have lots to post, but seriously… I have about 3,000+ photos for things I STILL need to share here~  I simply can’t work fast enough even though it does not seem like much work, this has almost become a full-time job for me lately lol! I could do this all day though, I wish it was a real job!

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Blogging about Korea is one of those labor of love things for me, so until I stop having fun, or at least until I feel I have covered everything that really should be covered to do here in Korea, I would love to keep working on this blog as long as it takes and continue sharing with all of you~ my lovely readers! Even when I move back to the USA I will still have lots to keep blogging about that is backlogged + I come here at least once if not twice a year to visit ^^

Every single one of you I have had the pleasure to meet in person at events or on the street has been so sweet,  it is a similar feeling I have when I a meet fans of my artwork… I just feel happy that the people that gain some enjoyment from what I do are awesome people, you know?! Thank you, and if you ever see Nara and I around Seoul please do come say “Hi” even if I am a bit awkward!

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Those of you I talk to in the comments and on twitter, facebook, etc are also always so sweet too!  Thank you for all the comments you leave,  I know I always ask for people to leave them and I feel kinda lame asking when I do, but they really do motivate me to keep posting and editing~ I guess its kinda shallow, but I really just love reading them and it means more to me VS a traffic counter.  When someone leaves a comment that they visited Korea and my information helped them out it makes me feel like my efforts meant something a bit more than just eye know?

So yes, thank you everyone for your comments, enthusiasm, & support! I hope you will continue to enjoy our posts as long as we are able to share with you!

Take a bite!


앨리 & 나라

Cute in Korea ~ First Birthday Fanart Contest WINNERS!

Now, on to the fanart contest!  First off, WOW.. OK ALL MY READERS ARE AMAZINGLY TALENTED!  I kinda threw the contest out there worried I would get one or two submissions on smudged line paper since you know… its a blog so who knows how many people that enjoy drawing actually read here!  We received over 40 entries after the contest was announced, Nara and I had so much fun checking them out as they arrived!  To everyone that submitted, thank you for taking the time and effort to draw us something so beautiful <3every single piece was so much fun to see!  We had a hard time picking the winners… really, not just saying that!  I have like a handful I want to just give prizes to if only my wallet would allow me, but that would not be much of a contest if everyone won I guess lol

Goodies from the prize packs we will be sending out!!

In the end we still could not pick one, so instead of one prize I decided to ditty it up into 3! I picked my favorite, Nara picked his, and I had you guys pick a favorite by liking the posts on the Cute in Korea facebook fanpage!

Bitty Hanbok princess bunnies! Cute prize? ^^

Elle’s Pick

Joan Varitek / USA  /
After much debate, I decided on Joan’s piece as my winner!! Lots of fun colors and cute details~ Nara is even nomming on some poop bread haha and the kitty creeping below is amazing!

Nara’s Pick

AngelaRenee / USA  /

Nara’s favorite was Angela’s piece as soon as he saw it! He loved the style and sparkle-shimmer-tactic rendering on the faces + the little milk ribbon! So pretty!  Lots of small details too, check out all that cuteness at the bottom and the skirt pattern <3 love!

Cute in Korea Reader’s Pick

Wiola Wiaderska / Poland  /

And finally, everyone’s winner by vote is Wiola’s adorable youtube animation!! I derped out totally forgot to add her submission with the other entries since it was a video, but even though she was added several days after the contest started she still won by a whole ton of votes!! I can see why and agree with you guys *_* it is adorable, thank you for the sweet piece!!

 Winners,if you have not received an E-mail from me, please drop me one with your shipping address! 

Gallery of Beautiful Fanart Submissions!

 I wish I could give a prize out to everyone, for real! Nara had to stop be from buying “runner up” gifts because I just could not stop the urge to send out more! Click on any image to open up lightbox and scroll through the other amazing submissions!  I want to print it all on my wall! Enjoy and to everyone that submitted something, thank you again~ all of your work is stunning and each had its own unique style and charm to it!


2nd place runner up ^ I love her style!!





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27 Responses to “Cute in Korea’s 1st Birthday & Fanart Contest Winners!”

  • I always enjoy reading your blog entries, sometimes I’m just lazy to post a comment but knowing it cheer you up, I will now make an effort to write comments. After all, you’re also making a lot of effort for us so why shouldn’t I ?

    Congratulations to everyone who drew something, unfortunately I’m so bad at drawing, so I couldn’t join the contest but it was a real pleasure to see all of these awesome drawings.

    I fell in love with the ribbons you’re sending to the winners, do you have any idea if I can find them online ?

    Oh, and happy birthday Milk 😉

    • Elle:

      Aw thank you Maeva! haha yeah, they are really such nice bits of motivation that keep me going! 😀
      Glad you like the ribbons, I hope the winners do too~ I had a hard time picking just what to send them that all 3 people would like (hopefully haha) I bought them at a chain here called “Bad/naughty cat” it is a common shop for goodies here so they do not sell it online, but if you ever visit you can find the shop for sure! I have photos to feature the shop in detail when I get a chance too *_*

  • Custom avatar DC:

    Yay! Congratulations to all the winners! ^ o^)/♥
    If I were you, I’d honestly would have had the HARDEST time choosing (so I’m glad I’m not you! Hehe jk<33). I had a blast making my piece and I'm so glad that I was able to participate and bring a smile on your face! So thanks Elle (Nara and baby Milk too!) for such a fun contest and for a blog that has been one of my all-time favorites. Congratulations on a year filled with cuteness and tons of heart! Sending you hugs!! Stay amazing<333

    P.S. Very random, but I actually found out about you a while back through Shrinkle and Twinkie Chan's blogs! I loved your art (especially your Sanrio anniversary pieces and Sugarpill work!) and I found it so inspiring. So I kinda followed you from there! Not creepy at all. xD

    • Elle:

      It was SO HARD, that is one of the reasons why it took so long to announce~ I could just not decide because I loved everything and had so many unique styles to pick from! Your piece came out so adorable too, we loved it (especially how you drew Nara hahaha that was perfect!) so much fun~ I wish I could give prizes to everyone and I am not just saying that XD

      Oh that is awesome you found me through them! Actually a LOT of my original readers here and older base are fans of my Miss Kika art since when I moved here I kinda jumped off that to this for the last year haha! This blog has been taking all my attention because I still have lots of total Korea basics to write about (theme parks, brands, shopping spots) so once those are done you will start to see me throw in my art a lot more and bring back my art online shop hopefully XD Kinda wish I could freeze time lol! Thanks again and I hope I can continue to do things you enjoy <3 😀

  • Congratulations on your first anniversary! ^-^
    and congratz to the fanart contest winners, every single fanart looks so~ amazing 😀

    I always love reading your blog, and whenever I see a new post i immediately smile happily and read it ^^ You always write so detailed and the photos look really pretty ^^

  • Happy Birthday Cute In Korea! I hope that you continue to post in another blog if you eventually stop posting in this one. All your posts are very inspirational thank you so much for giving us such a close and beautiful glimpse of Korea I hope to go visit Korea one day to enjoy all of that kawaiiness. <3

  • Happy 1st Birthday Cute in Korea! <3 This is such a touching post! I am so happy I stumbled onto your blog! (I was looking for cute nail art ideas…) I've been a fan of your art for some years and now I am a fan of your blog! It was so exciting to be a part of your fanart contest and I never thought in a million years that I would be one of the winners! There were so many amazing enteries. Thank you! I will make sure to e-mail you later on today with my info! <3 <3 <3

    • Elle:

      aw yay I actually JUST e-mailed you haha! Take your time, if you can shoot it to me by the end of the weekend that would be great 😀 I hope you like the little gifts we picked out! Nara LOVED your piece (he may pop in to comment tomorrow as he is asleep right now haha) and how you render in your style, it is so adorable <3 Thank you so much for entering and I am so glad you are a fan of my art AND happened to find the blog haha! xoxoxoxo Have a great weekend and let me know when you get your goodies :3 Congratulations!

  • Custom avatar Christy:

    Congrats on a year! All the fanart is amazing! Your blogs are always such a treat to read, and I definitely feel a bit more cultured learning things about Korea from you 🙂 It’s actually one of the first travel blogs I’ve found that is interesting enough for me to keep wanting to come back to read. If I ever get the chance to visit Korea in the future, I’m definitely referencing your blog for my travel plans. I may be studying abroad in Taiwan for a year once I graduate college (grr…college…), and I would definitely love to follow your footsteps and make a travel blog, too ^^

    • Custom avatar Christy:

      And please forgive me for being as cheesy as I was, because I really do mean what I wrote!

  • Custom avatar Elsa:

    Slightly late to the party, but YEEAHHH, Happy Birthday Cute in Korea! Congrats to everyone who entered, there are very many talented artists and those hanbok bunnies are SOOO cute! Well done Elle for making this the cutest blog about Korea 😀

  • oh i didn’t win any thing !!O3O.
    oh well ,it kinda broke my heart a little, but it’s oki lol ..any way~

    lots of congratulations for everyone who won ^^♥
    good work~~

  • Congratulations life this year!! and thanks for everything! I hope this will continue for long time.

  • Custom avatar Rae B:

    Happy Birthday Milk & Cute in Korea & congrats to the winners! Looking forward to future posts and another great year of Cute in Korea!

  • Custom avatar Mouse:

    congrats to the winners ~ everyone has such cute art. :3
    <3 <3 <3
    And congrats to Cute in Korea 1st year anniversary ~ ^-^; It's the first blog I officially have every felt the need to follow. (besides friends, of course). If I ever get a chance to visit Korea, I'll obviously use all the posts as a guide. But otherwise, it's a very inspirational blog. ^O^

  • Custom avatar Joan:

    I’m so so excited!~ Thanks so much! It was really fun to participate and I tried hard to make a piece that reflected the way I feel when I read the blog and learn about cute things in Korea ^_^ So excited for the prize, the hairbows are so cute and the hanbok bunny! <3 All of the art submitted was amazing and I enjoyed looking at everyone's unique styles and interpretations, it's a testament to how stylish and unique Cute in Korea is!

  • oh i forgot to say happy birthday to your blog and little cute milk ^_^
    i hope it would be the first in many more ♥
    i always come here and your blog just cheer me up right away ^_^

    oh! oh!~i wish i draw you more colorful pic >3< but i'm considered a runner up in the voting too ^^; ~ nee!

  • Custom avatar Lili:

    Happy anniversary! ^-^

  • super congrats to the winners, soo many amazing pieces!!

  • All the pieces were so much fun ^^ Elle and I had a really hard time trying to pick our favorite one, and we ended up picking each of our own favorites so we stop fighting. >.< Congratulations to all the winners ! And thank you for all the pretty submissions~ <3

  • Hello, I am 16 y/o Asian girl from Malaysia. I see that most of cute stuff in korea are here in malaysia as well but not that much. Its hard to find cute stuff in here but there are some of shop who sell these cute stuff..BTW, I have been searching for cute photo editor like you used in your photos.. i love your blog and pictures. May I know what apps you used to edit them? 🙂 If you care. thank you and love your site. ^^

  • Custom avatar kani:

    hi! i’ve just recently discovered your blog and i don’t think i’ve commented yet, but i really love it! i’m going through all of your old blog posts (especially the food-related ones ^^) and everything’s so amazing! thanks for all the pictures too, it saves my lazy eyes from reading XD please keep posting about all your wonderful journeys! 🙂 <3

  • Custom avatar maan:

    hi elle your site is really really informative! i’ll be going to seoul with my close friends this december and i can’t contain my excitement anymore! i must say your blog isn’t helping from keeping me calm for this trip.

    i hope to walk by or visit all the cute places you’ve been to especially the cat cafe! i think it’s a must go for a crazy cat person like me!

Welcome to my blog about Korea!

My name is Elle and I am an Illustrator & Gallery painter from California, but currently I am living in Seoul with my Korean Fiancé!

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