Tokebi (Korean: 도깨비 “ddokkaebi”), is a Guatemalan artist, illustrator and university professor, who rose to popularity when his social media channel was discovered by Brann Dailor, drummer of the heavy metal band Mastodon who requested a design for the poster of their UK & Europe 2019 tour. Tokebi is known for his bright neon colors and quirky line work, mixing retro and sci-fi influences, and using skulls and skeletons as main characters.
Thanks to social media, most of Tokebi’s career has evolved online, with his artwork being sent as far as Australia, Netherlands, Argentina, Korea and Japan. Most of his work is in the music scene and is especially popular among rock bands, rappers and djs. He has created numerous CD and LP covers for bands around the world.
Tokebi was born in the city of Guatemala (Guatemala) in 1981. One of his defining moments was playing the violent videogame Mortal Kombat and listening to heavy metal band Metallica since the age of seven. He moved to Chicago, United States in 2003 then in 2010 he moved to Seoul, South Korea to study the language and immerse himself in the culture. During this period, he also completed a Master’s degree in Public Policy at the Korea Development Institute. Always an Asian devote, Tokebi traveled frequently to other parts of Asia to gather inspiration, but it was Japan and Korea, with their neon lights and vibrant culture that caught his attention. This, together with the old western culture of the United States, became the main inspiration for his work.
Tokebi, a Korean word that means “Goblin” and refers to a creature from Korean mythology. Tokebi is an ugly fiend that rewards good deeds and punishes those evil. Tokebi art career started in 2010, in the streets of Seoul, where he used to sell his prints. Later, in 2014 and 2015, he participated in an artistic space for international and Korean artists “Nothing Serious I” and “Nothing Serious II”. In 2018 he also participated in the exhibition “Etereo Estereo” held in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. However, most of Tokebi’s work is related to branding and music, especially to the rock scene, creating logos, flyers, CD and LP covers, LP sleeves, posters, and video animations.
Go check more of Tokebi’s work to his store page