The wonderful SOOMPI banner you see above was made by starlette*, the grand-prize winner of the first SOOMPI Banner Contest.
Out of the 24 entries, the members of SOOMPI Forums voted for their favorite from 12 finalists. starlette*‘s banner beat out the competition by over 20%! The prize was a $100 gift certificate to

About the Artist:

Name: Vivian Tran
Brithdate: 06/30/1984
Age: 21
Nationality: Vietnamese-American
Location: Northern California
Education: Currently a junior at San Jose State University
Major: Advertising (minor: possibily Asian American Studies)
Hobbies & interests: Korean/Chinese music + dramas. Starbucks. Travel. Fashion/shopping. Graphic designing w/ PS(photoshop).
Favorite artists: SG Wannabe, MTOM, Gummy, Monday Kiz, K-pop(the band), Park Hyo Shin, Lee Ki Chan & Kang Sung Hoon.
Time at soompi: since 2002

Q: How did you get into K-pop?
A: After a friend recommended a fanfic to me called, "What I did for love" by val, I had the urge to research more about the hot main male character, Eun Ji Won. I then learned that he was the leader of the K-pop band, "Sechskies." I sampled some of Sechskies music and found Korean music to be very interesting and from then on, my interest in K-pop began to emerge.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for your winning banner?
A: I was just flipping through my stock picture thread and came across the piano stock pic and then the idea just hit me. I thought it would be a cool idea to have different K-stars lined up next to each other on the keys. To be honest, at first I didn’t think it would make a very nice graphic, but I tried it out and it looked pretty cool so voila! Haha I don’t know, my ideas just hit me as I go along.

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