Design & Me

Studying painting and drawing since young,  In 2011, I was fortunate to be admitted and study fine art/illustration at School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In a top conceptual art school, I was exposed to cubism, surrealism and minimalism, learning how to express personal feelings and tell stories by colors and shapes. After a while, I felt challenging to create work speaking for myself, and even got uncomfortable using art to present my very personal thoughts and emotions. Frustration and self-doubt made me ponder what my life-long art education was for, and where I should head to as an artist. The eagerer I wanted to create, the farther I couldn’ help to turn away from it.

The turning point came in my first design class, Graphic Design 101. For the first time, I was amazed by everything about typography, colors, hierarchy, etc., and thrived with the fluid of organization, system and consistency in my mind. Instead of doing personal art, I realized how much I enjoyed communicating other people’s thoughts visually to the outside world way beyond the art field. From then on, I shifted my study focus from fine art to design, with no doubt or confusion ever again. Gaining much satisfaction when my design was understood, liked or converted into something else, I wanted to create for the others and establish connections between design and our real life.

Obsessed with solving problems with visual solutions for the others, I worked as an infographic designer first, and marketing visual designer later from 2013 to 2016. These amazing experiences gave me chances to visualize data and business into digital accessible assets. I was happy that I picked the right path and never stopped improving my skills and picking up new trends, by reading from 99U to The Great Discontent, from How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer to 12 Kinds of Kindness. However, I still felt missing something. I had the confidence and a passion to be a good designer, and what I was still looking for?

I found my answer after reading an article, The Crossroads of Should and Must, which brought a new concept to me:  job, career and calling. Calling, what’s my calling? I know I enjoy designing for people and business, but how do I know I am doing the right thing or my design is valid? I kept asking myself this question again and again, and one day a sparkling thought just struck me right there: what I enjoy the most is not merely visual concepts, but the connection between design, business and humans. I am curious about human’s thoughts, behaviors and cultures, so to understand their needs and use design as a communication tool to build relationships. What’s more, it triggers my hunger to learn perspectives of the others and be open-minded to various mindsets. I am blessedly motivated to establish more diverse interests such as product management, leadership, illustration, interior design, real estate investment, personal finance etc. I desire to explore more, dig deeper, feel the truth and bring it back to life.

I am fortunate and happy with what I am doing, and hope you are, too.

Appreciate your time reading.