Emily Hoang

Graphic Designer / Playlist Enthusiast
Wailuku, Hawaii
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Bio

Hi! I’m Emily Hoang (a.k.a. The Unlucky Penny) and I love a good playlist. Growing up incredibly shy and introverted, I felt like I never had the right words to say and that I was the only one in the world who felt the way I did. Music shattered all of that. The act of putting together my own playlists was like piecing together these universal emotions of other people and interweaving them into my own story. In college I studied Business with the intent of working in the marketing side of the music industry, but when I graduated in May of 2020 it didn’t look like there were going to be many opportunities especially with live entertainment. In quarantine I found myself making a lot of art based around whatever music I was listening to at the time and posting it. Just a couple of months in I started getting work to do album covers and merch designs, which was an opportunity I never even knew existed. I want to keep making music-based art because the stories that musicians have to tell help people like me feel heard, understood, and empowered.

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Work Experience
Work Experience
DoTheBay
June 2019-August 2019
San Francisco, California
Graphic Design Intern
KCRW
September 2018-April 2019
Santa Barbara, California
Marketing Intern
Executive Educational Consultants
January 2018-July 2018
Santa Barbara, California
Marketing and Communications Intern
Work Experience
University
Westmont College
Skills
Graphic Design, Illustration, Animation, Creativity, Writing, Playlist-making
Featured work
Tell us why you're the best applicant in under 50 words

I’m always pushing myself to be more creative than I was yesterday- to the point where if I make something that looks like something I’ve made before it feels like I’m plagiarizing one of my old ideas. I live for trying to think of things in a new way.

Give us your bio in under 500 words

Hi! I’m Emily Hoang (a.k.a. The Unlucky Penny) and I love a good playlist. Growing up incredibly shy and introverted, I felt like I never had the right words to say and that I was the only one in the world who felt the way I did. Music shattered all of that. The act of putting together my own playlists was like piecing together these universal emotions of other people and interweaving them into my own story. In college I studied Business with the intent of working in the marketing side of the music industry, but when I graduated in May of 2020 it didn’t look like there were going to be many opportunities especially with live entertainment. In quarantine I found myself making a lot of art based around whatever music I was listening to at the time and posting it. Just a couple of months in I started getting work to do album covers and merch designs, which was an opportunity I never even knew existed. I want to keep making music-based art because the stories that musicians have to tell help people like me feel heard, understood, and empowered.

1. What's the most courageous thing you've ever done?

I believe that the most courageous moments come when you’re faced with the most difficult and discouraging moments. I’ve only been freelancing since around August of this year and one of the most challenging projects I took on was doing a full-length animated music video. I had never even animated something longer than about ten seconds so I’m not quite sure why I thought I could do four minutes in two weeks. I worked on it day and night every single day for a month and had to learn a lot while I was making it. I felt so stressed every single day and wanted to give up so many times because I felt like I was in way over my head. But, the most courageous thing was that I actually stuck with it even though I wanted to give up every single day. I had to humble myself and say that I didn’t know everything and to be transparent with all of my mistakes and shortcomings. Now as an artist I want to instill that kind of courage and humility in everything I do and every project I take on- to stick with things even when I want to give up and to be brave enough to admit that I’m weak.

2. How are creativity and innovation related?

Innovation is finding a solution to a problem. Creativity is asking what is possible.

3. Why do companies need clarity and creativity?

Companies need clarity and creativity to reach their audience. Everyone is constantly consuming information and content now. In order to stand out and be heard, companies need to use creativity to say something different and they need to say it clear enough that it won’t be overlooked. I believe design helps companies be more clear and creative because you’re able to communicate something instantly that can capture attention.

4. You have 30 minutes of free time. What do you do with it?

If I have 30 minutes of free time, I get in the shower. Most of my day I spend either creating art or consuming art. I also often feel exhausted trying to constantly force myself to be productive and creative all day. If I have 30 minutes of free time, I’m not going to create or consume, I’m going to get in the shower because it is the one thing that feels productive and yet completely relaxes your mind. I often think about this one episode of “Abstract” where Paula Scher says that she gets her best ideas in taxi cabs because she allows her subconscious to take over- that’s how I feel about showers.

5. What is one risky and bold goal in life you have? Or, if you could dedicate your life to solving one problem, what would it be?

If I could dedicate my life to solving one problem it’d be to get closer to answering the question of: how do we be better listeners? I think music gets at that question in a beautiful way. When we listen to music we start to empathize with other people’s stories- people we hardly know- and we’re forced to look at things from a different perspective than our own. I think that through listening, we not only understand each other better but we can also understand ourselves better to grow and change.

6. Explain your creative process

I always start with finding some kind of inspiration. For example, if I’m designing a cover art for a musician I’ll usually first do my research about who they are as an artist- listen to their music, look through their instagram, and find pictures of them. I’ll put that into a mood board along with some related artwork that I think fits either from Pinterest or Instagram or somewhere else. Then I’ll try to come up with a couple of solid ideas that I can sketch out based on everything I’ve collected. Once I have at least three solid concepts I’ll give myself a break and spend some time away from what I’ve made so that I can come back and look at it with fresh eyes. I’ll usually come back and edit as needed and then if it is for a client send it off and work through edits as needed. An important part of the creative process when it is for someone else is learning to merge it with someone else’s vision! Even though this is my current process, I’m constantly looking for ways to improve and since I’ve never really had a fully design-related job I’d love the chance to learn from professionals.

7. What is the best advice that you have been given?

“Be comfortable with the uncomfortable.” This is the best advice I’ve ever been given because I’m someone who loves being comfortable and thrives on predictable routines, but the times that I’ve grown the most were times that I’ve been challenged and the times where I had to do things differently and trust myself enough to get through it. What got you here, won’t get you there.

8. What is your definition of creativity?

My definition of creativity is thinking of something in a completely new way. It is often paired with sorting through all of the old ways and twisting and turning them until you arrive somewhere completely new.

9. What 10 songs are on your favorite playlist right now?

One In A Million - Jesse Gold and Stefani Kimber Christmas - marinelli (what I wish just one person would say to me) - LANY no friends - mazie hiccup (acoustic) - Valley supercuts - Jeremy Zucker Home Alone, Too - The Staves Easy - Babygirl Hailey - WRENN Maple Syrup Tears - Huron John

10. How do you want people to remember you?

The girl that recommended them their new favorite song.

Passport is valid for next 12 months

Yes

Which country issued your passport?

United States of America

Have you been convicted of a crime and/or a felony? If so, what was the offense? State the city, country, and date.

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