Tell us why you're the best applicant in under 50 words
I believe my exposure to two strong cultures, America and Vietnam, makes me not only flexible, but also creatively adaptable when working under demanding circumstances. My immersion in both cultures builds upon my creativity revealing itself through the alternative ways that I translate design.
Give us your bio in under 500 words
Hello, I’m answering this questionnaire from San Francisco where I’ve grown as a person and a graphic designer these past three years. Born and raised in Sai Gon, Viet Nam I’m lucky to carry with me the diverse exposures built from my childhood in my dear hometown and the six years that I’ve been in America. I wasn't born with any drawing talent or an aesthetic eye, but I hold a curious passion for design. I challenged myself with graphic design and have made it my chosen path though some might mistake me for a chef-wannabe since I spend a lot of time in the kitchen when I'm not doing design work. I look forward to incorporating more of my heritage in future work and actively seek opportunities to advance not only in design, but other art-related projects. The pandemic has turned the world upside down, but I believe after this readjustment period there will come a desire to thrive more than ever. This encouraging program from WGI to explore the world again is an opportunity I must seize.
1. What's the most courageous thing you've ever done?
My dad passed away when I was 17. This happened a few months before I was supposed to study abroad in America. It was out of the blue, but despite the overwhelming emotions I knew I had to stay strong for my mom and help her take care of things so I held myself in. I thought it was the most courageous thing I’ve done up until 2 years ago when I realized I had never finished processing my emotions. In taking time to reprocess my dad’s passing I found that being vulnerable and communicating my feelings was even harder and more courageous. Both instances resonated throughout my life and even reflect on how I have learned to effectively communicate with coworkers and clients, and carry myself through tough situations.
2. How are creativity and innovation related?
Both creativity and innovation implicitly suggest a progressive concept or product is made whether it be a personal or a collective achievement. They are also alike in the sense that the end product can be either tangible products/ designs or intangible ideas/ services. Although seemingly identical, creativity is spontaneous while innovation can be methodological. Creativity can be seen as posing a question and innovation can be the answer.
3. Why do companies need clarity and creativity?
While creativity encourages designers to explore the vast possibilities of design, clarity engenders structure that hones in those varying possibilities into an intelligible form. This manifests in professional designers because they will have clarity to communicate their ideas clearly and the creativity to push the boundaries of design. For example, a brand’s visual identity is a by-product of a story and value which is symbolized through the visual identity of the brand. Clarity and creativity work together to make brands recognizable to a wider audience.
4. You have 30 minutes of free time. What do you do with it?
I believe it’s about understanding work and life balance so I would use my 30-minute break to call my parents. I like to keep a habit of talking to my parents everyday because I want to reserve time for people I love. This isn’t just to maintain my family connection, but also to take a breather from life and to re-engage with my work with a fresher eye.
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?
I wanted to see an alternative to visualizing humans in order to create inclusive design. The awareness of races and ableism have consciously embedded itself in all sorts of designs and advertisements. This is important to recognize and replicate, however it can lead to a consistent need for a visual representation of a "normal" human. As message deliverers, our designer community has to reimagine what it means to pick out certain human traits to visually represent them and see what we can do differently to make this task seem less targeting, and for the design to feel less “bureaucratic.” It isn't that no one has ever done this before however this idea of dehumanizing human characters should be utilized by the designers and familiarized by the audience. Representation matters but finding a way in which we can represent an essence of someone rather than a literal physical representation is a significant goal I want to work on as a designer.
6. Explain your creative process
For most projects, I start with an initial meeting with the client to gather information about the project, evaluating their needs, and move on to sketching a few drafts. Then I will determine the design direction with the client and revise the designs accordingly. Although my creative process may feel typical, I am able to shift and morph my method when needed since each clients’ needs and hands on approach will vary. It comes down to listening and communicating in an effective way to get to a path that works for the client and myself.
7. What is the best advice that you have been given?
My partner always tells me that “everyone is just trying to figure it out.” That line may sound simple, but it has been impactful to me when facing unexpected results. It reminds me not to beat myself up or look down on my accomplishments. It’s a reminder that design is an ongoing process and there’s an amount of rule breaking in which I should allow myself to imagine. It pushes me forward to continue nurturing my creativity knowing that things will come to fruition with perseverance and experimentation.
8. What is your definition of creativity?
Creativity to me is how I combine my knowledge and experience in order to interpret a subject. It’s about shifting how you see a subject, not what you see. Creativity then fluctuates as it’s a constantly changing process that combines different theories and executions. Creativity is sharpened through learning and practice.
9. What 10 songs are on your favorite playlist right now?
Yayou hoi - sogumm ft. OHHYUK
Runner - Tennis
Overnight - Maggie Rogers
Hit the Back - King Princess
Official - Charli XCX
Doi Khi <3 - Suboi ft. Nodey
More Than A Woman - Bee Gees
Superstar - A.G.Cook
Idontknow - Jamiexx
Kyo181 - Silica Gel
10. How do you want people to remember you?
I would love it if people see that I’m worth their time. I want to be seen as not only a stable and reliable person, but someone they’d enjoy spending time with and share their deepest darkest secrets.
Passport is valid for next 12 months
Which country issued your passport?
Have you been convicted of a crime and/or a felony? If so, what was the offense? State the city, country, and date.