Forrest Ta

Graphic Designer
Long Beach, CA
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My name is Forrest Huu Ta. My classmates call me FOFO, which was my friend's attempt at creating a nickname for someone named Forrest. Coming from a Chinese/Vietnamese family line of entrepreneurs and engineers, I was the only creative child in the bunch. Art and design have always been passions of mine since childhood. These passions have led me to my practice today and continue to motivate me to learn new approaches, mediums, programs, and machinery. I don't have a particular style, mainly because I am enamored with getting my hands into di􀃠erent ideas and experimenting with di􀃠erent styles.

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Work Experience
San Diego Museum of Man
Design Intern
San Diego, CA
Anthropologie Fashion Valley
Customer Associate
AIGA San Diego: Y Conference
Y23 Student Volunteer
San Diego, CA
California State University, Long Beach
Adobe Photoshop CC, Adobe Illustrator CC, Adobe InDesign CC, Adobe After Effects CC, Adobe Lightroom Classic CC, InVision, Sketch, Book binding, Laser cutting, Laser engraving, RISO printing, Screen printing, Vinyl cutting
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You should select me because

My constant drive to learn and be inspired is what makes me the best candidate for WGI. I am always hungry to learn and will never stop reading or making until I die. I have a lot of respect for not only designers who are a master at their craft but are also wonderful personalities that are always eager to learn, communicate, and engage with others.

1. Why are you interested in wgi?

The ability to travel and learn from design geniuses all around the world is what interests me the most about WGI. After working long hours at two jobs last summer, I saved up enough money to travel to Japan on my own for the first time. It was not only a treat to myself but also a test to see if I would be capable of navigating on my own in a new city. Coming home, I realized that I needed to become more independent and put myself out there in order to grow. WGI would be the next stepping stone for me to expand my horizons.

2. What are you looking to gain from an experience such as WGI?

I am looking to gain more experience in branding. I want to work with different types of clients and also learn different ways to approach design.

3. What would be your goals after completing WGI if you were selected?

My goals after completing WGI if I were selected would either be finishing a bachelor's degree in Graphic Design at California State University, Long Beach or getting a Designer position at a design agency. Whichever comes first.

4. How did you hear about wgi?

I heard about WGI from one of my classmates who shared the Instagram page with me last year when I didn't have a portfolio. After spending a year to better understand my goals, create my passion projects, and collaborate with classmates that inspire me, my portfolio is finally ready.

5. Share an example of a time you were most motivated and a time you were most demotivated.

Most Motivated: On my Spectrum Labs project, I was so determined to get iridescent foiling done to my packaging since it was an integral element to the whole brand. I spent a week trying up to six different methods to see which approach best communicates my vision. I spent an entire Saturday working at the student's lab with my 40 lbs printer that I brought from home up and dragged up to the fourth floor. Constantly printing and cutting until my packaging came out the way I wanted. I am dedicated and determined to find a solution. Most Demotivated: My Female Founders Conference branding project has changed the most since its first iteration. My vision for this project aligned with a more experimental and abstract concept. I really wanted to convey a sense of emergence of women in the workforce that disrupts the status quo with a conference logo that had grid lines and spikes that animated. I presented my idea to my classmates and professors for critique and no one got it even after I explained the concept. I was instructed to push towards a more simplified, conventional approach. This process was the most demotivating to me because I really wanted to push the understanding of abstract concepts. I really wanted to make something that challenged human perception and judgment.

6. In your opinion, what creates a great culture at a company?

Working with my fellow classmates on collaboration projects, I learned that communication and embracing differences helps develop different types of work and appreciation for that work. Looking at some of the great designers out there, it's notable that the ones who create amazing work and have great culture are always learning, communicating, and embracing the skills of their team members.

7. What brands and companies do you admire and why?

It is my lifetime dream to work at Pentagram one day. Their work is incredibly diverse and the way they approach design is inspiring. In addition to admiring their work, I listen to podcasts, read interviews, and watch talks done by the partners at Pentagram. I am an avid listener of The Observatory and The Design of Business | The Business of Design by Michael Bierut and Jessica Helfand. Michael Bierut is my hero not because of his work but because of his sensitive, heartwarming, and open-minded personality. While I am drawn to good work, I am also drawn to good personality and how designers talk about their own work and experiences. The people I look up to are my role models.

8. What do you do to stay sharp and improve your craft?

I am always on Instagram or Behance to see what kind of work is out there to better understand the creative climate. In addition to that, I am a learner by nature. If my schedule permits, I usually like to do things on my own and learn how to work and operate programs and machinery. This trait has led me to develop a number of ways to approach design and craft from various means, thanks to my understanding of the capabilities for each program and machine. I discovered this passion when I was working with the equipment my college provides for students to use on their projects.

9. What’s your favorite quote?

“Always keep your eyes open. Keep watching. Because whatever you see can inspire you.” This quote is by former creative director Grace Coddington from The September Issue, a documentary about the creation of Vogue's largest monthly issue.

10. If you could solve one problem in the world what would it be?

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