TDK Awards ’16 winner, Veronica Tran, talks with us about making a book with her pen pal designer friend in New York, her student exchange to Copenhagen, and sleep – sleep is good – do it.
When did you fall in love with design and how did you get started? Probably through art– I’ve always loved origami, drawing, and painting as a kid. I drew pretty obsessively, found Photoshop as a tool for digital painting, and then I gradually got more and more into design while studying it at RMIT. Every consecutive uni year has been increasingly fun, and my studies has only reinforced my growing passion for it. I love the combination of creativity, empathy, and abstract thought that’s needed for design.
Any passion projects you would like to share? I’m in the process of making a book with another designer pal Kris in New York. We were heavily inspired by the ‘Dear Data’ project by Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec. It was really fascinating to create an artefact out of purely digital communications, with someone who I was still getting to know. It mixes our love of art and design, centering around our own experiences and includes snapshots of essays, illustrations, photography of our daily lives which we sent to each other over a period of a month. We wanted to collaborate, document, and create somewhat reactionary pieces for each other, and are in the process of collating it all now.
What has been your highlights since you started out? Exchange to Copenhagen also really helped me in widening my perspective of design, and exposed me to so many things I hadn’t ever considered to be a part of my practice. I learnt a lot more about digital/interactive design there and it’s one of my biggest interests right now. Another thing has been bouncing around a few different agencies during studying and after grad. It’s been a huge eye opener, I’ve had concentrated bursts of learning at different places which have all been very valuable.
What has been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt along the way? I’m still in the process of learning a lot, but some things I like to tell myself nowadays are:
1. To lower my anxiety about the future, go with the flow, embrace the unknown, etc. But also do things with intent and a drive to improve.
2. Feedback is integral, seek it often and treat it as a way to better yourself.
3. Sleep is good, try to develop a solid routine that’ll keep you sane.
4. Articulate my process and be conscious of my work flow. Be open to spontaneity, find meanings and patterns in everything.
5. Read everything
Whats on the cards professionally and personally in the next 12 months? I’m hoping to not lose momentum, and to continue pushing myself as much as possible by gaining more experience. Continue freelancing and finding a full time position somewhere challenging. In my own time, I’m going to continue to delve into motion design and algorithmic art. I’d like to live and work abroad again in the near future too.