I came into the course with little experience after transitioning from the sciences into design. When I got into my design course in Monash University, I had not established myself as a designer yet. Initially, I viewed design as having a set of rules and guidelines but I wish I’d known earlier that it is the total opposite. For example, although everyone has their own particular interest in a style/medium/process, it does not mean that you have to follow what they are doing. If something interests you but no one is doing it, just go ahead and do it. Don’t wait around for someone to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do as the world is your oyster when it comes to design. If you keep your focus on ‘your’ skills and ‘your’ interests, you will excel in the process faster. You’ll also discover new things about yourself that no one can tell you about!
Growing up in an Asian family, it is the ultimate aspiration for any Chinese parents to have their child pursue honourable and respectable careers such as doctors and lawyers. When someone I loved passed away, it woke me up from my daze to conformity. The moment I finished my A-Levels, I decided to break away from that by taking a gap year. During that period, I took the opportunity to work in the design industry. I felt like, for the first time, I could finally see a future for myself as I realised that we are always constantly surrounded by creativity and I wanted to be a part of it too.
Everyday, I am expanding and pushing myself as a designer, ranging from learning different mediums to finding different ways to approach design; be it the train ride home or even just observing different forms of handwriting in class. Right now, I’m pushing my skills by learning screen printing and typography!
If the thought of doing something new and challenging scares you, do it! You’ll discover that you either love it or hate it which can help you solidify your idea of who you want to become, especially as a designer in the future. Another important tip is to stop comparing yourself to others. Personally, I believe in the fact that you should compare yourself to your previous self and ask yourself how you can improve from that. Also, design is more than just aesthetics so thinking further ahead rather than just deciding on what looks good is paramount when trying to really convey your ideas. Lastly, be kind to your professors, teachers and the people that you work alongside with and always work together/share ideas because again, it is not a race.
Melbourne has made me a better designer because I am constantly surrounded by so many designs/designers that dare to push it further. If there is something that people want to speak about, they will use design as a catalyst to do so. Each voice is heard through their work.
I have way too many companies on my dream list! It would be More studio, Confetti Studio, Poc & Pac, Studio Hiho, Jac&, Studio Round, Todaydes, Tcyk, U-P, A Friend of Mine, Never Now in Melbourne, O.OO Design in Taipei, Taiwan and so many others that I have yet to discover.
In the future, I would love to see my work come to life. Not just any work, but the work that improves human lives and experiences. Also, being able to later collaborate with people that share the same visions would ultimately be exciting.