Shu-Yu Hsiao

We recently caught up with the amazing Shu-Yu Hsiao of Character in New York City! Shu is originally from Taiwan and moved to NYC to study at The School of Visual Arts. Since graduating she's been working on tons of exciting projects with the brilliant team over at Character. Shu chats to us about her experience studying design, what her daily routine looks like now that she works from home and her exciting creative plans for the future!

What did you do while you were studying to prepare you for the design industry?

I was very fortunate to have gone to The School of Visual Arts in New York City and was exposed to various people in the industry already, many of which were my professors at the time. Many of my classes would be held at their workplaces and we would experience first-handed what it really felt like to work in the industry. One thing that helped me a lot when working on projects was to view my professors as actual clients in the real world. That definitely made me want to do my best on all my projects and kept me pushing to be a better designer. I also made sure to always practice presenting with my friends that way I’m equipped to talk about my work better.

Talk us through a typical working day include for you right now.

Well currently I work from home which has been both a blessing and a curse. On a normal day, I would wake up around 8:00 AM, slowly roll out of bed and drink my first cup of coffee. I would typically catch up with family at this time since they’re all the way in Taiwan (which is opposite times zones) before work starts. Work officially starts at 9:30 AM and my first meetings typically start around 10:00 AM. I like to see what times my meetings are the day before so I can plan accordingly and block out specific times to work on projects. It’s different each day but I get around 3 meetings a day max. I’m typically on 2-3 projects a day so I plan to spend at least 1-2 hours a day on each project unless there’s going to be a deadline. Then my day ends at around 7 PM and I prepare to make dinner! 🙂

Living in New York, there are countless of design schools in the area. That’s what originally drew me to the city and what made me want to come study in New York. I knew if I can make it here, I can make it anywhere.

What are some of the best and worse parts of your job, day-to-day.

I think the best part of my job is the amazing people that I get to meet/work with and the cool things I get to design and see being produced out there in the world. The worst parts about my job are the tight deadlines. Design takes time to craft and when it’s rushed sometime the work isn’t as good as I want it to be, but that’s just the nature of the industry. Obviously the best out-weights the bad since I get to work with such awesome people everyday.

What's the quality of design education like in your city?

Living in New York, there are countless of design schools in the area. That’s what originally drew me to the city and what made me want to come study in New York. I knew if I can make it here, I can make it anywhere. There’s so much great design culture here and everyday you get to meet people that really wow you and make you better not only as a designer but also as a person.

What's the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

You have your entire life to figure out your career, make sure you do what you love first.

Whats on the cards professionally and personally in the next 12 months?

Professionally, I would love to work for more companies that are benefiting the world. I think as a designer, it’s our jobs to make things look pretty but I want to be able to work with great environmentally friendly companies and make things pretty for them.

Personally, I want to get in the habit of finding more creative hobbies such as painting, pottery making or even crocheting. I love being hands on and I think using these creative mediums can help me grow as a designer as well.

Where to find Shu:

Instagram: @shuyu.hsiao

Website: www.shu.work

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