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"Designing is the first signal of human intention"

August 25, 2019

A rough edit but felt cute - might delete later. 

 

An interviewee asked me recently, nice to see your client work, what about your own work and style - can you show a bit on that? 

 

I realized, I haven't been asked that in awhile! At Uni, I remember I described myself more on the minimalist side and was in love with Dutch design and Swiss design. More Dutch design because of its playfulness. I also got from peers/teachers that there's a common use of linear elements and colorfulness. (I did use a lot of string/yarn for my designs and installations) I was also challenged back in the day with budget limits as a student. I couldn't justify buying the good paint or these lights that I thought could truly convey my "artist statement". In a way, it allowed me to think lean, be resourceful and think outside the box. (No lights? How about glow in the dark paint?!) But now though, what's my style as a designer that illustrates me, my soul, my ethos - not my clients'. Initially, I showed him a few experimental illustrations I did last year when I did some index card studies. They were bold colors, flowing forms, slightly non-sensical - I was just playing with visual textures. Experimental. However, it didn't feel sufficient - it wasn't enough to showcase who I am, but I feel like that's a long discussion. Definitely not enough time during an unstructured 30 min initial call interview. How do I show that and how does it balance with my client work or is it okay for it to be completely different?

 

As a wee little design student, I fell in love with installations. Activating a space that was once empty with no narrative you wouldn't even think twice about it, and then the next it could be filled with strong resonating content and stories or just activating your senses, different from your everyday life. This was before murals were a trend and before ad agencies did so many experiential advertising like I remember when Droga5 agency's JayZ Decoded campaign was such a big deal (I mean as it should). What I wanted to do and one of my idols is Ann Hamilton. I think I asked a professor how do people do these installations and have a career in it? I remember the answer was surrounded around fellowships and grants. Basically, I interpreted it as the classic starving artist route. Being raised by strict Asian parents, that route was a no-go. I mean I'm already a huge rebel for even thinking of going to get my BFA. I even snuck in Architecture school as a possible major in my college search just to attempt to keep things normal-ish and show my parents that I'm thinking of somewhat of a fruitful future. Lately, I keep coming back to why I even got into the passion which was drawing and painting. Before, being an illustrator in my eyes had always been maybe a children's book illustrator or doing poster art which is also the starving artist route, but nowadays, there's way more plausible and fruitful avenues and I think has a wider audience especially with social media. Maybe it's just a trend... Well regardless, as we get more integrated with lifestyles surrounded by data and tech, we'll need to hang on to what's most human. Though saying that, there's AI that can regurgitate a Rembrandt in seconds. But that's the keyword, regurgitate. We need to keep creating more human things or things that activate human senses, feelings, and support our emotional intelligence. "Designing is the first signal of human intention" and I think we'll continue to learn what that means as we further define AI and understand all of the 4th industrial revolution's data.

 

Ok, end rant; basically, I'm going to make an effort to post illustrations/doodles/whatever I create for fun on here. They probably won't make much sense, but with time, I'm hoping I'll be able to find a thread or pattern or something that'll help guide me and formulate a concept/mission statement.

This color palette is inspired from my wedding planning boards galore. Probably from some blog or some pinterest that called it a jewel palette. I expanded from it, but liked this kind of Dr Seuss world. Originally it was one landscape, but I found a better focus and better moments when cropped.

 

 

 

 

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email: karen.n.qin@gmail.com​

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