Interactive · Web · Graphic Designer
Based in Vancouver, Canada.
What do you like about being an interactive designer in Canada?
Everything... the bitching, the flexible and wee hours, my Mac and of course the happy smiles and thank you emails I get after a project is well done... plus i get to put ideas and images into people heads.
How long have you been in Canada?
How was it like to move from SG to a totally new place in Canada?
It was really difficult to leave my friends back in Singapore. Even now, I do not have many friends since i'm past the sociable age, it's kinda difficult to just go out and have fun all the time. So instead, I put all my time and effort into looking for a job when I first reached here. Well, the fact that Vancouver has an over-flux of designers doesn't help at all, plus I'm looking at a senior post opening, even less opportunities. Currently, I'm doing well enough through freelancing and contracting for 5 design/developing companies here in Vancouver and I get some referrals from the USA from time to time, as well as from Singapore, so it's all good!
What do you see over there in terms of the design culture that is different from SG?
Everywhere is the same! (laughs) Dozens of changes after the brief, and even more changes before the design is approved before production heads underway. However, I do notice that the people are generally more polite and nicer here since they have a more laidback culture! Overtime work to complete a project within a ridiculous timeframe is not expected, unlike most Asian countries. And when you do put in the effort to do it for them, they will be very pleased and thankful.
People are generally more open to ideas and concept since this is a mixed culture, and a greater amount of freedom is given to designers to unleash their creativity. Overall, the jobs get done faster and there is less *hair tearing* because I'm dealing with people who are less overbearing. Then again, maybe it's just me. (grins) They like me here... ha ha...
PS. the air is fresher up here so the people less impatient and temperamental... Good for me :)
Why did you get into this line and will you ever switch your career path?
Like most, I couldn't figure out what I would like to be when I grew up. I hated working regular hours and having to wear a certain work suit or uniform to fit into the business world. So being a doctor, lawyer or business executive is out of the question. Being a designer is an excuse to dress down every single day (but don't go to the extreme of showing up looking like you just went to the kopi tiam 'coffee shop' next door) and I also realize I'm good at making things look nice. And no, I don't think i will ever leave the line of design into other line of work.
What is the most memorable and enjoyable project that you were in charge of?
Ummm... I don't know, i have worked on so many projects, it's difficult to play favoritism.
Share with us some of your memorable experience.
The times when you have to rush a deadline and work overtime throughout the nights to make something happen, gulping down cans and cans of Red Bull... blaring loud music in the middle of the night and running off to Zouk (A popular dance club in Singapore) for a break... those were the days... crazy but fun... i miss them! (sigh...) Too old for that now... no more parties
When you are not at work, what do you enjoy doing to destress from your usual work week?
I'm always at work... just kidding... since I'm a freelancer now, I don't have a specific set of working hours so everyday is a work day for me :) that's how much I like my work!!!
What is the favourite part of your work that you enjoy doing and don't think that you'd grow tired of?
Making something plain and drab into something nice and appealing, always having new stuff to keep up with and challenging myself to come up with new ideas to keep up.
What are your aspirations or anyone that you aspire to be?
Ha ha, that's a good one... I would like to think that people would flock to me for my work, but I'm still working very hard towards that goal.
What other essential qualities do you think are necessary to be in this industry?
Self discipline, very important for time management and putting up with clients... creativity and motivation is a must and of course the ability to adapt and absorb new ideas. Be meticulous about your work, pay attention to details and leave no room for errors.
Here’s something to share. i got it from a friend who works in a design house (www.spoon.com.sg), summarises the life of a designer.
The lines between a Graphic Designer and an Artist are much blurred these days. The following is a self-effacing comparison that might help differentiate the two.
Designer and Artist?
The artist owns his brief. The client owns the designer’s brief.
The art itself is the artist’s message. The product is the designer’s message.
The artist has one style. The designer has no style.
The artist expresses problems. The designer solves problems.
The artist prices his work after. The designer prices his work before.
The artist paints. The designer thinks of what the artist should paint.
The artist strokes his own ego. The designer strokes the ego of others.
Everyone pays for the artist's dinner. The designer pays for everyone's dinner.
Art looks beautiful. Design works beautiful.
There is high art. There is no high design.
You don’t have to get the art. You must get the design.
The artist doesn’t kiss butt. The designer is a slut.
The artist dies. The designer gets promoted to creative director.
Eventually the artist fades. Eventually the designer jades.
In a nutshell, life as a designer is a b*tch but if you are up to the challenge then "gambattei"!!!
If you are not in this line, what do you think you'll be doing?
If not in the web and graphic design, I would probably be in the interior design line... it's all about nice looking things for me :)
Any particular projects that you wish to undertake in the near future?
Any project that i have not tried before (not including adult sites) would be interesting to do.
I would really like to get to do some photographer and fashion line websites.
Seeing that you're much of a workaholic yourself, what do you do during your freetime to destress?
Read a good fantasy book, watch animes, go out for a good movie or dance to some great house mix.
Where do you draw inspirations from?
Everywhere... anything that looks appealing and unique, storefronts, colours, signages, other websites, ads, etc.
Any website links to share?