From dancing physically to dancing visually
Can you believe that a ballerina will eventually find herself mesmerized by graphic design? Jessica Lin, a former dancer and a creative graphic designer nowadays, tells her fascinating story of replacing physical dance with a visual one.
— We are intrigued, Jessica, by your story with graphic design. Have you always wanted to be a designer? Or it is more complicated than that?
— I actually grew up to be a ballerina instead of a designer. When I was in high school, I was diagnosed with serious scoliosis that stopped me from becoming a professional dancer. After I stopped dancing, I constantly searched for another outlet to keep the rhythm in my head going. I started to replace dancing physically with dancing visually by creating interesting visuals such as illustrations, photography, and motion graphics. And that’s when I realized being a designer would give me the same expressive satisfaction as being a dancer.
— And what is your reason for choosing typography as your main area?
— Coming from a trilingual background, I find the communicative ability of a typeform fascinating. As a graphic designer, my job is to find a visual solution for different audiences in need. And often, those solutions were found typographically. Not only does typography help tell different stories, but it also gives each story a voice.
— Perhaps, you tried yourself in some other graphic design disciplines as well?
— I always remind myself to be as open-minded as possible in order to stay creative. Even though my biggest passion for design is Type, it is as important to be open for working with different elements to make a visual story a lively and effective one.
— Would you be so kind to tell us about your first real project?
— It was when I first started my career as a designer in a cosmetic company. I was assigned to brand for a national marketing meeting that included 500 attendees. I felt like I was going to throw up when I just received the project. But eventually, I decided to turn my fear into excitement and just have fun with it. Luckily, it turned out to be a huge success and had given me the confidence to move forward as a professional design rookie.
— Do you have your personal success key factor or something like a trick? Something that helps you during your work?
— Never compare yourself to others. Here’s the thing, everyone is different, our styles are different, how we view the world is different. And that is such a beautiful thing to keep in mind when you are in a creative field. Every designer’s imperfection is what makes them unique. Instead of meaninglessly comparing yourself to other designers, work as hard as you can to make that imperfection of yours part of who you are.
— How do you find inspiration? What is it, an object, color, natural phenomenon, person?
— So many people have inspired me on the path. The person who I found the most inspirational is actually my uncle. He was the one who told me not to be afraid of failure and challenges, and the one who told me to be observant of my surroundings in order to turn the imperfection into something magical.
— And when you feel down, how do you overcome this depressed condition? What is your recommendation?
— Stop worrying about not being able to create something and step away from the project or whatever creation you are making. Go do something else that makes you feel relax and positive. You have to empty your mind once for a while to let new inspirations come in.
— A couple of words about your pastime activities?
— I love to cook, sing, go to a Broadway show, travel on my own, read, watch movie, and so many more. And of course, they influence heavily. It is so important to have minor hobbies in your life, those minors are the tricks to keep your creative flow going.
— Can you please share with us your current working plans?
— I am quite an adventurous designer. I am currently working full time at an Advertising Agency in New York, running a lettering business on the side, and doing pro-bono freelance projects to keep my creative juju going. You never know what these will lead me to in the future. But whatever it may be, I am always looking forward to the next adventure.