Many historians view Marco Polo as the most famous cultural boundary bridger of all time. He advanced the cultural exchange between the East and the West, by providing a Western perspective to the East and an Eastern perspective to the West. Looking over my life, I see myself as modern Marco Polo, a border crosser… Read More
Many historians view Marco Polo as the most famous cultural boundary bridger of all time. He advanced the cultural exchange between the East and the West, by providing a Western perspective to the East and an Eastern perspective to the West. Looking over my life, I see myself as modern Marco Polo, a border crosser, a traveler, an explorer, and a cultural nomad.
Why I’ve even challenged traditional boundaries within my own Asian family. My parents expected me to have a prestigious job title such as doctor, lawyer, or engineer, instead of following my natural creativity. They thought being an artist, a graphic designer, or generating ad campaigns, were more like entertainments or a hobby, but certainly not a career. However, a few years ago, their ideas changed during a crisis at my dad’s business. He became irritated after spending a huge budget for an unsatisfactory design of his company’s product catalog, a key component of his success. I volunteered to transform this disaster by redesigning the company’s catalog and flyers with an impressive new look and vision. My dad was shocked and began to see my abilities and skills in a new light, appreciating my insight that art and commerce can not only work together, but also make life both more beautiful and productive.
I am living proof that the intersection of art and commerce can bring out the best in each other. Yes, I was probably not going to enter the fields my parents perceived as successful, but it is my family and my Taiwanese cultural background that have shaped my values, my personality traits, and most of all, my creativity. It is their support of me, and my artistic imagination that has enabled me to keep improving myself, undertake challenges with no fears, and especially to listen deeply to those creative impulses arising from within my inner soul.
I received my bachelor’s degree from Leader University, majoring in multimedia and graphic design. My professors and instructors encouraged me to cultivate a wide range of interests in art, film, music, design, philosophy, and psychology. The two basic lessons I learned from my personal and academic interaction with them was to stay curious in all the environments and to think globally. These core beliefs enabled me to expand my basic skills into areas that I had not considered previously, such as illustration, art history, photography, copy writing, and typography. Through my education, both in and out of school, my creative horizons were broadened and deepened.
While studying in college, I started my own freelance business, so I could develop my own linkages as to how my artistry could serve the business world, enabling me to make personal connections with members of the advertising industry. For me it is a thrilling experience to listen carefully to my clients, detect what their needs are and help them articulate what they are seeking, and then devise a creative solution to solve their “problem”. Actually their “problem” becomes an opportunity for me to widen my range of expertise, so new creative insights can be born. My freelance work embodies my own hunger to explore new ideas.
Three years ago I took a risk and decided I wanted to live and study abroad, so I pursued a Master of Fine Arts degree specializing in advertising, from the Academy of Art University. Having the fantastic opportunity and gift of living in the United States enables me to experience Western society up close and questions my own perceptions of Asian culture. Being in a foreign country, I can’t help but keep my mind open to absorbing new ideas around me and to be inspired by a very different way of life, all of which flexes my creative muscles. Just by assimilating new people, new places, new experiences, I receive inspirations for projects on which I’m working. Being in an unfamiliar environment helps me to conceptualize issues in a fresh direction, and my mind keeps refining this new vantage point until I’m able to solve my dilemma often in a transformative way I could never previously have imagined.
As a creative nomad, my journey fortunately will never end. My ultimate goal is to work with diverse professional and talented people in the advertising industry; so by interacting with different consumers and markets (as I’ve done in my personal life), I can devise innovative solutions to help clients meet their needs. My unique life story and history allows me to be like Marco Polo, and bridge cultural boundaries by bringing a fusion of eastern and western sensibilities to advertising. I’m ready and able to cross artistic borders, maybe break a few rules here and there, and utilize all my gifts so I can become the best and most original art director I can possibly be. Read Less