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Check Out Stella Zhang’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stella Zhang.

Hi Stella, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I was born and raised in Shenzhen, China. And moved to the States when I was 16. My unique art style is a combination of my eastern heritage and western education. Starting in elementary school, I was always interested in poster, brochure, and other advertisement designs. Since then, I always try to find interesting visuals in my daily life that inspire me. Throughout my college years, I gained experience in graphic design, brand identity, UI/UX design, as well as motion graphic. I found myself falling in love with motion graphics and moving pixels to tell inspiring stories. I was very lucky that I had three internship experiences during college years which helped me to better define myself as a motion designer. In addition, I had tastes of different fields of design which ultimately helped me finding my true passion. I graduated from Laguna College of Art + Design in May 2020 and began my career as a freelancer. Shortly afterwards, I began working at Activision as a motion designer and focused on supporting Call of Duty Franchise.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
A smooth road? Definitely not! Speaking of design in general, I think the most difficult aspect for designer is finding the right idea. In the college years, I spent numerous nights just to brainstorm ideas and to find solutions. Oftentimes, I’d love to go on trips, exhibitions, and museums to refresh my mind and browse new inspirations. Another significant challenge was finding jobs – I graduated in May 2020 which is in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. Unfortunately, the job market was not active at that time. It was very difficult to look for jobs especially for new grads and junior designers. After talking with a few of my designer friends, I decided to start freelancing while looking for a full-time job. During the past summer, I bounced around between design studios for title sequences, motion design contents, as well as video editing. Toward the end of July, I received an acceptance email from Activision and begun my position as a motion designer few weeks later. It wasn’t an easy process. I had nights of bad dreams about unemployment and actually begin losing my passion. I’m very grateful that everyone around me always gives me the biggest support and helped me moving forward. It’s important to persistently try different things until you get something that works for you.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I’m a passionate multidisciplinary designer specialized in Motion Graphic, 3D, Visual Storytelling, and Interaction + Experiential Design. I fascinate about leveraging animations to create storytelling graphic and immersive experiences. I’ve collaborated with Imaginary Forces and yU+co for motion graphic projects, design in game stadium graphic for Anaheim Ducks hockey team, attended Nike partnership studio to create mobile app. My work has featured in Ctrl + Z community reel 2019 and published photography series and article for China Photo World Magazine. I had experience of working with people from different backgrounds so I always love to learn about what other people think (like hear from different perspective).

I’m willing to know the broader demographic’s thought in order to serve their needs. My architecture photo series is my most proud of project. I spent a weekend at Chicago during March 2019 and finished part of my photo series there. It was freezing on the outside and I spent most of my days outdoor because I was trying to achieve the long exposure style. This is one of the projects that I had to physically sacrificed. And most importantly and result turned out surprisingly great! And was chosen to publish at China Photo World Magazine. This is the link to the photo series: http://www.stellazhang.me/project/concrete-photography.

How can people work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
I have a diverse background on working with different people. I love to collaborate with new partners on challenging projects. The best way to reach me is through email, phone calls, and social media.

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