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Daily Inspiration: Meet Youna Jang

Today we’d like to introduce you to Youna Jang.

Hi Youna, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Looking back, I am so grateful to have always known what I wanted to be. One of my earliest memories takes me back to grade school in Korea where each class had a large bulletin board in the hallway that displayed art artwork and projects designed by all the students. As a 1st grader, decorating the bulletin board was my very first “public” art project that I volunteered for as a young aspiring Art Director. I can still feel the rush of excitement I received from being able to curate the class board while also picking my best friends to help me through the process.

Fast-forwarding many years, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend the ArtCenter College of Design and now work as an Art Director at the design agency, Pastilla, all the while having the same passion I had discovered as a first grader. Throughout college and my working career thus far, I have been fortunate to learn and collaborate alongside the best designers and instructors, and I take pride in knowing that I always gave my all. It has truly placed me in a position to make a lasting impact not only to our clients but everyone around me as well.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
No, it has not been a smooth road — but if you are someone who’s making your own way to become SOMETHING, you shouldn’t expect it to be so. I have run into my fair share of struggles from family issues, financial hardships, insecurity, language barriers, etc. There is always hardship in life, and while your successes may resonate more profoundly in the eyes of many, I believe it is the challenges you face when the going gets tough and your ability to overcome them that truly defines you as a person. Challenges give you the opportunity to become creative and possess opinions that are fully your own, developed from your unique personal experiences.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
At Pastilla, I am an Art Director with a focus in brand experience design, working closely with my clients to envision and create a variety of projects, including brand identity design, digital and traditional marketing campaigns, website builds and event & product launches. Most recently, I have partnered with the City of Los Angeles, Coca Cola, Pivotal Ventures (Melinda Gates foundation) and the California Institute of Technology.

One of the biggest drivers of motivation for me is being able to create a lasting impact through my profession, and it’s been such a pleasure working at Pastilla, a company that shares the same core beliefs as I do, taking on numerous projects that have the ability to create positive changes.

A role I am very proud of taking on outside of my work at Pastilla is the opportunity to be the Creative Advisor for Street Company, a nonprofit organization founded by the homeless with the purpose of creating job opportunities for other homeless in the area. Currently, we are working to launch Casters Coffee, a coffee brand/company which will help employ five homeless individuals in the city of Lancaster.

As an Art Director, I believe my mission is to serve. This doesn’t mean I’m here to simply listen and fulfill my clients’ requests but to use my skills as tools to help them dream bigger. Ultimately, I would like to be known for having the ability to start at a small idea, bring a novel perspective, and blow my clients’ expectations out of the water to create a final product that they were not expecting.

Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice?
Throughout my life, I’ve learned that taking the initiative to make contact with others is one of the surefire ways to find mentors and network. I’ve met many mentors, been a mentor myself, hired new team members, have gotten hired, and most importantly, made lasting connections all because they or I simply took the time to reach out. You’d be surprised how far you can get if you start reaching out to people with a clear goal and the right intentions.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Photographers: Jesse Aragon, Mona Lee Design Agency, Pastilla

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