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Life & Work with Coco (Yuqun) Huang

Today we’d like to introduce you to Coco (Yuqun) Huang.

Hi Coco (Yuqun), can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I’m a designer for motion and sometimes an animator. I was a digital media technology undergrad in Beijing, where I studied a mix of math, computer science, and graphic design. In my senior year, I was fortunate to receive a full scholarship to study in Australia for a year, where I learned motion design at Curtin University. I love how motion design creates something people can see and experience, so I continued pursuing motion media design at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). It was a memorable three years. Faculties are very supportive, and classmates never failed to inspire me. SCAD students usually hold an annual conference called CoMotion, where design companies from the creative industry share insights and do portfolio reviews with students. I received my internship at Brand New School there. I’m grateful for having an opportunity to work with talented designers/animators I have been following on Instagram since undergrad and make some tiny contributions to projects for Google/Slack/Adobe/AT&T, etc. Now I’m a full-time designer at a NY marketing agency.

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?
When I decided to change my major from engineering to art, my friends and teachers thought that was a risky idea because I was doing well academically as an engineering student, and my undergraduate major has good earnings potential. They worry that if I go to an art school, life will be hard for me after graduating. I hesitated for a while as well. But later, I started thinking my background might add uniqueness to my design work, and seeking validation from others cannot bring me joy. The more important thing for me is being able to fully contribute to the team and creating value for the industry. I feel I’m able to do so as a motion designer. Fortunately, my parents always financially and emotionally supported me to make the bold decision, for which I’m incredibly grateful.

After graduating and starting working as a full-time designer, I feel the biggest challenge is to put down the ego and really look into my work and make them look better. The process of destroying and recreating is painful, but every time I feel the pain, I start to imagine how satisfying it would be after finishing it. Those imaginations support me to keep working hard.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’m a motion designer specializing in translating concepts into storyboards/ style frames for animation. At Brand New School, I prepared design assets for animation and sometimes did design research and development for concept pitches. I now work on animations for brand advertising campaigns at a NY marketing agency called WITHIN.

When I was a student, I also did some title sequence design. I enjoy considering how to bring the audience into the world that the story takes place. I usually use abstract illustrations to make the atmosphere vague so that it subtly hints at the narrative while not ruining the show.

What matters most to you?
Having fun. I just want to make the most of my life, do what I love, and bring positive energy to the world I live in. I used to really care about how other people thought about me: I wanted to be a good girl who met everyone’s expectations, so I usually did what others told me to do. I went to a fancy high school, where everyone is super clever and diligent; I cannot help to compare myself to others. I feel stressed and experienced many self-doubts. Things got better after I became mentally mature; I started to realize when the validation comes from others, it is vulnerable and constantly changing, leaving me in an insecure situation. I began to practice looking inside and focusing on my personal growth. I felt less anxiety and became a happier person. When I first studied in a different country, people around me were all strangers, so I experienced the freedom of making my own choice; I become more confident when I’m doing what I love instead of what others expect me to do. That feeling helps to get my creative juices flowing… and I want to pass this positive energy to people who saw my work and give them the equal freedom I’ve experienced.

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Design by Coco Huang, in collaboration with: Zac Bazzoli, Lucia Smith, Alita Yang

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