Today we’d like to introduce you to Aiqi Zhang.
Hi Aiqi, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I am a graphic designer currently studying at ArtCenter College of Design. My design approach is about extensive research, interpreting information into inspiration, and making thoughtful design decisions. I embarked on this design journey in 2017. During the last four years of learning, both my design skills and my characteristics as a person have grown a long way.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Well, life itself is a bumpy road, it is not all smooth sailing. I am an international student from Beijing, China. I came to America without knowing what graphic design was. All of my confidence was based on my photoshop skills. The notion of a “design concept” was a blur to me. My lack of ability to research sure got me into trouble when I started studying at ArtCenter. During my first presentation, my instructor discontinued my presentation because I was doing the design without knowing what the topic was really about. It was embarrassing back then, but now I feel thankful when I recall this moment. It taught me a foundational first lesson: research is the basis of good design. Besides designing, becoming confident in my opinions was another valuable lesson that I learned along this journey. I was a shy person, but I knew a “rock girl” was inside of me. I just need to let her out. So I was constantly pushing myself to get out of my comfort zone and embrace my weirdness. Every conversation I had with my peers, every presentation I did, every time I decided to take on new challenges was an exercise for me; an opportunity to step out of my comfort zone a little bit more. I wanted to find out what rules I could break and how far I could reach.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I embrace different aspects of graphic design like brand identity systems, editorial printing, motion graphics, interaction, and spatial experience. Also, I have an insightful emphasis on using cross-media technologies and graphical languages simultaneously. As a designer, I sometimes use photography to craft different narrative stories from different perspectives. When we mention graphic design, it’s always something about creating visual content to communicate messages in a two-dimensional form. However, in my understanding, there’s no limitation for graphic design. I started to explore the current and emerging relationships between media, architecture and design in an interdisciplinary way. Also, I’ve tried to develop some spatial concepts for prototypes and media with a comprehensive understanding of utilizing case scenarios to navigate four-dimensional space in my works.
Before we go, is there anything else you can share with us?
“Sometimes good is better than great.” I am a perfectionist. Growing up, people always told me to take care of the details. Being a perfectionist is a blessing but also a curse. Sometimes it would restrain my creativity and decision-making. During an afternoon last year, I struggled with my project and stayed up for almost three nights. I was panicking more and more and was exhausted over insignificant details. Even though I knew that no one would notice them, I was still not satisfied. Then my instructor said this to me: “Sometimes good is better than great.” It gave me such strong support and insight. Whenever I was suffering from overwhelming projects and couldn’t decide on details, I always went back to this simple sentence for relief.
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: aiqi.me
© Photo by Aiqi Zhang.