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Meet Pasadena Visual Designer and Illustrator: Hayley Matsumoto

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hayley Matsumoto.

Hayley, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I have always been the creative type. I enjoyed making hand-painted gifts for my friends or putting an artistic spin on school projects, but from early on I decided I wasn’t destined to be an artist. I saw other kids that could draw with incredible talent and realized they were way out of my league. I thought since I couldn’t draw like them, I must look for another path. It was either the traditional arts or nothing.

My lack of relative talent stopped me from taking art classes for years. But when I entered college and realized I had no idea what I wanted to do. The other classes interested me but lacked the opportunity for creativity. Then for a general elective, I stumbled upon the introductory class for Interdisciplinary Computing and the Arts and I fell in love. I discovered that I had a talent in more conceptual work and was encouraged by the teaching assistant to explore this field.

From then on, I started to see a future in the arts. I began teaching myself Photoshop and Illustrator and took on small jobs designing for various organizations. At the beginning, I started taking any job that I could get. I would spend endless nights creating branding for a company that I was not passionate about. It is a tough place to be as an artist and designer when you are stuck trying to get your name out there and still making meaningful work.

Since then, I’ve gained enough confidence to pursue the projects that represent who I am as a creator. Thankfully I’ve had many amazing employers and friends that believed in me and gave me opportunities I could never have dreamed of. Today I am focused on my Senior Thesis Project at UCSD which will be unveiled in Spring 2017.

What would you say has been the biggest challenge for you over the course of your career?
Being an interdisciplinary artist, I’ve always had difficulty with people understanding what I do. “What is computing and the arts? Is like graphic design?” The intersection of art and technology is something people never deliberately think about. I’ve experienced a ton of doubt in what I could do as a career as if I did this just for fun. But I never felt it was up to me to prove anything. Some people will get it and some people won’t. Luckily I’ve had family and friends to support me along the way.

Let’s change gears – is there any advice you’d like to give?
Upon the short journey I’ve had so far, the best advice I could give to any artist is to be confident in the work you make. There will always be critics and people who simply do not like your style and that can be damaging to your confidence. But believe that your work will attract the right people and get you to where you want to be.

Contact Info:

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