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Rising Stars: Meet Sakona Kong and Wakako Ichinose

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sakona Kong and Wakako Ichinose.

Hi Sakona and Wakako, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
We are Sakona and Waka, a designer duo working in the motion graphics industry. We met in 2006 with a common interest in art.

Our journeys to the creative field started early on in our lives.

For Waka, her mom was an oil painter so she was always surrounded by the craft.

Naturally, she gained an interest and went to Art school.

Her first job was in graphic design where she was working in the consumer electronics industry in Tokyo Japan.

During this time, she was heavily inspired by music videos and wanted to somehow pursue a new career in it.

She wanted to go back to school and discovered Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

It was also the perfect choice for her because Los Angeles is the hotspot for Film and Television.

As for me, I knew I wanted to pursue art at the early age of seven. My 2nd-grade teacher saw potential early in me and was the only student she gave colored pencils to while the other students had to use crayons.

This changed me psychologically and also the trajectory of my life where I wanted to apply art in everything I do.

By the time I was in High school, I was the graphic designer for a yearbook class and that was the first time I had exposure to creating art on a computer. I loved working in this medium so much my teacher recommended me to attend Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles where they had a Digital Media Major.

Our paths lead us to a long career in Motion Graphics where we worked on commercials, music videos, film, and television.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
In our many years of working in the motion graphics industry, it has been a constant hustle to keep up with the ever-changing landscape. The industry is face-paced with new trends and new ways of working all the time. To keep up with this, we find ourselves learning new software on the job which I believe is the best way to learn. We also took many classes after work to compete with the new skillsets the industry was in demand for. Luckily for us, there was already passion and motivation so it fueled us to go this extra mile.

We both have very similar skillsets but I would say Waka is a little more graphic design driven and I’m more illustration.

The beauty of this is that we can always count on each other whenever we get a creative block.

We don’t always have all the answers to design problems so having a partner that is always there to give a fresh perspective is a luxury. Sometimes it ends up with disagreements but at the end of the day there is respect for one another.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
We both are multidisciplinary designers currently working at a studio called Logan in Marina Del Rey. Throughout the years our work range from design, typography, illustration, art direction, concept art, and 3D. We do various multimedia work for companies such as Netflix, Lexus, and Apple to name a few. Some of the things that we love to do are solving design problems and figuring out the best way to bring a brand or product to an audience.

Is there any advice you’d like to share with our readers who might just be starting out?
Constantly feed to your passion as early as possible and don’t get distracted. Don’t let what others are doing let you stray from your own journey and path. Be the best version of yourself and stay curious. If you can, travel a lot and get inspiration from anywhere you go. Don’t stop learning and don’t stop improving but most important of all give back. People tend to keep things to themselves but I had the opportunity to teach an amazing class at my Alma mater where I also learned a lot myself. I love seeing them improve and it was one of the best experiences of my life and to me, that’s what it’s all about.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Logan, Lexus, Marvel

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