We had the good fortune of connecting with Chih-Yuan Chang and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chih-Yuan, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
I believe strong discipline in maintaining both mentality and physicality is the essential habit that benefits my success. Work out for a strong body influences more than just maintaining mental fitness, and it could hold up a strong mind, which makes me work efficiently and think clearly. Here are some ways I carry out to keep my habits:
Firstly, I have been holding a daily workout routine for two years, and I would feel ill at ease if I skip. Too busy and too overwhelmed with to-do work were my excuses before I started this habit. No matter how busy I am, I spend at least half an hour doing yoga, jogging, or work out in the gym every day. If I woke up early and the weather is cozy, I will spend some time jogging around the neighborhood to start my day. If the weather is too moist or frigid, instead, I will choose an indoor activity such as yoga or work out in the gym. Workout every day provides me energy to handle the daily challenges. No matter how busy or exhausted, working out for a strong body is a perfect habit of succeeding because it not only holds up my physical health condition but also clears my mind and focuses on working more efficiently. Since people work from home every day during this pandemic, I strongly recommend this habit to everyone.
Other habits that are also helpful in developing a fresh mindset are getting enough sleep and doing meditation. I take at least 8 hours to sleep every day, and I usually go to bed before midnight. Enough sleep sustains me to have enough energy and concentration to face the tasks for the next day. Sometimes I would be overwhelmed by the chores that would lose focus on my mind. In these circumstances, I will take some rest and do meditation for about 5 to 15 minutes. Meditation encourages me to lower my stress levels and improve my mindset when I pay attention to the breath as it goes in and out gently. In the short pause of mindfulness practice, I recognize how my body and mind operate in their everyday acrobatics and how important it is to reset my mindset.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am thriving to create meaningful impact through thoughtful application and systematic approach across graphic design and various media. I specialize in visual identity, print, brand strategy, packaging, and more. In the past year, I have been acknowledged by international creative awards such as A’ Design Awards, Hermes Creative Awards, Muse Creative Award, Indigo Award, Creative Communication Award (C2A), International Design Award (IDA), London International Creative Competition (LICC), AVA Digital Award, GDUSA, and more. I am extremely excited and honored to be endowed with such high achievement as a junior.
I believe what makes me unique is that I can combine various tools and techniques to create a problem-solving design. The awarded projects diverse from branding and typography to complex media, material craft, and experimental photography. One of my brand identity projects, Sesto Labs, won awards at Indigo Award, LICC, and IDA. I combined my aesthetic and strategic skills with the visual narrative to display the company’s personality. Another example we can check out is the From Light, To Weapon, Then To Protection project. It is a project investigating intensive light, which light is ubiquitous but it is also extreme to human perceptions. First, I recorded my reaction standing in front of the flickering light into a short film and screenshots the results to generate a manipulative series of images. Besides, I built an acrylic box, a material that reflects and refracts the light, and discussed how we could prevent harm from dangerous rays.
I had learned to work smart, not hard when I was frustrated during the design process. There were many turbid moments when I worked on branding direction, style settlement, or decision-making on color palettes, figures, or materials with clients. I used to be in a rush, working hard to ground the design, but it lacked planning, researching, and precision in delivering the proper strategy that bogged me down and possibly missed the deadline. It turned out to spend more time amending and communicating on a project. It was a massive challenge for me to overcome when I was too hastened.
One day, I realized that I should make some changes to more dynamic and explicit. Desperately working hard might get things done, but it might also get recklessly. There’s always an optimal path to make things easy. Rather than working harder, I should have spent more time working backward to define the goal and outline the process before beginning. Spending more time researching and planning makes me perform more thoughtfully and efficiently manage my time on a tight schedule.
Also, I learned that it was essential to keep faith and believe in myself to face the challenges and discover solutions to conquer them. It might be confusing, but those were also perfect lessons for me to learn my weakness. Don’t be discouraged because all of a sudden, everything good will come back after we take a step backward and correct the mistakes.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First of all, Los Angles is a fantastic place to experience and explore – it has the best scenic natural and attractions, popular events and festivals, activities and entertainments. There are two attractive places I would take my friends to check out.
For the best relaxing spot to hear the waves’ rhythm or embrace an eccentric spirit, I would bring them to Venice Beach, which is one of the most well-known beaches in Los Angles. Venice Beach has long been recognized as the epicenter among all the beaches in California. There are both dynamic and static activities that we can experience. Dynamically, we can skate, run, or cycle on the pathway and alongside the Broadwalk while the breeze caresses your face. Also, we can play volleyball or basketball, or surf in the sea if the weather allows. Statically, there are many local restaurants, book stores, and small concerts that my friends and I can grab some food and relax at the shore to view the sunset.
Besides experiencing the natural near the sea, I also recommend my friends spend a whole day in a great museum located up the mountain – The Getty Museum. The Getty holds an abundant amount of art collections, books and publications, and educational events. Outside of the museum, the plazas feature contemporary sculptures, modern fountains, and colorful plants in gardens that visitors can enjoy the tranquil spaces and fresh air before hopping inside the museum. The gardens are remarkable because of the sizes and the secluded harmony they build for the visitors.
Surrounding the garden is the magnificent architecture in The Getty. From the top of the buildings, the whole of Los Angeles comes into your view, including LA downtown skyscrapers, residential neighborhoods, and the coastline alongside the Pacific ocean.
The substantial value of this museum is the cultural heritage of visual arts, from 15th-century oil painting to contemporary photographic and design work. The gallery spaces provide a serene and immersive experience that brings visitors to the relative era of the artwork. Given that The Getty has an excessive attraction and art collections, it is worth touring and exploring for an entire day. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are too many people that I would like to shout out to express my gratefulness. I received much love and support during my time pursuing academic accomplishments and searching for opportunities to benefit society. Still, there are two people that I truly desire to dedicate to shout out, my parents.
I am a foreigner who pursues a Master’s degree in the US. As a foreigner, I felt lonely and worry about starting a new life chapter in an unfamiliar country. It was challenging and skeptical when I wondered if I should jump out of a comfort zone for further study. I appreciate that my parent prompted me to pursue my life’s purpose, which is to broaden my horizon in the creative industry around the world at a young age. I got a job offer when I graduated from university. I could have a decent job and have a chance to meet my parents every day for dinner. Instead, my parents spread their respect to me and encouraged me to do what I love while I am young with faith and enthusiasm.
Step out of a comfort zone isn’t easy. If I want to challenge myself when I was young, I told myself to be bold and tackle it with a plan. If I fail, I will go back to the original point; but if I don’t try anything, I will keep going around in a circle, and nothing will ever change. I love you, mom and dad. Thank you for encouraging and supporting me!
Besides shouting out to my parents, I would also give some credits to one of the most thriving Youtube channels, The DoDo Men. They are emerging Youtubers who set a journey to encourage people to leave the comfort zone, do challenges, and make new friends. Their channel motivated me to cherish my life and venture into something that I am not familiar with. Their actions inspire me, and I wish I am also courageous enough to embrace more challenging and exciting stuff to achieve my goals.