We had the good fortune of connecting with Huyen Dinh and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Huyen, what do you attribute your success to?
I believe as a freelance artist, it is still important to build your personal brand. The success of my brand is that people can relate to my art. They feel like the messages are personal made for them. My audience feels inclusive and more comfortable to embrace their inner weird.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
What you are most proud of or excited about? I’m proud to be one of the few Viet lettering artists in the industry. Breaking the starving artist stereotype is one of my goals that I’m excited about. Growing up in Vietnam or Asian countries, being an artist is not an ideal career choice based on the social norm. I want to slowly change that belief and inspire other young designers out there to follow their dreams. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? It is definitely not all sunshine and rainbows but nothing good comes easy. I still have a very long way to go but I know I’m going in the right direction. Having a good support system from friends and family is a must. Besides that, I found my freelance soulmate who I can grow and discuss all the creative matter during the journey. Friends and family are great but sometimes they might not understand your profession so having someone you can talk to creatively is a huge benefit to my career. I don’t feel so isolated working from home. Before quitting my full-time job, I saved enough money for 2 years’ expenses. That way I didn’t have to stress out about paying bills and was be able to really focus on exploring different options and selectively saying yes to the right opportunities. What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way? I have learned so so much within this first year of freelancing. 1. Community overs competition. There is always enough room for everyone to grow. We don’t need to compete but learn to bloom together. 2. It’s important to share your background and show up as your authentic self. Your vibe will attract your tribe. It’s ok that some people might not like what you do. 3. Save 30-50% of your income for taxes if you don’t want to cry during tax seasons. 4. Know your WHY. It will save you when you want to give up. 5. Last but not least, celebrate small victories and treat yourself because you deserve it. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story? My brand is about embracing imperfection and being seriously silly. I hope by creating art that is punny and uplifting will bring smiles and inspire others to create more. Dreams don’t need to stay dreams if you put your passion and effort into them.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Los Angeles has so many spots to check out and it is hard to pick but here are a few of my favorite places: -Griffin Park: you can view the whole city. -K-town: all the delicious Korean food is here -Huntington Library: when you need quiet moments and look at pretty flowers
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would spend this shoutout to Belinda, my freelance soulmate. She is also another talented lettering artist. We quit our full-time job around the same time and have been each other rock since then.