We had the good fortune of connecting with Nancy Hu and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Nancy, what’s your definition for success?
For me, it’s hard to define success in the arts and design world. There are awards and certificates that aim to give you an idea of “success,” but really those are overrated. To define success of a project, I would say it is about the impact of the work. As a graphic designer, it is my job to communicate ideas efficiently and effectively. If my work creates the right impact – whether that is simply to display information or intrigue interests – on the right audience, it is a success. But success as a designer or artist, it then becomes personal. I feel like I am in constant pursuit of perfection, of the feeling that I have given everything I have and I am satisfied. Satisfaction is rare to come by and even rarer to last. I am my own worst enemy. To me, success is not a status, it comes and goes, it is that feeling of giving my best and fulfilling my own expectation.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My practice as a graphic designer and artist is interestingly linked with my hobby of craft and print making, including knitting, crochet, leather craft, lino print, screen print, and risograph. I like to make things and create visuals in my spare time. These projects can be time consuming, but it is the delicacy and attention to detail during the making process that I absolutely enjoy. And in a broader sense, graphic design is a craft too if you think about all that time spent on perfecting the curve in that logo, type setting that intricate slide deck, or adjusting the multi-layer textures on that illustration. At the end of the day, it is the same practice of attending to details and noticing that delicacy, because it does make a world of difference.

During my day job, my work mainly focuses on branding and visual identity, and after that it’s a little bit of everything! Recently I am doing a lot of illustrations, exploring various styles and techniques. The challenges I often encounter is finding the right style, visualizing the right tone for each specific project. I do feel that as I learn more and become more experienced, I spend less time on testing and more confident in my decisions. I learned that while details are important, it is easy to get stuck and miss the big picture when I’m only paying attention to one spot at the time. This is something I’ve been working on, to jump out of my corner and look further and broader.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love thrifting! I’d definitely take them to Williamsburg and Bushwick in Brooklyn, and also Greenwich Village in Manhattan. There are also a lot of green markets and flea markets around the city, those are must-gos too! The food scene in New York is also incredible, some of my personal favorites are – Brennan & Carr (the BEST roast beef I’ve ever had in my life!!), Wah Fung Fast Food (No.1 Cantonese BBQ in the city), While in Kathmandu (their momos are soooo good), and Martha’s Country Bakery (they have a million kinds of cake and pie and they open till midnight!), just to name a few.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Shout out to the Communications Design program at Pratt Institute where I studied my master’s. The program was very open-ended to me, offered a lot of freedom to develop my own thoughts and concepts. I learned a great deal from my classmates, the faculties, and the culture at large. Shout out to my partner Kaiwei Chang, an incredible music composer and producer who literally guided me all the way through my creative journey. Both being in the creative field, we share the same stubbornness and struggles, yet he managed to navigate through those so much better than I did. I will always look up to him.

Website: https://nancyhuhw.com/

Instagram: @nancyhuhw

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hsiao-wen-hu-nancy/

Image Credits
Ya-Chu Hsu

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