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

Hi Xinyi, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Dedication and openness. I studied finance during my undergraduate studies. So, at the beginning of my career in design, I felt a bit uncertain and lacked confidence. However, I worked really hard to compensate for my lack of undergraduate design education. Despite my initial self-doubt, I remained open to feedback from others. Whenever I received feedback, even if I didn’t fully understand it, I took it seriously and tried to apply it. Looking back, I realize that this approach helped me to grow quickly and understand new concepts more easily.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m Xinyi. I’m a graphic designer who specializes in brand identity, editorial design, and digital design. My work has been recognized and awarded by Core77 Design Awards, Graphis Awards, Communication Arts Awards, Creative Communication Awards, and IDA Design Awards.

My previous background in finance made me emphasize a lot on reasoning and precision in my work. I value a lot in research and think it’s crucial to have reasons for every design decision. I believe that deep understanding and thoughts always bring unique angles in solving the problem and making the design. It makes the work original and lasting. Due to the multi-culture experience and multidisciplinary background, I’m also open-minded in my work. I embrace all the possibilities and love exploring new ways of making according to our ever-changing world to push the discipline forward.

I’m really proud of being a designer and a creative. I feel very lucky that my work is what I enjoy. I used to be told that a job is meant to be boring and only serve the purpose of making money. I have to admit that there are times when I feel very tired and exhausted, but the joyful moments that happen in each project are also incomparable.I am always excited when a new project begins. I enjoy the freshness of a new subject and the opportunity to learn new things.

It was never easy. I studied finance in my undergrad, so it was a difficult decision for me to switch to design and move to the US. I worked hard to put together a portfolio and improve my English. However, I am glad that I made everything happen and started my career here. Throughout each project, I encountered various challenges. I believe it’s important to trust yourself and be open to different perspectives. It’s easy to become trapped in our own thinking patterns, but hearing different viewpoints provides opportunities to break free. However, not all voices are helpful or relevant. As the people who know and care the most about the project, it’s crucial that we make our own decisions.

Throughout my career, I have learned a lot from working with different people. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is to be patient. In today’s fast-paced world, everything happens so quickly. It’s easy to compare ourselves with others and feel inadequate or left behind. However, we are all unique individuals, and our lives are not limited to the areas where we may be slower. It’s important to trust and enjoy the process, knowing that everything we do will eventually lead us to where we want to be.

I want people to think that my work and I are versatile and thoughtful. As a designer, I pursue sophistication, but I also place a huge emphasis on the thinking behind the work, which serves a purpose beyond the visual and aesthetic. In addition, I aim to deliver a sense of flexibility or dynamism through my work that can be easily translated across different mediums.

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 must take them to Venice Beach. The beach and sunset are must-sees for anyone visiting LA. Compared to other beaches, Venice Beach has unique white and soft sand, making it great for walks. It’s also therapeutic to simply lie down, watch the sky, and do nothing. Additionally, there are many cute shops and restaurants nearby, making it my favorite place to relax.

They also cannot miss MOCA, LACMA and the board. And it’s also a great opportunity to take a stroll around downtown LA. It’s interesting to see how different the area feels just a few blocks away. Afterward, Silver Lake would be a good choice for eating and taking a walk.

My friends and I love vintage and thrift stores, so I would recommend checking out the Rose Bowl Flea Market. It’s huge and has a wide variety of items. Old Town Pasadena would be a great place to grab some food, as there are many different cuisines available. After that, I would take them to Jones Coffee, which is my favorite coffee place in LA.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to give a shout out to my parents. Both of them are accountants and nobody in my family works in the art/design field. Therefore, it wasn’t an easy decision for them to let me give up finance and switch to pursue graphic design. Growing up, I was never spoiled but was given the freedom to try many things. They encouraged me to explore the world and taught me to take responsibility for my decisions. I am grateful for their unconditional love and support. Whenever I face challenges and feel upset, they are always there to tell me that it’s okay to fail and that they love me no matter what. My name in Chinese means “a heart full of happiness.” I used to dislike it because it didn’t sound cool enough. But now I understand this simplest and most beautiful wish from them.

Website: https://www.xinyishao.com

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/xinyi-shao-7768a4155/

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