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

Hi Xuecheng, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
It’s about passion. When I was a kid, I used to sit in front of the table with pencils and a ruler set, drawing random lines and shapes all day. I naturally have this obsession with creating visual stuff, and it became the most comfortable medium for me to express myself and share my POV on different topics. After I got my Master’s in communications design from Pratt Insitute, I’ve worked for high-profile clients like Yeezy, Fila, Toms, etc. Still, at the same time, I’ve also been helping start-ups and non-profit organizations build their brands because I always wish my work could deliver joy and satisfaction to people and make changes, which keeps pushing me further on this career path.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My mentality to constantly push myself a step further in my work differentiates me as a designer and artist. We live in a world where we immerse ourselves in Instagram, YouTube, and tons of multimedia information. People can get “likes” and attention by just imitating others’ work instead of creating. I hate not being myself and creating something that doesn’t have my original thoughts. This line from Kanye has always inspired me:” I would use confidence when I knew what I was doing and arrogance when I didn’t know what I was doing.” I’m willing to try stuff and so not afraid to fail because there’s nothing to lose when im young. I’ve also been active in design competitions, and last month, my work was honored with a Gold Award in Graphis International Design 2023 competition. I believe that if I keep educating myself and dedicated to this path, my voice and my thoughts will be heard and become influential one day.

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.
As an enthusiast of contemporary art, my have-to-go places in LA have to be Getty Center and LACMA. The lush green gardens in the Getty Center are also a great place to hang out and have fun. If we are talking about some exciting places to explore, Venice beach is, without a doubt, a neighborhood to visit. Street performers, street parks, and funky stores make Venice Beach an artistic and adventurous place. What’s even better, Venice beach has the best view of the sunset; I could just sit on the beach and watch seagulls and the sea all day long. Santa Monica could also be an excellent spot to watch the sunset, enjoy the fantastic sea view, and of course, have a few beers and chill. LA is of the best places to discover nature in the State, where Catalina Island could be a perfect spot for hiking. The one-hour ferry trip to the island, the splendid view of the town on the mountains – it’s just so therapeutic and recovering when nature and wildlife surround you.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First of all, I’ll give a big shoutout to my family, who constantly supported me, even when I decided to give up a stable job and switch to this creative career path. Also, I have so many mentors that I didn’t get to meet in person; I learned a lot from them. We may talk through Instagram or email, and they’ve given me encouragement and compliment. We may never speak, but their story and work have always inspired me. I would never be where I am without their love and help.

Website: https://www.tedxiong.works/

Instagram: @wildbearslikethis

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ted-xiong-1a1a89118

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