Gina Yap – Graphic Designer SpotLight
I am a graphic designer and writer that is currently based in Malaysia. I grew up here in the multi-racial country where I get to learn various ways of communications between different races and cultures.
I started off with graphic designing as a freelancer during my college days when I needed money for my studies. When I graduated, I felt more passionate about graphic design because I had been doing it and learning so much about it throughout my student days. So I still am doing this path today. And my inspiration behind it is humans; the world around me inspires me to do all kinds of things with graphic design.
I am currently a fulltime freelancer focusing on both graphic design and writing, and I am totally in love with my job. It doesn’t feel like a job when I really enjoy what I do, it’s like getting paid for doing something I love and there is no stress to it.
My favorite part of graphic design has got to be the conceptualization part where I get to think and brainstorm with others on ideas and concepts to best bring out the message a brand would like to send out to its audience.
It would be Juwita Suwito if I could choose one project to do. She is my music inspiration. I get inspired through her music to do a lot of things. I want to be able to design her next music album so that I can contribute back to her the many great ideas she has given me through her songs.
One piece of advice, never undercharge yourself. Many designers tend to under charge themselves so that they will not lose the job to someone else, which is a wrong way to begin with. As a designer, you are selling your service, skills and knowledge. And if you can’t charge a price that you can live with, why accept the job at all? First, know what you are worth. Second, charge your clients for what you are worth. For example, my uncle quote $1000 for a project by his client. When he heard his competitor offered $500, he threw in another quotation of $400 to win the job. In the end, he didn’t get the job because the client thought with such a low price, the quality was sure to be bad. Lesson learnt: ever under-charge yourself.
Mr. Wong from my previous agency helped shape my career. He was the most particular Creative Director I have ever met. He picked on little things like alignment, balance, etc. and this has taught me that the little details in graphic design matter the most.
When I experience designer block I pick up my laptop, drive out to the mall, buy a can of coke, choose a quiet corner, sit and watch. My greatest inspiration comes from the every day life of everyone else. I love to watch people, – how they talk, walk, act, etc. And it inspires me! Almost every time I face a designer’s block, they unblock me and breathe fresh air into my thinking process.
Besides designing I love Writing. I spend a lot of time writing. When I find my designing engine running dry, I turn to writing. And vice-versa. To me, writing and designing are tools which I used to manifest the most exciting thing in the world: LIFE. There are always stories to be told, and I love telling stories through my designs and writings.
I used to dream big; needed to climb the ladder and reach the top of the Career Game. But now, all I want to do is design and write every day. I don’t have to be a CEO to do that, I just have to be me. My biggest goal in life is to be able to do the things I love to do in the comfort of my own home. And I am doing it now! My first novel will be published next year, and that is one step to me reaching my dreams. And I hope to publish more books and design more interesting visuals to share with the world.