Interview with Stella Guan
Visual Designer

Stella Guan started her career in broadcast design and has been pushing the boundaries between the specialist and generalist role with her diverse experience in creating effective visual solutions for marketing agencies, advertising agencies, technology companies, and global financial services firms.
Which of your past positions has influenced your current career the most? What were the main skills you took from your time at this position?
I think that, when I was working at one of the tech companies in the past, I was a multimedia designer. What that means is that, I was doing everything. I was wearing all the hats that combine graphic design and, social media design, web design, video production and, motion graphics. So, fortunately, I have skills in all of these areas because of my background in broadcast journalism when I was in college. And then, I switched to design, after working in television for a year. In this position, I really learn to juggle multiple deadlines and learn to be really resourceful. Because, it was a small company and, they didn't have anyone who was a creative before so, I was kind of leading everything and, it was really stressful. And also, in an organization where nobody understands the creative process, there was a lot of education work to do within the organization. Which, actually, came in handy for me because I ended up working for a lot more in-house creative departments than I did for agencies after that experience. So, I think, having multiple skills and being able to manage internal clients expectations and also being able to explain what you do to people who don't necessarily speak your language, in terms of technical skills, definitely helps in the long run. And, I advise all creatives to branch out to different areas and pick up as many skills as possible.
Hi Stella! Could you please introduce your work as a Visual and Graphic Designer? How would you describe your personal aesthetic?
Hi! My name is Stella, I am a front end visual designer, specializing in web design. Over the past few years, I have been fortunate to work for the world's most iconic brands, from Fortune 500 companies to small agencies. I have developed a visual style that is clean and modern and, effective in solving the client's problem. I'm a firm believer in being purposeful in your design. A lot of people confuse design with art and, I definitely think that the two are inseparable. But, I think it's really important to not only design beautiful products but, also think about what your client cares the most, what's your client's pain point and, how do you use visual design to solve their problem.
What have been some of the biggest projects you've worked on during the past year? What are the main skills you've spent the last years honing?
I spent last year working on a couple of really exciting projects. Earlier last year, I created a web project that ultimately won a couple of awards at international competitions and, I was really proud of it. And also, I was the lead on a big scale, website migration project which, will have a really long-lasting impact on the company that I work for. And, one of the skills that I spent last year honing was the ability to recognize that constraints do not prohibit creativity. I spent a lot of time working for in-house creative departments and, whenever I worked for a big company like that, there are always going to be lots and lots of constraints and, some people see that as a negative. But, I have come to see it as more of a positive because, whenever and wherever you work for any kind of company and any clients, you are going to have constraints. They're never gonna be projects that you have unlimited projects and limited time to complete. That only exists in the ivory tower, which is also a piece of advice that I'd like to give students who are studying for creative subjects. Don't be afraid of the real world constraints. Don't be afraid of guidelines and regulations. You had to think within those constraints and come up with ways to help your clients, to help your internal clients to achieve their goals. And that is true creativity.
What's next for your work? What are the main projects, partnerships and products you'll be focusing on throughout 2019?
There are a lot of exciting developments going on in 2019. First of all, I was invited to speak at several conferences around the world. So, I'll be busy preparing for that. And second, I'll be starting up my own company, helping international creatives to be successful at their career and, work wherever they want. So, I've been preparing for this for a long time and, I'm hoping to launch at some point in 2019 and, really help my own creative community to achieve their dreams and really maximize their potentials.