I spent the first twelve years of my life in Hong Kong, surrounded by skyscrapers and street food. I spent my childhood scrambling around the city and navigating through crowds. Life moved at the same frenetic speed as the city. Being a child, I kept up.
Then, my family moved to Rochester. Suddenly, life was suburbs and snow. I spent my days scrambling around highways and navigating ESL classes. Life somehow moved simultaneously faster and slower. Being older, I kept up the best I could.
It was in this transition that I realized the strength - and the importance - of visual communication. Pictures, images, and design had the power - just like a good a meal did - to transcend the need for words. Images were universal. A beautifully crafted image could share more information than a page of text; a beautifully presented meal could share more feeling than a conversation. I began to notice the design of the world around me. I began to use it. When you're standing between languages, you find new ways to communicate.
That flexibility and creativity, brought on by necessity, has become my strength as a designer. I still strive, every day, to live in whatever world presents itself to me, creating the best out of whatever world is in front of me. As a kid in Hong Kong, I might have been carefully saving and allotting my allowance so that I could get a Big Mac and a comic book on Fridays. As a teenager in Rochester, I might have been learning English from the pictures on the Denny's menu. Now, I might be scavenging through my fridge at midnight to make the perfect bowl of noodles out of whatever I find.