Mind at Work: Designer Swin Huang

In a world where there’s constantly pressure to “produce, produce, produce,” it’s important to stop and reflect on the special people, places and things that actually drive our work. Today, VSA Designer Swin Huang tunes us into her inner dialogue, showing us four things that get her creative juices flowing.

1. Urban Dictionary

I like to use Urban Dictionary to look up slang words and phrases because a lot of the explanations and sentence examples are super funny. For example, if you search the word “sprint,” the definition will read, “The best phone service to turn to, if you want to be overcharged, denied minutes and deal with ghetto customer service ‘representatives’ who keep trying to get me to sign up for the latest ‘fantastic offer.’” Some of my ideas for personal projects actually come from the site. I am also not a native English speaker, so I use Urban Dictionary to learn more words, but this may not be the best place to learn formal English!

2. Subway and Street Ads 

New York is a city full of impactful visuals — the streets, buildings, even people. I enjoy the street and subway ads the most. There are some really poorly designed ads, but also lots of good ones, and they switch almost every day. Looking at them is a great way to pass time while I’m walking on the street or taking the train.

3. Patrick from SpongeBob SquarePants

I love the SpongeBob cartoon so much because I think that it is trippy. Every time I watch it, I always wonder how the writers come up with this kind of script for kids. The cartoon — especially Patrick, SpongeBob’s starfish best friend — has really taught me to “live in the moment.” Patrick is always oblivious (and does funny things because of this!) and quickly throws away his sad feelings, making him happy and chill. I feel that we all should learn how to live in the moment, even if undesirable things happen in our lives.

4. My Sheep Friends

Sometimes I imagine a world that exists in the clouds. Why clouds? Because they seem so soft and comfy. In this world, there are sheep that walk only on two feet, just like humans. We hang out, we listen to music, dance and chill together. This is one way that I escape from reality and let my nonsense imagination flow.