Interview with Chia Min Liu for Digital Desires

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Chia Min Liu

Chia Min Liu, a Senior Visual Designer in the web3 industry, expresses creativity both professionally and as a freelance designer and illustrator. Her artwork has been featured in prestigious galleries in London and Chicago, including exhibitions like "Digital Expressions" by NFT Asia and more.

Interview With The 2023 London Design Awards Winner – Chia Min Liu

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your design background.

I am a senior visual designer in the dynamic web3 field where I love exploring creative expressions and designs. Beyond my work, I'm a freelance designer and illustrator, telling stories through art showcased in renowned galleries in London and Chicago.

Notably, my creations have been featured in exhibitions like "Digital Expressions" by NFT Asia, "Vogue - Six Edition" by Boomer Gallery, and "Reflection" by The Holy Art Gallery. Design, for me, goes beyond looks; it's about sparking emotions and inspiring others.

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a designer/artist?

Ever since I was a kid, I had a deep love for drawing and anything beautiful. Those early moments of sketching and doodling made me realise the power of art to touch hearts and convey feelings without words.

As I grew older, my passion for creating visual wonders only intensified. I knew then that I wanted to be a designer and artist where I could share my unique perspective, tell stories, and inspire others through my artwork. The joy and purpose it brings to my life make this journey as a designer and artist incredibly fulfilling and rewarding.

3Tell us more about your agency/company, job profile, and what you do.

At my current agency, I work as a web3 designer, creating digital art sold as NFTs on different platforms. Apart from that, I also handle branding and marketing tasks, crafting visual identities that resonate with audiences.

Outside of my job, I'm a freelance designer and illustrator. I share my art through an illustration brand on Instagram. This journey allows me to explore my creative passions, connecting with people through design and art in meaningful ways.

4What does “design” mean to you?

To me, design is life itself. It's like the air we breathe—it's everywhere and essential to our daily lives. It's not just about making things look nice; it's about crafting solutions that work well and feel right.

Whether it's the way a website is laid out, the way a chair is shaped for comfort, or the way a painting evokes emotions, design influences how we interact with the world and brings beauty and functionality together. Design is at the core of what I do, and it's what makes everything we see and use special and meaningful.

5What’s your favorite kind of design and why?

My favourite kind of design is anything colourful and vibrant. Colours have a remarkable ability to evoke emotions and set the mood and I find that vibrant designs fill me with energy and happiness.

When I work with a palette of lively hues, it allows me to infuse positivity and excitement into my creations. The use of vivid colours brings a sense of joy and dynamism that I find truly inspiring. It's like painting the world with a brush of happiness, and that's why colourful designs hold a special place in my heart.

6To you, what makes a “good” design?

To me, a "good" design is one that is original and creative. It's about breaking free from the ordinary and presenting fresh, innovative ideas that stand out and captivate the audience. Also, a well-executed design should not only be visually pleasing but also effectively communicate messages.

Most importantly, a great design evokes emotions and leaves a lasting impression, connecting with people in meaningful ways.

7How did you come up with the idea for your award-winning design?

The idea for my award-winning design came from my own experiences as a heavy social media user. I noticed how people get absorbed in chasing numbers and attention on these platforms, often neglecting real-world interactions.

My design depicted individuals engrossed in their phones, symbolising this issue. It aimed to evoke emotions and prompt viewers to reflect on their social media habits. Winning the award validated the importance of the message, encouraging me to use my creativity to address such contemporary issues.

8What was your main source of inspiration for this design?

My main source of inspiration for this design was drawn from my daily life and observations on the internet. As a heavy social media user, I witnessed first-hand the effects of people becoming engrossed in the digital world, often at the expense of meaningful real-life connections.

This personal experience motivated me to create a design that highlights the issue and prompts viewers to contemplate their own online behaviours. By combining my own experiences with broader observations of internet culture, I sought to create a design that resonates with a wide audience and sparks a conversation about the impact of social media on our lives.

9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your design process?

Yes, my country's cultural heritage has a big impact on my design process! Design is an essential part of my life and everything around me influences my work. The vibrant colours, traditional art and ancient architecture in my country inspire my designs. I feel a responsibility to honour our heritage while bringing innovation to my work.

Combining the past with the present adds depth and meaning to my creations, connecting with audiences in a profound way. It's an ongoing journey of exploration and celebration through design.

10Congratulations! As the winner of the London Design Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?
Winning the London Design Award is a huge honour for me. It validates my hard work and creativity in addressing important issues like social media addiction. Also, it motivates me to keep using design for positive change. I'm proud of this achievement and I am inspired to reach new creative heights in the future.
11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2023 London Design Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

"Digital Desires" is a series of illustrations exploring how social media affects our identities and self-presentation. Each artwork portrays a character consumed by digital desires, seeking attention and chasing metrics. I entered this project in the London Design Awards because it highlights the impact of social media on our interactions with the world.

Through these illustrations, I wanted to start conversations and raise awareness about the influence of social media on our lives and encourage a more mindful approach to its use.

12What were the main challenges you faced during the design process, and how did you overcome them?

The main challenge I faced during the design process was confronting my own issues with social media. Overcoming it involved self-reflection and understanding how social media affected me. By channelling these insights into the artwork, I created authentic and relatable illustrations that sparked meaningful conversations about its impact on our lives.

This experience reinforced my belief in the power of design to address important issues and encouraged personal growth.

13How do you think winning this award will impact your future as a designer?
Winning this award will have a positive impact on my future as a designer. It will boost my confidence and motivation, inspiring me to continue pushing creative boundaries. The recognition will open doors to new opportunities and collaborations, allowing me to reach a wider audience with my designs. It validates the importance of addressing societal issues through art, and I'll strive to make more meaningful and impactful work in the future.
14What are your top three (3) favourite things about our industry?
My top three favourite things about the design industry are its beauty, passion, and fun. The beauty of creating visually appealing and meaningful work, the passion that drives me to constantly innovate, and the sheer fun of expressing my creativity make the design industry a truly rewarding and enjoyable field to be a part of.
15What sets your design apart from others in the same category?
My design stands out from others in its category because I use bold and captivating colours and I'm deeply passionate about illustration. The bold and vivid colors I employ grab people's notice and creates a strong and lasting impression. My illustrations are heartfelt and genuine, connecting with viewers emotionally. This unique combination of bold colours and passion sets my designs apart, making them memorable and distinct in their category.
16Where do you see the evolution of design industry going over the next 5-10 years?

In the next 5-10 years, the design industry will evolve rapidly with advancements in technology like AI, AR, and VR. User experience and interactive designs will be a focus, and sustainability will be more prevalent.

However, designers with genuine passion and humanity will remain crucial. While AI streamlines tasks, the human touch brings emotion and creativity to design. Connecting with audiences on a personal level and evoking emotions is a unique strength that AI can't replicate.

In conclusion, technology will shape the industry, but designers' passion and human insight will always be essential for creating meaningful experiences.

17What advice do you have for aspiring designers who want to create award-winning designs?

For aspiring designers who aim to create award-winning designs, here's some advice:

Embrace your passion for design: Let your passion inspire and drive your creativity. Genuine enthusiasm will elevate the quality and impact of your work.

Observe the world around you keenly: Be curious and receptive to the beauty and diversity of the world. Seek inspiration in everyday experiences and different cultures.

Be bold in your designs, stay true to your humanity: Don't be afraid to take risks and challenge conventions. Infuse your designs with empathy to create meaningful connections with your audience.

18What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the design industry?
For someone looking to improve their skills in the design industry, I would recommend exploring the abundance of resources available. There are numerous online design courses, books, blogs, YouTube tutorials, design communities, and practice opportunities that can significantly enhance your abilities. Taking the initiative to seek out these resources and invest time in self-learning will be key to advancing your skills and expertise as a designer.
19Tell us something you have never told anyone else.
Well, here's a little secret I haven't shared with anyone else: I'm just a big fan of purple! I absolutely adore the colour and find it so romantic. I must admit, I'm a typical girly person who loves everything that is cute. There's something about the charm and sweetness of cute things that always bring a smile to my face. So, now you know my love for purple and cuteness, it's a part of what makes me who I am.
20Who has inspired you in your life and why?

The person who has inspired me the most is my mom. As a kid, I saw her handcrafted cushions and bags, and her love for drawing and design was evident. Her strong sense of aesthetics and colours has influenced me as a designer. She has been a great source of support and encouragement, driving me to pursue a career in design.

Her creativity and guidance have shaped me both personally and professionally, instilling in me a deep appreciation for beauty and craftsmanship. I'm truly grateful for her inspiration, and it reflects in every design I create.

21What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
My key to success is to keep trying and never stop learning. I believe that with perseverance and a continuous hunger for knowledge, we can overcome challenges and achieve our goals. As a parting word of wisdom, I would say, "Embrace every opportunity to learn and grow, stay determined, and success will follow."

Winning Entry

Digital Desires | 2023

Digital Desires | Chia Min Liu

"Digital Desires" explores how social media shapes our identities and self-presentation. Each artwork portrays a … (Read more at London Design Awards)

Chia Min Liu

Chia Min Liu, a Senior Visual Designer in the web3 industry, expresses creativity both professionally and as a freelance designer and illustrator. Her artwork has been featured in prestigious galleries in London and Chicago, including exhibitions like "Digital Expressions" by NFT Asia and more.

Read more about this interview with Sonia Bourruel from the United Kingdom, the Gold Winner of the 2023 London Design Awards.