Interview with Hanyue Song from United States

Wen Chia Chang | MUSE Creative Awards
Interview with Wen-Chia Chang from United States
September 14, 2023
Bartosz Bykowski | London Design Awards
Interview with Bartosz Bykowski from Poland
September 14, 2023

Hanyue Song

From an early stage in Hanyue Song’s life, her passion for design and creativity began to flourish. As she matured in the dynamic environment of Shanghai, she became entranced by the lively cityscape, fueling her inquisitiveness and enhancing her love for beauty and aesthetics.

Interview with the 2022 MUSE Creative Awards Winner -
Hanyue Song

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

From a young age, my love for design and creativity took root within me. Growing up amidst the bustling energy of Shanghai, I found myself captivated by the vibrant urban landscape, which nurtured my curiosity and deepened my appreciation for aesthetics. The rich tapestry of diverse cultures, the intricate architecture, and the myriad of artistic expressions became the fuel for my creative journey, igniting a passionate desire to delve into the realm of design.

I embarked on my educational path at Pratt Institute, immersing myself in the field of Communications Design. There, I discovered boundless opportunities to explore innovative approaches and unleash my imagination throughout the design process. It was a transformative experience that allowed me to witness first-hand the potential of design to make a positive impact, no matter how small, on people's lives. Each project became an avenue for me to connect with others, to evoke emotions, and to inspire change.

While my formal education laid a strong foundation, I attribute much of my growth to the invaluable guidance and support I received from my mentors. Their wisdom and expertise became a guiding light, illuminating the path of my professional development. But their impact extended beyond mere advice or technical knowledge; they instilled in me a sense of purpose, encouraging me to embrace challenges, to push boundaries, and to constantly evolve as a designer.

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

From the earliest moments of my childhood, I found solace and excitement in the realm of art and design, discovering the magic of self-expression through the simple act of doodling with a pencil. As I grew, so did my passion, and what was once a mere hobby began to shape the very fabric of my aspirations.

It was during my university years, while pursuing a major in finance, that I came face to face with a stark realization. The subjects I was immersed in failed to ignite the same fervor and sense of purpose that art had always kindled within me. I yearned for a path that would align my studies with my true passions.

Fuelled by this revelation, I embarked on a quest of self-discovery, eagerly seeking out opportunities to explore and expand upon my creative interests. I immersed myself in the vibrant world of art exhibitions, soaking in the myriad of styles, techniques, and narratives that artists used to convey their messages. Concurrently, I delved into the realm of journalism, recognizing the power of storytelling and visual communication as vehicles for change.

In due course, my quest led me to discover the profound and versatile field of communications design. Recognizing its potential to blend diverse disciplines and mediums, I chose to pursue a master's degree in this domain. This decision opened doors to a world where I could harness the power of design to inform, persuade, and entertain others. It became a medium through which I could breathe life into my ideas, bridging the gap between imagination and tangible reality.

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

At the heart of my work lies an exploration of the intricate intersection between multiple disciplines. Drawing from a diverse range of fields such as visual design, branding and marketing, user experience, and project planning in kid education.

What sets my work apart is the culmination of my multidisciplinary background, which extends beyond the confines of purely commercial or spontaneous artistic creations. By blending various disciplines, I strive to create holistic and impactful experiences that resonate with the audience.

In my creative endeavors, I adopt a wide and varied range of work styles. Each project becomes an opportunity to explore and experiment, pushing the boundaries of traditional approaches. I harness the power of visual design to captivate the attention of my audience layouts. Simultaneously, I integrate principles of branding and marketing design to craft cohesive and compelling narratives that connect with the audiences on a deeper level.

4What does “creativity” mean to you?

To me, "creativity" embodies the boundless capacity of the human mind to think, imagine, and generate novel and inventive ideas. It serves as the catalyst that ignites the flames of imagination, enabling us to explore uncharted territories, discover new perspectives, and uncover innovative solutions. Creativity transcends the confines of any specific domain and permeates all fields and industries, enriching and enlivening every aspect of human endeavor.

At its very core, creativity serves as an invaluable tool for problem-solving and catalyzing positive change. It empowers us to challenge the status quo, envision alternative solutions, and challenge preconceived notions. It is the driving force behind innovation, propelling us to push the limits of what is known and familiar, and to discover ground-breaking ideas and inventions. Through creativity, we can transform the world around us, making it more vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable.

5To you, what makes a “creative” idea and/or design?

A "creative" idea or design possesses a distinctive set of qualities that distinguish it from the ordinary. It is marked by its originality, representing a departure from the conventional and the ability to break new ground. It embraces innovation, introducing fresh perspectives, methodologies, or technologies that push the boundaries of what is known and expected.

Ultimately, a truly creative idea or design challenges the status quo and opens doors to new possibilities. It pushes the boundaries of what is considered possible or acceptable, fostering innovation and progress. It disrupts established norms, encourages exploration, and invites others to think critically and imaginatively. In doing so, it inspires and influences the world around us, leaving a lasting impact on individuals, communities, and society as a whole.

6Tell us about your creative and/or design process.

My creative and design process usually involves several key steps that help me understand user needs, develop innovative solutions and create an effective strategy. In brief, my process looks like this:

Research: The first step in my design process is to do more research in order to better understand user needs, preferences and pain points. This includes user interviews, surveys, data analysis, and competitor research.

Ideas and Prototyping: Once I clearly understand the user's needs and goals, I brainstorm with a team to come up with different ideas and solutions that can meet the user's needs. After identifying the most promising ideas, I move on to prototyping. This involves creating low-fidelity sketches or prototypes that allow me to quickly and efficiently test and refine my ideas. I can also test for usability to get user feedback and refine my designs.

Design: Once I understand the user's needs and have tested and refined my ideas, I move on to the design phase. It involves creating a highly accurate design with visual elements, typography, and color schemes matching the brand and user preferences.

Implementation: Once the design is complete, I work with developers and other stakeholders to translate the design into the final product. I can also do additional user testing to ensure the final product meets user needs and is easy to use, as well as design reviews to ensure the design layout matches the final product.

7What's your favorite part of the creative process and why?

The sense of fulfillment that comes from seeing a project materialize, observing the impact of creative work on an audience, or experiencing the satisfaction of solving a complex problem through a creative solution is truly gratifying.

Moreover, the joy of solving complex problems through creative solutions is deeply fulfilling. Creativity empowers us to approach challenges from unconventional angles, find innovative paths, and break through barriers. When faced with intricate problems, the ability to think creatively opens up a world of possibilities and enables us to devise unique and effective solutions. The satisfaction derived from unraveling complex puzzles and seeing the positive outcomes of our creative problem-solving efforts is unparalleled.

8Describe your creative style and its main characteristics.

As a visual communications designer, I have embraced a multidisciplinary approach that draws inspiration and knowledge from various fields. Through my studies and exploration of different mediums, I have developed a deep understanding of the power of design to inform, persuade, and entertain. By bringing exciting concepts to life, I aim to create visual experiences that have a positive impact on people's lives.

Curiosity and the pursuit of knowledge are fundamental aspects of my approach to design and life in general. I have a genuine fascination with understanding the "why" behind things, seeking to unravel the underlying principles and motivations that shape our world. Maintaining a sense of childlike wonder and curiosity allows me to approach challenges with fresh perspectives and open-mindedness, leading to innovative solutions and new insights.

Continual learning and growth are at the core of my creative journey. I am committed to expanding my knowledge, staying informed about emerging trends and technologies, and seeking inspiration from diverse sources. By embracing a lifelong dedication to study and exploration, I can evolve as a designer and consistently bring fresh ideas and perspectives to my work.

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

Absolutely, the answer is a resounding yes. Chinese culture, boasting a profound historical legacy, revered traditions, philosophical insights, captivating art forms, and a myriad of diverse influences, undeniably holds a prominent position in shaping and fueling creative expression.

10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2022 MUSE Creative Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?
Winning the 2022 MUSE Creative Award holds great significance for me. It validates our hard work, creativity, and dedication. This recognition boosts my reputation, opens new opportunities, and motivates us to continue delivering exceptional creative work. I am grateful for this prestigious honor.
11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2022 MUSE Creative Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

The experimental project "Innate Music Festival" captivates my audience by harnessing the power of color and employing a creative approach to generate captivating images through dynamic picture movements during the scanning process. By merging freehand drawings with motional displacements, I have devised a novel method to manifest abstract forms that embody the essence of experimental music.

To convey the uplifting energy and convey the underlying narrative, while simultaneously evoking profound emotions in my audience, I employ bold colors and innovative techniques within my design works. This not only serves as a visual statement but also sets my work apart from others. When I explore my surroundings with the curiosity of a child, I am able to discover more delightful things and intricacies of life. The "Innate Music Festival" project stands as a remarkable testament to this philosophy, serving as a representative of my artistic exploration.

12What was the biggest challenge with this project?

The "Innate Music Festival" project encountered its greatest challenge in effectively translating the emotions of the music into a visual representation. As the project aimed to captivate the audience through the interplay of color and the innovative technique of generating images through moving pictures during the scanning process, it necessitated the discovery of a suitable visual language capable of conveying the abstract and experiential nature inherent in experimental music.

To address this challenge, several considerations and design approaches were explored. Firstly, understanding the unique characteristics and emotions associated with the music genre was essential. By conducting research and immersing oneself in the experimental music scene, it becomes possible to gain insights into the range of emotions, moods, and atmospheres evoked by the music.

The subsequent step involved transmuting these emotions into visual elements. Careful deliberation was undertaken in the selection of color palettes, shapes, textures, and compositions that could encapsulate the essence and vitality of the music. Experimentation with diverse design techniques, such as harmonizing freehand drawings with motion displacements during the scanning process, formed an integral part of the creative journey. This innovative approach facilitated the creation of abstract forms capable of evoking the desired emotional response from the audience.

13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?
Winning the award has had a profound impact on my practice and career. It has elevated my profile and brought greater recognition to my work within the industry. The award has served as a validation of our expertise and has helped me build credibility and trust with clients and partners. It has opened doors to new opportunities, collaborations, and projects that I may not have had access to otherwise.
14What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?
  1. Self-expression and exploration of ideas
  2. Emphasis on innovation and originality
  3. Ability to inspire and make a positive impact
15What makes your country specifically, unique in the creative industry?

China's creative industry is unique due to its rich cultural heritage, rapid economic growth, technological innovation, cross-disciplinary collaborations, global influence, and the blending of traditional and modern aesthetics.

The juxtaposition of traditional and modern aesthetics is a defining characteristic of China's creative industry. Artists adeptly navigate between honoring age-old traditions and embracing contemporary sensibilities, resulting in a visually captivating blend of the ancient and the avant-garde. This seamless integration of diverse aesthetics provides a distinctive allure that resonates with audiences both at home and abroad.

16Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5-10 years?

The next 5-10 years hold immense potential for the evolution of the creative industry, and the advent of AI is set to play a pivotal role in shaping this transformative journey. AI has the capacity to revolutionize various facets of the creative process, offering new tools and techniques that can enhance productivity, efficiency, and the overall creative output.

However, it is crucial to recognize that human creativity and expertise will remain irreplaceable. AI should be seen as a complementary tool rather than a substitute for human ingenuity. The symbiotic relationship between human creative professionals and AI technologies can lead to remarkable possibilities. By leveraging AI's computational power, data processing capabilities, and pattern recognition, human creatives can expand their horizons, pushing the boundaries of innovation and creativity.

17If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Creative Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?

Indeed, the creative industry thrives on the fuel of passion and innovation. To succeed in this dynamic field, it is crucial to remain steadfast in your creative vision, constantly challenging your boundaries, and maintaining an insatiable appetite for learning and growth. Embrace the journey that lies ahead, relishing every step of the process as you breathe life into your creative ideas.

Stay true to your artistic vision, as it is the compass that guides your creative endeavors. Trust in your instincts, embrace your unique perspective, and allow your creativity to flourish authentically. Be open to experimentation, taking risks, and exploring new horizons, as these are the catalysts for innovation and breakthroughs.

18What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the creative industry?

To improve your skills in the creative industry, consider the following concise tips:

  1. Online Courses and Platforms: Take advantage of online platforms like Udemy, Coursera, and Skillshare for relevant courses taught by industry professionals.
  2. Books and Publications: Explore books, magazines, and publications authored by respected creatives for inspiration and expert advice.
  3. Social Media Inspiration: Use platforms like Instagram and Pinterest to discover inspiring works and engage with the creative community.
  4. Workshops, Webinars, and Conferences: Attend relevant events for learning opportunities, networking, and exposure to industry professionals.
  5. Seek Feedback and Mentoring: Connect with mentors and peers who can provide constructive feedback and guidance.

Remember to strike a balance between online resources and hands-on practice to effectively enhance your skills.

19Tell us something you have never told anyone else.

In my latest design endeavors, I've embarked on an exhilarating exploration using a new material: polymer clay. This bold experiment has opened up an entirely new realm of possibilities, enabling me to unleash my creativity in ways I never thought possible. The dynamic range of vibrant colors, exceptional malleability, and captivating textures found in polymer clay have infused my designs with vitality, introducing a captivating sense of thrill and delight.

20Who has inspired you in your life and why?

The impact on my work can be attributed to various sources, as different individuals have influenced and inspired me to varying degrees. It could be their innovative ideas, artistic expression, unique flair, or even their distinct way of thinking. Each new skill I acquire contributes to my artistic endeavors, nurturing my growth and broadening my creative horizons.

21What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

I derive immense joy from the creative expression of my thoughts, drawing inspiration from the tapestry of my personal experiences. The deep affection I hold for nature as a driving force behind my artistic endeavors. With a mind fueled by curiosity, I incessantly explore the "why" behind things, always seeking answers and delving into the depths of understanding. My fascination with the world remains steadfast and vibrant, maintaining a youthful spirit that continuously fuels my creative fire.

Throughout my journey, I have had the privilege of collaborating with a diverse array of artists and designers, while also designing a wide range of products for my diverse clientele. These collaborative experiences have broadened my perspective, allowing me to embrace the richness of diverse viewpoints and incorporate them into my creative process.

What I truly cherish is the opportunity to embark on a continuous journey of experimentation and innovation during the design process. I ardently strive to make a positive impact, no matter how seemingly small, by creating in inventive ways that have the potential to enhance the lives of others. I firmly believe in the transformative power of design, a belief that motivates me to push boundaries and reimagine possibilities with unwavering dedication.

Winning Entry

Innate Music Festival | 2022

Inspiration. The Innate music festival will be hosted by a band that recorded lots of sounds from nature and did a vast ...
(Read more at MUSE Creative Awards)

Hanyue Song

From an early stage in Hanyue Song’s life, her passion for design and creativity began to flourish. As she matured in the dynamic environment of Shanghai, she became entranced by the lively cityscape, fueling her inquisitiveness and enhancing her love for beauty and aesthetics.

Read more about this interview with Malinda Rutter from Australia, the Silver Winner of the 2022 MUSE Creative Awards.