Interview with Rou Jiao from United States

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Rou Jiao

Rou Jiao is a skilled graphic designer whose focus spans multidisciplinary design, encompassing both static and motion graphics. Embarking on a design journey in 2016, she has tirelessly refined their skills, establishing herself as a sought-after creative professional in the dynamic design landscape of New York.

Interview with the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards Winner -
Rou Jiao

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

Hello, I'm Rou Jiao, a graphic designer with a strong emphasis on multidisciplinary design, including both static and motion graphics. I began my journey in the field of design in 2016, and since then, I've been relentlessly honing my skills. This dedication has propelled me to become a highly sought-after creative professional in New York's vibrant design scene.

My approach to design is a unique fusion of creativity, technical proficiency, and innovative thinking, enabling me to craft compelling visual experiences that make a mark in an increasingly competitive market. I believe in constantly pushing the envelope of design, infusing each of my projects with fresh ideas and distinct perspectives.

I harbor a deep-seated passion for exploring different media and cultures, which perpetually drives me to seek new avenues for expanding my skillset and crafting engaging visual narratives. I'm always on the hunt for new inspirations to further enrich my work and bring my designs to life.

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

I find immense joy in the interplay of aesthetics and problem-solving, which incites a thrilling rush of adrenaline within me. The process of creation is a riveting yet nerve-wracking journey, where I delve deep into my intuition to manifest the desired visual effects. My relentless pursuit of structural aesthetics has steered me towards a career in graphic design.

This philosophy, however, doesn't limit itself to the visual domain; it transcends boundaries to embrace sound and rhythm as well. This multidimensional exploration of aesthetics has inspired my ventures into electronic music and animation. The blend of various elements invigorates my creative process, further fueling my passion for crafting compelling auditory and visual narratives.

3What does “creativity” mean to you?
As I mentioned earlier, my creative process is akin to constructing a mosaic from existing pieces. The act of creation sparks a wave of exhilaration within me, though it's not without its share of anxiety as I navigate the labyrinth of my intuition to manifest the desired visual effects. Yet, this journey, despite its complexity, is incredibly rewarding. The sheer satisfaction derived from bringing an idea to fruition, from concept to a polished, finished product, is a feeling that remains unrivaled in its intensity.
4To you, what makes a “creative” idea and/or design?

My approach to creativity is deeply rooted in the inspiration I draw from the work of others. I firmly believe that human society thrives on collaboration and that independent creation, devoid of any societal influence, is virtually impossible.

In this light, I view every piece of my work as a subtle collaboration with the creators who've come before me. Therefore, in my perspective, what truly makes an idea or design "creative" is this invisible partnership with others, coupled with a spark of personal inspiration that lends a unique touch to the creation.

5Tell us about your creative and/or design process.

My creative or design process is an ever-evolving journey, heavily inspired by the world around me. I begin by immersing myself in a vast array of work created by others, spanning a multitude of genres and mediums. This could be anything from a museum exhibit to the design of a new piece of technology, a captivating book, or even the patterns found in nature. By exposing myself to such diverse sources of inspiration, I can accumulate a rich tapestry of ideas and concepts.

This extensive exploration gradually stirs an emotional response within me. This feeling is unique and difficult to put into words. It's a synthesis of everything I've absorbed, combined with my personal thoughts, experiences, and responses to the world. This sensation becomes the driving force of my creative process.

In the actualization phase, I strive to manifest this emotion into a tangible form. Depending on the project, this could involve sketching, drafting, prototyping, or digital rendering. It's not a straightforward process, as creativity is often non-linear and unpredictable. This phase is filled with trial and error, continual learning, and adaptation.

Furthermore, feedback and critique are integral parts of my design process. They help me to refine my ideas and improve the end product. I value different perspectives and believe that my work can only truly evolve when it's exposed to a variety of viewpoints.

6What's your favorite part of the creative process and why?

My favorite part of the creative process is the initial phase of exploration and ideation. This stage involves browsing an extensive range of others' work across different mediums and genres. During this phase, I find myself filled with anticipation and excitement as I am essentially charging up my creative batteries. This exposure to a plethora of ideas and styles sparks a burst of inspiration, which I find to be both invigorating and joyful.

This creative exploration is akin to a journey where each piece of work I encounter can potentially lead me to a new path of discovery. It's a thrilling process, full of potential and possibility, and it's this sense of limitless creativity that I find so appealing.

However, the subsequent phase of actualizing these ideas into a tangible product can be anxiety-inducing. There is always a certain level of uncertainty and doubt involved. Will the final product live up to the initial vision? Will it resonate with others? These questions often linger in the back of my mind, creating a sense of apprehension.

Despite these challenges, the sense of accomplishment that follows the completion of a piece of work is incredibly rewarding. This is the moment when all the anxiety and doubt dissipate, replaced with pride and satisfaction. I've brought something new into the world, a piece of work that is a reflection of my ideas, feelings, and experiences. This sense of fulfillment is truly unparalleled, and it makes the entire process worthwhile.

7Describe your creative style and its main characteristics.
My creative style is marked by a distinctive blend of dark humor, born from the juxtaposition of childhood cheerfulness and the cynicism that developed from challenging life experiences. This fusion of darkness and humor forms a unique stylistic expression, demonstrating both my resilience and adaptability.
8 Congratulations! As the winner of the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?
Winning the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards is an immense honor and signifies that my daring choices and innovative storytelling approach have been recognized. Choosing a complex theme and condensing it into a short animation presented significant challenges, but it also spurred substantial growth in my storytelling abilities. This award isn't just a testament to the quality of my animation, but also to my resilience, dedication, and creative evolution.
9Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
The winning project I submitted to the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards is a testament to my innovative spirit and dedication to producing exceptional animation.
10What was the biggest challenge with this project?

The most formidable challenge with this project was managing the multifaceted demands of scripting, illustrating, and animating simultaneously. Each of these aspects carries its own unique set of trials, from honing artistic talents to mastering technical software skills. The true complexity, however, lay in integrating these elements seamlessly, requiring not only proficiency in each individual task, but also the ability to weave them together into a coherent and compelling visual narrative. The balancing act of managing artistic creativity and technical precision all at once was indeed the most daunting aspect of this project.

11Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5-10 years?
I foresee a significant shift in the creative industry over the next 5-10 years, a return to its original essence. As artificial intelligence continues to advance, it will simplify and streamline many functional aspects of design and creation, allowing creators to focus more on the process of creation for its own sake, and less on the practical demands traditionally associated with it. This shift will place greater emphasis on the joy of creation and the satisfaction derived from it, reinforcing the principle that creativity should, first and foremost, serve and fulfill the creators themselves. In such a landscape, the joy of creation becomes paramount, marking a profound evolution in the way we approach the creative process.
12What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

My perspective on success centers around the concept that often, individuals who achieve great societal success and demonstrate remarkable self-discipline are propelled by certain imperfections in their persona. These perceived flaws can act as powerful motivators, pushing them to pursue achievements as a form of self-validation. Conversely, those who have led contented and fulfilled lives from childhood may not feel the same compulsion to seek societal success, as they already possess a wealth of love and acceptance.

Therefore, my key to success is understanding and embracing one's personal journey and motivations, using them as a driving force to achieve your own version of success. As for words of wisdom, remember that success is a personal journey, not a universal standard. Find your own path and define success on your own terms.

Winning Entry

Overdose | 2023

Overdose | Rou Jiao
Overdose is a motion graphic piece about a newly invented vacuum cleaner that takes people’s negative feelings away while absorbing ...
(Read more at MUSE Creative Awards)

Rou Jiao

Rou Jiao is a skilled graphic designer whose focus spans multidisciplinary design, encompassing both static and motion graphics. Embarking on a design journey in 2016, she has tirelessly refined their skills, establishing herself as a sought-after creative professional in the dynamic design landscape of New York.

Read more about this interview with Sun Jian for EMERALD BAY Sign Design, the Silver Winner of the 2023 MUSE Creative Awards.