Interview with Xianghan Wang from the United States

Mingyue Qu | MUSE Creative Awards
Interview with Mingyue Qu of Ezze Live | United States
July 4, 2024
Kyla Gu | MUSE Creative Awards
Interview with Kyla Gu from the United Kingdom
July 4, 2024

Xianghan Wang

Xianghan Wang is a designer and animator from New York with a passion for creative technology. She is currently the Motion Designer at Apple where she is committed to pushing the boundaries of digital design and shaping the future of visual storytelling.

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

I'm Xianghan(Sharon) Wang, a designer/animator currently based in Los Angeles, where I bring my passion for creative technology, multidisciplinary art, and visual design into every project I work on. With an MS degree in Integrated Digital Media from New York University, I've honed my skills to craft immersive digital experiences that bridge the gap between the virtual and physical worlds.

Currently, I work as a Motion Designer at Apple, using my expertise to create captivating digital narratives. Before Apple, I gained invaluable experience working at Ogilvy and MediaMonks. With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to innovation, I work to push the boundaries of digital design and shape the future of visual storytelling.

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

My journey into creativity began with a fascination for design and innovation. Creativity is the beacon in life and can light up our world. I started in digital art, which is a multidisciplinary major, providing me with the opportunity to explore various creative fields, including graphic design, video production, 3D modeling, UI/UX design, and even emerging technologies like AR/VR.

These experiences allowed me to appreciate the beauty of the world from different perspectives and inspired me to pursue my passion for creativity. Whether it's in design or any other field, creativity remains my driving force, filling my heart with enthusiasm and vitality.

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

I currently work as a Motion Designer at Apple Instructional Product team, and I'm deeply passionate about our instructional products. Leading the production of Vision Pro tips animations is one of my most fulfilling responsibilities, as it allows me to play a crucial role in educating users and enhancing their experience with our products. By crafting these animations, I strive to make complex operations more accessible and empower users to maximize the capabilities of their devices.

4What does “creativity” mean to you?
Creativity to me is the ability to approach problems with a continuous, evolving, and dialectical perspective. No one can consistently generate entirely new ideas, but by changing angles, we can break free from conventional thinking and surpass previous limitations. Creativity is the fusion of imagination and courage, encouraging me to embrace new challenges.
5To you, what makes a “creative” idea and/or design?
To me, a creative idea should stem from life but transcend it, much like the essence of art. Behind creativity is observation and thinking of life, integrating unique ideas to enhance existing designs. A good creative idea should evoke emotional resonance or inspire others, leaving a "WOW!" impression.
6Tell us about your creative and/or design process.
When I start a design project, my process typically begins with a clear understanding of the requirements, whether they come from client needs or my creative vision. I then proceed to gather and familiarize myself with relevant materials, analyzing the problem at hand and experimenting with various approaches. Through this process of experimentation, I can integrate ideas, refine and update designs, and ultimately find the most appropriate expression.
7What's your favorite part of the creative process and why?
My favorite part of the creative process is the initial brainstorming. At this stage, I can explore various design forms and techniques without restraints, allowing my imagination to fly. What excites me most is the opportunity to collaborate and bounce ideas off other designers, having new sparks of creativity through the collision of different perspectives.
8Describe your creative style and its main characteristics.
My creative style is driven by a passion for merging the digital and physical worlds, exploring innovative intersections between technology and art while maintaining a user-centered approach. I am good at creative technology, multidisciplinary art, and visual design, constantly pushing boundaries to create immersive experiences that understand users' needs while offering something new and unexpected. This ability to integrate diverse influences defines my creative approach, allowing me to craft compelling narratives that resonate deeply with audiences.
9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your creativity process?

China has a rich historical and cultural heritage that attracts people with its depth and diversity. Since my father is a traditional Chinese doctor, I have always been influenced by traditional Chinese culture. Traditional Chinese medicine encapsulates the wisdom of ancient Chinese people, reflecting their profound understanding of the relationship between humans and nature. It has the potential to interact with diverse artistic and cultural traditions.

Drawing inspiration from traditional Chinese medicine, such as in my award-winning project "The Rhythm of Taichi," which merges the ancient Taichi with modern VR technology. This not only represents the collision of Eastern and Western cultures but also revitalizes traditional art forms through a modern and innovative perspective, breathing new life into cultural heritage.

10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2024 MUSE Creative Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?
Winning the 2024 MUSE Creative Awards is a tremendous honor and affirmation of my creative endeavors. It's a validation of the effort and passion I put into my work. This recognition provides me motivation to continue exploring the possibilities of creation, and inspires me to reach new heights in my artistic journey.
11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2024 MUSE Creative Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

The winning project, "The Rhythm of Taichi," focuses on revitalizing interest in traditional Taichi practice. Due to its abstract concepts such as Qi, Yin, and Yang, it can be challenging to learn, leading to declining popularity in today's society.

However, its ability to address modern health issues and provide deep relaxation deserves greater recognition. Virtual Reality offers a perfect solution, allowing users to immerse themselves in the harmonious integration of movement and stillness in Taichi practice. The Rhythm of Taichi represents the ability to blend tradition with innovation.

12What was the biggest challenge with this project?

The main challenge of the project is bridging the gap between traditional Taichi practice and modern virtual reality. This involves balancing technology with culture to create an immersive learning experience. Ensuring that the VR platform effectively represents Taichi while maintaining user engagement.

Additionally, designing interactive elements and an awarding system that enhance the learning experience without deviating from the principles of Taichi, which prioritize relaxation of both body and mind, brings both creative and technical challenges.

13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?
Winning an award has had a significant impact on my career. It provided external validation and recognition for my work, improve my confidence and motivation to continue pursuing excellence in my field.
14 What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?

1. The acceptance of uniqueness: In the design industry, creativity is highly valued, and being different is often seen as an advantage. The industry embraces diversity and encourages individuals to express their unique perspectives and ideas.

2. Collaborative atmosphere: Our industry thrives on collaboration and discussion. The exchange of ideas and brainstorming sessions with colleagues often lead to innovative breakthroughs. The collaborative environment fosters creativity and allows for the exploration of new concepts.

3. The pace of innovation: The design industry evolves rapidly, with new developments emerging daily. From the integration of AI to the application of AR/VR technologies, there's a constant stream of new advancements that keep us excited about the future of design.

15What makes your country specifically, unique in the creative industry?

China's rich and diverse cultural heritage serves as an endless wellspring of inspiration in the creative industry. Drawing from literary works, folklore, opera, traditional Chinese medicine, etc, designers can infuse their creations with strong cultural attributes while also exploring the potential for integration with other design elements.

This rich and diverse cultural heritage gives China a unique position in the creative industry, providing designers with wide creative spaces and abundant sources of inspiration.

16If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Creative Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?

My advice would be to maintain a passion for learning and exploration, as well as a genuine love for life. This industry is constantly evolving, requiring continuous learning to ensure relevance and competitiveness. However, maintaining a love for life can provide inspiration and creativity, allowing you to approach projects with fresh perspectives and innovative ideas.

Additionally, don't be afraid to take risks and push boundaries in your work. Embrace failure as an opportunity for growth and never stop challenging yourself to reach new heights in your creative journey.

17What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the creative industry?
In addition to regularly following designer websites, I highly recommend participating in industry conferences and competitions to enhance your skills in the creative industry. These events not only provide valuable insights into the latest trends and developments but also offer opportunities to network with industry leaders and peers.
18Who has inspired you in your life and why?
My parents inspired me the most. They educated me to have a deep love for beauty, a relentless pursuit of creativity, and a profound appreciation for culture. Growing up in this environment, I was encouraged to embrace a creative path in life. Their support and guidance have shaped me into the person I am today, empowering me to pursue a career centered around creativity.
19What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
While I can't claim to be successful just yet, I believe that the key to success lies in the power of belief. As long as you have faith in yourself and are willing to put in the effort, success is inevitable. Stay persistent, stay determined, and keep pushing forward, no matter the obstacles you encounter. With unwavering belief in yourself and your abilities, coupled with hard work and dedication, you'll surely achieve your goals.

Winning Entries

The Rhythm of Taichi | MUSE Creative Awards

Taichi, a traditional Chinese sport with a long history and a wealth of cultural meanings, has a glorious past and was formerly practiced by... (read more here.)

Xianghan Wang

Xianghan Wang is a designer and animator from New York with a passion for creative technology. She is currently the Motion Designer at Apple where she is committed to pushing the boundaries of digital design and shaping the future of visual storytelling.

Read more about the interview with Mingyue Qu here.