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Team Member Spotlight: Nicole Nguyen

Summer is here, and so is the magnificent art of Nicole Nguyen.


In this special blog post, we invite Nicole Nguyen, a graphic designer in our team who has helped make posters and social media graphics for our film. Nicole is a graphic designing studies student from San Jose State University who wants to pursue a career in advertising in product design. While she’s still getting to know graphic design, she wants to learn more about the world and see if it’s a right fit for her.



Q: Nice to meet you Nicole, If you don’t mind, tell me a little bit about yourself.


Nicole: I chose San Jose State University because it was local and convenient for my area for education. Graphic design was recommended by my mom who believes in my skills in multimedia. You can make sculptures, banners, and incorporate animation and illustration in a technological form of art. After taking some classes in graphic design, it was a bit confusing, but it was flat, abstract, clean, and interesting. I still think I struggle with graphic design because I feel I am too detail-oriented where I see simplicity is favored in graphic design. In high school and middle school, I was strongly involved in painting posters for fundraising and clubs.


Q: How would you describe the art that you typically create?


Nicole: My art specifically is very sketchy and messy. It starts with a very impulsive idea and I work on it later. It’s like a throw-away sketchbook where you put random ideas wherever inspiration takes you.


Q: What inspires you in art and what types of techniques do you use?


Nicole: Things that recently happened to me, I would take that into ideas and doodle around into a nice sketch. I go along with a certain color scheme and doodle to see objects and scenes that match that tone of color. For example, a dreary dark green can go with brown colors. My lines are very round, so most of my sketches consist of soft and round things like oranges, chubby animals, yeah.



Q: Who are your biggest influences?


Nicole: Recently, there are artists who make their own products like characters, plushies, ceramics, and stickers on Instagram. They have ceramics with cute designs on Instagram. The Instagram accounts I see with their character design influences me on drawing cute characters for my work.


Q: What are the struggles you go through as an artist?


Nicole: Just a lot of art block. Sometimes, I just don’t feel motivated and I force myself to draw. Whenever I draw during an art block, it doesn’t feel satisfying. I want to continue honing my skills to apply it to a job and see what it can get me. It kind of puts me down that I get art block and frustration and it makes you feel like, “Why are you doing this?” To overcome and progress through art block, I look around in social media and tiptoe out of it. There are Instagram challenges that help progress the idea. Art block exists because I want to create something personal for myself - my own expectations are sometimes too high to reach. It can get frustrating sometimes.


Q: What do you like most about being an artist?


Nicole: I like how I don’t have to do math, involve myself with medical things. There’s a nice and creative interest in art. You can apply art to almost anything. In the medical field, you see different designs of products that are usable. Posters show illustrations of the body. Coding can be visually appealing for the audience and user friendly. Art is very versatile. Even a house is art because someone built a house to make it safe and also useful for your family.


Q: What made you interested in utilizing your artwork for this film project?


Nicole: I worked with the director in a former short film that has yet been released. A lot of the things I learned recently in graphic design studies are applied in our projects. It’s like a test I learn from school. Personally, I think I’m not a very social media type of person or someone who gets out there, but the director gave me this opportunity to get involved and hone my skills. I can see how much passion, effort, and enthusiasm my colleague brought in this project and I wanted to be a part of that. It’s not much of what I can do, but I see the potential with other people’s work and that is what motivates me to challenge my artwork today.


Q: Through the journey of this film, what are some things you learned that helped improve your creativity?


Nicole: Seeing the way the team produced this project is very organized in a step-by-step process. There is a stable ladder for our production and that helped me become more organized in my development process. In the past, I felt I dived in to make concepts without any plans. It’s more impulsive, but the more I work with it, the more I need to reflect on it.


Q: What are the next steps for the future after this film production?


Nicole: After this production, I did have some intentions to start my own shop. I need to get myself out there to get a following on my artwork and improve on my portfolio. I want to work with a company to experience the organized work and test the waters.


Q: What is your advice on anyone who wants to become an artist?


Nicole: Career-wise, I’d say you need to make things that make you happy. Find projects that you are interested and passionate about. You need to put a lot of heart in your interest; otherwise, you won’t feel proud of your work. Appreciate other people’s ideas.



FOAEM readers, thank you all for your continued support in our production. We want to thank Nicole who shared with us her insight into the art world. You can check out Nicole’s artwork at https://www.instagram.com/chopuoi/.

Thanks and stay safe!


Guest: Nicole

Moderator: Anh Le

Transcription: Anh Le

Photo courtesy of Nicole Nguyen


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