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Visually’s Marketplace connects thousands of designers with clients seeking to commission infographics and data visualizations. Every week, we feature a member of our designer community here, on the blog. If you are interested in participating, please contact us at blog[at]visual.ly.
Name: Michelle Lee
On Visually: Michee
In Design: 8 years
1. Tell us a bit about yourself: how did you get into design, and how long have you been doing it?
Like many designers, my interest in design sprouted from an artsy fartsy background with an original appreciation for the Visual Arts. I was always the girl with a pencil behind her ear, paint covered jeans/runners and went through sketchbooks like no tomorrow. But to me, being an “artist” was more than just doodling from dusk until dawn – it was about the skill, the craft in itself and the visual strategizing behind it all. By the time I reached high school, I began to dabble in Adobe software programs, experimented with print/web design and explored my love for illustrating and aesthetics through a digital medium – that was when I was able to find a newfound passion in graphic design. A brand new world had opened up to me and I was entranced by the opportunities that it presented. This lead me to pursue my future studies in Visual Communication and Design, a path which allows me to work in a field and industry that feeds my creative expression and where I am constantly challenged as a designer to create visual solutions to visual problems.
3. If you could take a seminar with one designer or artist, dead or living, who would that be? Why?
I would love to sit down and chat with Simone Legno, the creative director and illustrator of tokidoki. I adore tokidoki’s iconic characters, clean and light-hearted style and it’s japanese-inspired illustrative approach. I recall watching a video interview where Legno described what inspired his character designs for his “cactus friends” line, which came after noticing a bunch of cactuses and observed how their shape naturally resembled ears. I appreciate designers and illustrators who draw inspiration from their surroundings, I too aspire to find creativity from random sources, places and things.
4. What’s your favorite color? Why?
Not to be a nerd, but Pantone 377 C. I love the brightness and vibrancy, for some reason I get really happy when I see it and it always catches my eye.
5. What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in your work and what did you learn from it?
Truthfully, my biggest regret was not freelancing sooner in my career. There was a time when I felt like I was in a rut, working and designing for the same things and carrying out a routine. I began to feel bored and unmotivated – and any designer will tell you, when you lose inspiration in what you do, you lose quality in your work. It actually wasn’t until I began to take on freelancing gigs and side projects was I then able to find my creative spark again and work independently as a designer/creative director. Working with various clients through Visually presents me with a wide range of clients to design for and collaborate with. What I love most about this is that every project is unique in it’s own right – so I’m constantly challenged to conjure up new creative designs and approaches.
6. What about your biggest achievement? Tell us about the project you are most proud of in your career so far.
I would say that some of my earlier experimental vector illustrations would be some of my fondest pieces. Some I would do for leisure and others for early freelancing projects. I would say that it helped me discover my own personal style and gained an appreciation for vector illustrations and iconography that would later define who I am as a designer. One also in particular was my very first infographic that I did of a diagram, instructing on “How to Make a Triple-decker Nutella Sandwich” which was my first viral project to be circulated online and my very first Visually upload.
7. Who should we feature in this space next?
GOOD. Their portfolio has a nice range and variety in style and executions