Annie Nguyen
Art Director / Designer

Annie Nguyen

Art Director / Designer

Koreatown, Los Angeles, California

annienguyen.net
Instagram @annienguyen
Twitter
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WHAT DO YOU DO?

My name is Annie Nguyen and I currently reside in Los Angeles, CA where I work as an art director/designer. My main areas of focus are branding, identity, marketing strategies, and product consulting.

I also dabble in front end development and light coding. The industries I primarily focus on are fashion, music, beauty and entertainment. I've done a large variety of work in those industries the past six years.

I also like to keep myself busy with side projects. I believe that's how you find your voice as a designer and keep your work fresh. Before I moved to Los Angeles (aka when I was living in Hawaii), I'd promote music shows with some friends. I think what ignited this was my time spent working at a radio station that further fueled my interest in music. These events taught me how to build branding, produce press kits, negotiate contracts and organize/produce events. Now, because we all live in separate states, this has become an online platform where we work with musicians, feature them and release their music. Other than that, I work hard at my own brand and developing my online presence with thoughtful content and occasionally, my own products.

 

WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?

Trying hard and never giving up! It sounds cheesy but really that's what I've been doing. I moved here six years ago not knowing a soul and with no job lined up and I've just been winging it. I realize now how powerful it is to trust yourself and trust in your ability.

 

FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY LACK?

Confidence and consistency. Don't get me wrong, I definitely have my moments of doubt but I try to never let that get in the way of progressing. I always want to grow and I'm willing to work hard.

 

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?

I may have briefly answered this in the "what do you do" area above so I apologize for the redundancy but as a new freelancer, I'm just working on building my own brand. I spend a lot of my time brainstorming concepts, compositions and then executing them. I also just redid my web site! Whew. Took a minute!

 

WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS? 

My style is clean, minimal and precise. Though I do dabble in the abstract...which leads me to my perspective, especially lately, has become more clear to me. I've always been fascinated with the concept of "interzone" or the "space inbetween" - definitely influenced by the Joy Division song, William Burroughs and Raf Simons - which is just that I'm more fascinated with things that aren't clear. I realize that now the reason why I'm so obsessed is because things never fully become clear, not forever, and that's why I find it so interesting. It's like a never ending design problem that has unlimited solutions. My taste is specific and forever being refined. I like things that are thoughtful and come from a genuine place. I like a good story. It's why I like the designers, artists, musicians that I do. Perhaps the best place to see my style/perspective/taste is my Instagram. Otherwise here's a more narrowed down version of select photography I've done.

 

WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?

I think the areas that interest me the most are strategy and branding/identity within the fashion, retail and music space. I really like the idea of coming up with the story and then being able to plan the execution. (Even being apart of the execution or working with a team that can execute.) This could range from branding, to a marketing campaign, or an experience/event activation.

 

WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?

For me, while I was working professionally, it was finding the right environment. I'm an extremely passionate individual and work very hard and what I've learned is sometimes people can feel a certain way about that. I've worked in environments that can be creatively stifling that make the job seem more of a 9-5 than a creative profession. Now as a freelancer, I feel that I have a better chance at working with the companies and jobs that I would be more creatively freeing or allow me to give more input but I'm having a challenge finding clients. (I'm new to this!)

 

IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?

To help me stay organized and help with research on projects. I find that two tasks take up so much of my time.

 

LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?

I wish I would have told myself to be patient. I would have told myself this six years ago and yesterday and today. Why? Because I am a very impatient person and it's a bad habit of mine. It can drive me nuts and for no reason. In due time, Annie, in due time!

 

IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?

I would ask the expert how to grow my client base and how to do the nitty gritty of freelancing (billing, pricing, etc)

 

WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

I am looking for long term freelance but open to potential Full Time opportunities as well. I am looking for projects that focus on branding/art direction and strategy within fashion, retail and music.

 

DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.

I would love to partner with an architect or developer working on a space or a company starting out who needs someone to come in and develop brand voice/identity, collateral, social media, web, etc. Ideally, I'd like to work for someone like The Line NYC or even an art museum or furniture company like Design Within Reach. Of course, those are all established but basically a client that is design conscious and looking to make a disruption.

 

WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE? 

My hourly rate is $70/hr and my salary range (or last salary) was $90,000.

 

HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?

Email and phone call please! I'm also willing to do in person meetings, which I think are the best. My intro could include budget, scope and I think a link to my Instagram always helps people get an idea of my eye/vision/things I'm interested in. Perhaps a Drake Gif if applicable. (I'm a big fan.)

 

HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?

Outside projects. Keep doing them.


This member profile was originally published in March 2017.