Grace Duong
Designer / Art Director

Grace Duong

Designer / Art Director

Los Angeles, CA

www.graceduong.com
Instagram @grace.duong
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WHAT DO YOU DO?

I’m a creative problem solver by day, and an imaginative artist by night.

As a graphic designer & art director, I offer creative solutions to enhance purposeful communication. What I love about design is that every design decision has a reason behind it, and it all makes sense.

I'm constantly pushing myself to create more fulfilling work, so that also means that I tend to work on a lot of my own creative projects outside of client work. That allows me to be more free to express myself, push myself to try new things, and create work that I am passionate about!

 

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

I have always worked on my own passion projects, even before freelancing and that has really helped me grow and cultivate my own voice. Putting in the hours to hone your own craft is the best way to get better at what you do. I'm also constantly curious about the world around me, which fuels my desire to create. I've found that the more you create the work you are passionate about, the more that type of work comes and finds you!

 

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

When I taught at General Assembly, a lot of people would ask me how to transition into the design field, and I would tell them to work on projects that they're really proud of. Creating work that you stand behind and believe in will create the ultimate difference over someone who is just trying to make placeholder portfolio pieces. The number of pieces doesn't really matter - it's more about the quality of work.

There is no right or wrong way to move up in career, especially nowadays! I think also just being open to the type of opportunities that come your way, because each step you take gets you closer to your goals. If there aren't any opportunities, then make your own opportunity!

Also, be nice to people! It goes a long way.

 

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?

I'm always working on a personal project, and I'm particularly excited about this one because it involves a lot of illustration that I haven't done before. Depending on the given week, the range of work usually includes, logos & brand identities, website design, design & photography for social, and agency pitches.

 

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

I am a pretty bubbly and positive person when you meet me. My work definitely reflects my personality in that I like creating bright, colorful, smart, and playful work. A lot of that comes through on my personal projects like Imagine With Us, a children's ebook platform and my artwork which you can see on my Instagram.

 

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

What I like about design is that you get to be sort of a chameleon, taking on different projects and providing your own creative solution. With that said, I'd love to get off the computer and do more hands on projects that gets me away from my desk, like photography or set design. I'd also love to be more involved in social causes that can make impact on communities.

 

WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?

Administrative tasks.

 

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

Cleaning my apartment! I am admittedly not the most organized person so would love if someone could help me out with that ;)

 

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

You're going to be okay. Go to sleep!

 

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

Business! There isn't really a clear guide for left brain thinking for creative types. I'd love to talk to an expert about managing accounts, investments, taxes, and the like, to better understand how to incorporate this with the creative side.

 

WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

Definitely more hands on projects that also incorporate photography. I'm also always open to collaborative projects with cool creatives so that we can combine our talents together to make some cool shit!

 

DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.

My ideal clients are open to collaboration and trust the creative process! Communication is key and it requires an open mind and teamwork to make the dream work.

 

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

It completely depends on the type of project and the client. The type of factors that I would consider also are: time x flexibility x deliverables. If it's a tight deadline, that would cost more than say, a project that has more flexibility. If there are more components to the project that require more deliverables than that would also be considered and cost more. Also a small business versus a larger business is something to take into account because you may have more creative freedom working on a smaller budgeted project that could turn out portfolio worthy. It really depends!

 

HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?

A simple email saying hello would suffice! I always appreciate when a client is super organized also, giving the complete scope with as much detail as possible and being upfront about their budget.

 

HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?

Laughter & travel will rejuvenate your creative juices.


This member profile was originally published in November 2016.