Sylvie Kim was an Ashcan Studio student 6 years ago in our Visual Arts Portfolio Preparation program. She worked tirelessly on her portfolio and successfully entered her first choice school, The School of Visual Arts. She and I have remained good friends, so I have been witness to the growth of her success as a Graphic Designer. She presently works as a Graphic Designer for the design firm Nice Ltd. She’s also worked for Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York, Big Ant International, Dataharvest, and Anthropologie.
Sylvie is a gifted designer and she is lovely inside and out. It was great catching up with her again and seeing the product designs she is making now. Her design aesthetic is fun, complex yet minimal and clean and I am certain that her career will continue to flourish and grow.
Director, Ashcan Studio of Art
Hayley: When were you a student at Ashcan and how was your experience?
Sylvie: I remember my first day at Ashcan. Usually people visit studio before attending but I was in California, so I called. After I talked with the Director Sun Young Kim on the phone, I really trusted him and the studio. So I flew to New York. I went straight to the studio when I got to New York. I was really excited to meet the teachers. They were really nice and tried to help me to finish my portfolio, which was due in just two months. I spent most of time in the studio except when I slept.
Ashcan Studio has the same environment as an Art School and it helped me adapt when I went to Art School.
Hayley: Where did you end up going to school and what are you doing now?
Sylvie: I went to the School of Visual Arts and majored in Graphic Design. Now I am working at a packaging design company.
Hayley: You have worked on many different projects throughout your career, what was your favorite and why?
Sylvie: Most of my work at this company entails designing packaging for beauty products. I have designed packaging for companies such as Covergirl and Max Factor. I am a women and I also use cosmetics so it’s fun to design cosmetic products. It’s interesting being a customer and being a designer. It helps me understand the target audience.
Hayley: How would you describe your approach to design?
Sylvie : When I was in school I didn’t have actual clients which gave me more creativity and freedom. However, at work I am a team member, I have a boss, clients and product consumers. Designing involves working closely with people, it’s not only about making the product pretty, but making the client happy too.
Hayley: What would you say is your strongest skill?
Sylvie: My experience. I’ve had many internship experiences. It gave me the opportunity to learn about American society and culture. It helped me decide what I wanted to do after I graduated.
Hayley: Do you think that your background in fine art/drawing /painting has been important to your success as a graphic designer?
Sylvie: It is very important to have drawing/painting skill as a graphic designer. Graphic designers do not only use computers, often we need to draw textures that a computer rendering can not express.
Hayley: What do you think is the most fascinating design trend right now?
Sylvie: I think the trend in graphic design right now is minimal flat design. Minimal flat design elements are replacing skeuomorphism. Skeuomorphism means “the subtle representation of a physical object in design”. Simple and minimalist design increase understanding of a product. Technology is getting very complicated. Because of this graphic designers are finding ways for people to understand products without having to spell it out.
Sylvie’s website: http://sylviekim.com/