LEGENDARY INTERVIEW

Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Min Lu ("ML") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?

ML : I am a New York based artist who has been creating a variety of art forms throughout my life including graphic design, painting and drawing. I have a MA from Columbia University and has spent time in both United States and China to study art. Being able to have the exposures of both eastern and western culture has profoundly affected the artworks that I make, driving me to create artworks that I hope touches people everywhere.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?

ML : I believe that one of the major responsibilities of artists is to help people not only get to know and understand something with their minds but also to feel it emotionally and physically. By doing this, art can mitigate the numbing effect created by the glut of information we are faced with today, and motivate people to turn thinking into doing.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?

ML : What leads me to the world of Art? When I was little my parents taught me to do the paper-cutting. Paper-cutting was not only a kind of handcraft, but also a piece of distinctive visual artwork. It had abundant means of artistic expression and shows exquisite elegance and luxuriant cultural implication of China. It is a traditional thing which Chinese people do to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The red paper-cutting is a symbol of joy, luck and happiness – I truly believe it – as it leads me to another whole new world - the world of art.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?

ML : many of my artworks still inspired by Chinese culture which I abstracted into a subjective viewing experience by emphasizing line, color, and form. I also draw inspiration from my childhood among Southern China’s winding freeways and mountainous scenery. Many of my artworks have the color sense and formal principles of western paintings, but a spirit and tonal variations of ink that are typically Chinese. By blending the Eastern and Western techniques and aesthetics together, new connections can be made, and an enhanced appreciation or awareness can be achieved.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?

ML : Learning and having exposure to all kinds of arts. Working as an artist has brought me into contact with a wealth of outlooks on the world and introduced me to a vast range of truly differing perceptions, felt ideas, and knowledge.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?

ML : How the designer interpret his or her responsibility and mission as a designer

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?

ML : I think a good design can contribute to social change: Art influences society by changing opinions, instilling values and translating experiences across space and time. Society is facing a lot of different problems all over the world today, but art could be the perfect way to come up with solutions to these problems. After all, art is a way to inspire others while also becoming inspired yourself.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?

ML : Contemporary artists work in a globally influenced, culturally diverse, and technologically advancing world. I think a good design means inspiration, sharing, motivation and the power to stimulate social change in contemporary culture. Sharing: Art represents one of the few areas in our society where people can come together to share an experience even if they see the world in radically different ways. In art, disagreement is accepted and embraced as an essential ingredient. Art can make us more tolerant of difference and of one another, expand our notions of we, and show us that individual engagement in the world has actual consequences.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?

ML : Wu Guanzhong – contemporary painters of Chinese origin. He has painted various aspects of China including much of its architecture, plants, animals, people, as well as many of its landscapes and waterscapes in a style reminiscent of the impressionist painters of the early 1900s. Hayao Miyazaki - a masterful animation creator and storyteller – he illuminated the film and animation industry with his fantastical stunning imagery and emotional narratives. With Miyazaki you get nature and you get moments of peace, a kind of rhythm that is not in the animation tradition so much.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?

ML : I devoted my time in exploring connection between the traditional Asian art and western modern art. By blending the Eastern and Western techniques and aesthetics together, new connections can be made and an enhanced appreciation or awareness can be achieved.

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?

ML : Family and friends

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?

ML : The most challenging part of being an artist is being creative and the most difficult part of the creative process is in letting it happen. It’s not by mistake that some of the best ideas come when you’re in the shower, or driving the car, or occupied in something else rather than trying to come up with an idea. Once you distract the mind by doing something else, you essentially let go of the control, the mind will run with what you gave it, and you may see extraordinary results. But letting go of the controls can be a challenge for many artists. It’s part of the process, everyone learns it sooner or later, and it’s a blessing when the awareness finally comes.

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?

ML : Visualization, the ability to tell a story in a clear, creative and visually appealing way

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?

ML : I am working on the series “24 Solar Terms” The series embodies the concepts of respect for nature, and harmony between man and nature. The illustrations present the solar terms through traditional Chinese graphics and elements (e.g., pomes) which in turn educate people about such intangible cultural heritage. Hoping to create art that touches people and help people not only get to know and understand something with their minds but also to feel it emotionally and physically.

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?

ML : Being able to use my art work to inspire, motivate or has the power to stimulate social change.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

ML : Art influences society by changing opinions, instilling values and translating experiences across space and time. Society is facing a lot of different problems all over the world today, but art could be the perfect way to come up with solutions to these problems. After all, art is a way to inspire others while also becoming inspired yourself.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?

ML : One of the works-in-progress project is the “Type Specimen Book” - The illustration will demonstrate the typeface’s humanistic, natural, ancient and humble characteristics. Spreads including: brief history of the typeface; showcase all the letters in uppercase, lowercase; identifying and illustrating parts of the typeface; highlighting specific characteristic; visual illustration.

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?

ML : It really depends on the projects

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?

ML : Creative brief

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?

ML : Photoshop, illustrator, InDesign.

DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?

ML : Inspirational

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?

ML : Friends

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?

ML : Color: White Season: Autumn

LEGENDARY DESIGNER

MIN IS A NEW YORK BASED AWARD-WINNING ARTIST WHO HAS BEEN CREATING A VARIETY OF ART FORMS THROUGHOUT HER LIFE INCLUDING GRAPHIC DESIGN, PAINTING AND DRAWING. SHE IS THE MEMBER OF THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF GRAPHIC ARTS (AIGA) AND A FELLOW/SCHOLAR OF THE CHINA CENTRAL TELEVISION MEDIA DREAM ACADEMY. HER WORKS HAVE GARNERED RECOGNITION INTERNATIONALLY, INCLUDING PRESTIGIOUS INTERNATIONAL DESIGN AND CREATIVE AWARDS LIKE AMERICAN PACKAGE DESIGN AWARDS, APPLIEDARTS DESIGN AWARDS AND ETC. HER WORK HAS EXHIBITED GLOBALLY INCLUDING UNITED STATES, CHINA, ITALY, KOREA, ISRAEL. HER ARTWORKS ALSO PUBLISHED IN VARIOUS SOCIAL AND TRADITIONAL MEDIA INCLUDE GDUSA AWARDS ANNUALS, ART REVEAL MAGAZINE, CREATED MAGAZINE, APERO CATALOGUE AND ETC. MIN IS A CONCEPTUALLY DRIVEN GRAPHIC DESIGNER WHOSE WORK IS INSPIRED BY HER DREAMS AND EMOTIONAL STATES, WHICH SHE ABSTRACTS INTO AN SUBJECTIVE VIEWING EXPERIENCE BY EMPHASIZING LINE, COLOR, AND FORM. SHE DEVOTED HER TIME IN EXPLORING CONNECTION BETWEEN THE TRADITIONAL ASIAN ART AND WESTERN MODERN ART. BY BLENDING THE EASTERN AND WESTERN TECHNIQUES AND AESTHETICS TOGETHER, NEW CONNECTIONS CAN BE MADE AND AN ENHANCED APPRECIATION OR AWARENESS CAN BE ACHIEVED. WHEN CREATING HER WORK, SHE USES VARIOUS MEDIUMS INCLUDING MIXED MEDIA AND A COMBINATION OF DIGITAL IMAGING AND GRAPHIC DESIGN.


Imperial Palaces Wine packaging

Imperial Palaces Wine packaging by Min Lu

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