Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Yuke Li ("YL") 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?

YL : I came to New York in 2017, and I started my MFA Illustration Program at the School of Visual Arts in 2018.

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

YL : I take design, drawing as a way of communication. Since you know this language, you want to use more, and the more you use, the more you like.

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

YL : It is my own choice. Actually my parents didn't quite understand what is art, what is design. The were worried about my profession at first, but this is my choice, and they supported me at last.

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

YL : I like kids related fun project.

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

YL : Try different things. Be curious all the time. Gradually you will know yourself more. Then you know how to present the best part and unique part of you.

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

YL : Good or great depends on how big the picture you can see for yourself.

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

YL : Good designs make life easier, or just simply easy to understand.

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

YL : Good design brings people efficiency or joy.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?

YL : I am very much into package design. I love pack gifts myself. When I am packing I can feel the joy of opening it. I am thinking of making a gift box for kids.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?

YL : My dream project would definitely be doing something related to wild animals.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?

YL : Don't lie to yourself. Respect your own feelings. Reject the work if you feel no connections. Work as hard as you can, if you say "yes" to a client.

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

YL : There are tons of designer, artist I like. Such as Marshall Arisman, James Jean, Alexandra McQueen, Gareth David.

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?

YL : I always like MUJI. About those products on shelf, I feel they belong to me, and I want to take them home.

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

YL : A good design is simple, and it is clear and understandable.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?

YL : See more and practice more is the key to get improvement.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?

YL : I would like to be a chef.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?

YL : "Design" is a visual language which easy to understand, and it has emotions itself.

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

YL : My mother encouraged me a lot. Even though she is not from art industry, she understand me.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

YL : My friends and all the friends on Instagram inspired me a lot.

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

YL : There was a period of time, I felt totally empty that I cannot come up with a single idea. I guess that is a time to take a break.

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

YL : Any kind of way is good, as long as the designers is honest to themselves.

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

YL : I have a book idea about cat. Somehow I think cat is a person, and it will be an interesting project to discuss a personality of a cat.

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

YL : To be active all the time.

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?

YL : People may want a same good stuff, but definitely not the same stuff. I think people want fresh air all the time.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

YL : As a illustrator, designer, what we do will magnify the idea, so first we should be careful of what we are doing. Second, have a faith and do something helpful and genuine.

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

YL : I have a book idea about cat. Somehow I think cat is a person, and it will be an interesting project to discuss a personality of a cat.

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?

YL : I worked with an author once. It was a nice experience. The author liked my previous work very much. When I design a book cover for her new book, she gave me freedom to explore the layout, and we communicate with respect.

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?

YL : I wonder if design can expend to more area.

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?

YL : I think it will become more abstract. like designing a life style or a way of doing something new.

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

YL : It depends on the project from a day to a month.

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

YL : I usually start from researching.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

YL : Less is more.

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?

YL : I believe they works together. They stimulate each other and grow.

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?

YL : It is an element of a design, which could be crucial important or just part of the whole project.

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

YL : Photoshop, Sketch, Procreate.

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?

YL : Different colors and materials make a specific ambient.

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

YL : I prefer people ask me about the background and approaches.

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?

YL : I want to see every details of the works, figuring out how the designer did it.

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?

YL : An ideal design partner must be complemented with each other. Let's say I am goo dat graphic design, you are good at typography.

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?

YL : The kind of people get rid of sweet words often helps more.

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?

YL : I look at design Annual a lot. In the book there are all wisdom.

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?

YL : Be serious with every works, including personal works. Before you star everything, spend enough time on research. Then ask opinions from friends from time to time.

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

YL : Alexandra MCQueen. I am curious about every piece of his designs.

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?

YL : It is. I am not sure I am famous. All I know is if you don't think about it, it will come to you.

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

YL : Blue. New York. Spicy food. Late spring, animals. MUJI

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?

YL : I can't think of an experience, but I remember a joke that I can't help thinking of it all the time. One day, a cat caught a mice. The mice beg for mercy. The cat said, OK, but you have to answer me a question first. What is one plus one? The mice hesitate, one? Then the cat sighed, you know too much I have to kill you. End of the story.

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?

YL : A good sleep fills up my enthusiasm. Thant is how a good design start. If I have too much work, I'd say, after this I'll have a goos sleep.

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?

YL : I don't think so. The thing I remember is that I didn't want to focus on textbook, or I couldn't.

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?

YL : I think THE MATRIX will become reality sooner or later.

DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?

YL : I like craft, making craft. Also I like cooking. Maybe I will open a restaurant in the future.



Wonderful Picnic Picture Book

Wonderful Picnic Picture Book by Yuke Li

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