Too Much Information
Everything you wanted to (and didn't want to) know
You Can't Draw
The very beginning seems like a good place to start. I was born in Queens, New York to two Korean immigrant parents who met at the job that brought them here in the first place. They made sure that I had a proper education, and made sure even harder that I had that extra "Asian" education. The one that happens on Saturdays and all throughout the summer. My childhood was filled with running from school to school to school. Whenever I had the chance, I loved to draw and my parents never understood why. They didn't understand why I loved something I was so bad at.
My parents discouraged me from pursuing art at an early age because they felt that it was too unstable and risky. For them, security was everything. I still doodled here and there, but came to believe that I could never have any kind of career in the art and design world. When it came time to go to college, I took the safe route and went to pharmacy school because it just made sense to the person I was at that time: a teenager with no direction who just wanted make a lot of money and buy a lot of nice things.
Science had always been my weakest subject, but I actually excelled at it once I applied myself. I did well in school and actually came to enjoy what I was learning to a point where I considered more schooling. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I had to start working as soon as I graduated, so I became a retail pharmacist at Duane Reade where I had been an intern for 3 years during my final college years. During my 7 years there, I learned to empathize with my patients and provided personalized customer service for each of them everyday. I never knew that these skills would become crucial to becoming a designer, but now realize what an asset those years of experience actually are.
I Want To Do Everything
No matter what, I knew that I owed it to myself and that little girl deep within to pursue my creative aspirations. I started pursuing graphic design by enrolling in a certificate program because it was something I had always been drawn to. I didn't really know how to start learning the tools, so the program helped me get started, and I just kept going on my own. It was so exciting to be able to create things (some of which can be seen here) , even if some of them were kind of terrible.
So, how did I get into UX design? Graphic design was (and still is) fun, but I wanted to do something more functional, so I started talking to people in the creative field and discovered the field of UX. What attracted me to UX is what a conglomerate of disciplines it is. I am interested in everything. I want to do everything. I love learning and soaking up knowledge however and whenever I can. Throughout my life, I have wanted to be a psychologist, a philosopher, a writer, an art director, an architect, a researcher, a humanitarian, an artist, and more. UX offered me an opportunity to do all of these things. In addition, UX was a field that I knew I could excel in because of my strengths and skills. I have impeccable taste, and am able to quickly sense the wants and needs of others.
I eventually decided to pursue UX design and enrolled in Design Lab's UX Academy. It was nerve-wracking to quit my job of 7 years and to plunge into something new, but I would do it all again in a heartbeat. Never in my life have I ever felt as challenged or pushed so far out of my comfort zone as I have in these past few months. I have developed a strong design process that I am able to adapt to any problem so that I am able to create human-centered solutions. The days have been filled with hard work and I look forward to continuing to learn constantly get better at my craft as my new career advances.
Even after college, I was this scared young girl who was always told that she wasn't good enough to be what she wanted to be and was way too fearful to even consider chasing her dreams. The highs and lows I once feared have become achievements and lessons I have come to embrace. Thanks to a great support system, amazing mentorship, and hard work, I feel ready to dive in and start my new career as a designer.
Thanks for reading and I hope I get to hear your story soon too!
Besides design, travel, and surfing, I love love love tv, movies, music, books, and art. Here are some of the things I'm loving right now.