EMERGE Designer Feature: Ricky Chiang

Ricky Chiang

Place of Work: Olivet International, Inc.
Job Title: Designer


1. What is your design story so far? How did you get started in design?
I’m still working on the prologue—knew I wanted to study art when entering university and learned more about design as a profession during the second semester. I grew up in Bentonville, have my first full-time gig close-by, been able to work with friends, so I feel pretty lucky.


2. What is one thing you’ve learned in your career so far?
Don’t get complacent—from school projects to work, there have been times I’ve felt like I made every possible mistake during the process, so I try to keep learning and retaining.


3. What is one thing you wish someone would have told you? 
“Here’s how you and all your buddies can make it…”—if only it were so easy for everyone to get to the summit, but I guess that’s lazy thinking.


4. Have you learned anything about yourself/design that has surprised you? 
I think how powerful the tools are sometimes is awesome and surprising—automating actions, stacking appearances, manipulating photos, turning words into experience.


5. Where do you go for inspiration or advice? 
I enjoy browsing AIGA Eye on Design and Instagram. Taking notes from the feed—animation, ceramics, drawing, print—and talking with friends helps the motivation.


6. Where would you like to see your career go from here?
When I was starting design courses, I watched Jose Miguel Sokoloff’s TED Talk about the power if advertising and humanity and understanding. If I could be a part of something like that sometime in my career, I’d like that.


7. What are your favorite books, podcasts, blogs, etc?
The Dispossessed by Ursula K Le Guin is a fantastic novel about different worlds and perspectives, isolation, and home. Podcasts are my lifeblood—99% Invisible, The Allusionist, Design Matters with Debbie Millman, The Potters Cast—to name a few.


8. What is your favorite project you’re currently working on?
I’ve got a backlog of little exercises I want to do—booklets and doodles and one-offs about double standards, candy wrappers, and mental wanderings—but I wouldn’t say I’m urgently accomplishing anything.


9. What role do emerging designers have in our community?
I can’t speak for anyone else, but as a green designer I see and hear about projects/portfolios I want for myself, but I understand it takes time to build that body of work. Emerging designers have to glean as much as possible from mentors, peers, the environment and share those resources and add their own voice for the next group of (probably more skilled) designers.


10. Where can we find your work?
I share on Instagram @skedabber and have a Squarespace portfolio at rychiang.com.



AIGA EMERGE is a national program series designed to empower, engage, and inspire emerging designers of different backgrounds and experiences as they grow their career. For more information about EMERGE, visit emerge.aiga.org.

EMERGE Awareness Week in Semptember 24 – October 3, 2018


By AIGA NWA Communications
Published September 25, 2018