Guatemalan graphic designer Lucia Colon Yon moved to Beijing to experience the language and culture of her mother’s home country. A graduate of Rafael Landivar University, Colon Yon previously worked at DDB with global clients, such as McDonalds, The Westin, Kia and Avon. In 2006, she began freelance work and started her own company, DNA designs, a reference to her Chinese-Guatemalan culture. With over 12 years of experience, Colon Yon talked about her work with students at the Canadian International School of Beijing.
Sarah Lee, 12, South Korea
Why did you choose this job?
Since I was little, my favorite class was art. I would paint and make cards all the time. I chose this career because it gives me more tools and techniques to improve my drawing and art.
Anton Kalmysh, 12, Russia
Do you think your job is important and why?
Yes, I think so. I think so and I hope so. Graphic design is important to keep my mind working and to feel that I am alive. When you get older, you still need to think like a kid, still think that everything is amazing. And all the time they are bumping us with new images, new designs, new art. You have to be able to catch everything that is coming at you.
Korneli Masanja, 12, Tanzania
Do you make cartoons?
My teacher used to work for Walt Disney. He told me a lot about his experience. Before, Mickey Mouse had his tail on the floor and now the new Mickey does not have his tail on the floor, because he is a clean mouse. It was a very difficult class. My first assignment was to draw 100 pairs of eyes. The next class was 100 mouths; then it was noses and ears. I really like working with cartoons, but right now I am doing more web design and branding.
Anton Kalmysh, 12, Russia
Where do you get your ideas?
First, I have to listen carefully and pay attention to what my client wants. My client says, "I need this, I need that" Then, I brainstorm. It’s important to have your own ideas too. It doesn’t matter if you have a good idea, or a bad idea; maybe something will come from that idea. Your imagination is the best tool you can have as a graphic designer.
Bill Ding, 11,Japan
What should you be good at to become a graphic designer?
Creativity has no limits and you need to use your imagination. You can have a lot of knowledge about art, technology, photography and painting. Graphic design gives you a lot of tools that you can work with, but you can always learn. We are young, and I still have more to learn.
Stella Lee, 12, South Korea
Is it fun to do this work?
Graphic design is fun and you can work with people or by yourself. And you learn a lot. For example, when I had to work for a welding company, I knew nothing about welding, so I had to do research. It opens your mind to help you understand your clients. In DDB, we used to have a pool table in the office. Everyone was encouraged to have fun and create.
Ruby Kau, 12, Hong Kong
Is it tiring to be a graphic designer?
The hardest part is working with tight deadlines. Time is ticking, and we become perfectionists. And when I work with people from Guatemala, who are 14 hours behind us, I stay up the whole night to talk with my clients. But, I have to take care of my clients; it doesn’t matter what time it is.
Salvatore Gabriele, 11, Italy
Which culture do you identify more with, Chinese or Guatemalan?
I may look Latin, but my home and background is more Chinese. My grandmother is very traditional and my mind is more Chinese. You can see in my design that I like using the color red and I use a Chinese emblem.
Jack Hendrix, 12, USA
What’s the biggest thing you’ve done?
DDB works with McDonald’s. I worked there for 6 years before I decided to come to China. But my favorite work involves advertising Guatemala, where we have a lot of social problems and a lot of poverty. It’s a sensitive part of my work.
Abdul Walid Wardi, 12, Brunei
How do you feel about having this job until you’re old?
The best thing in my work is that I really love it. I don’t feel like it’s a job. And when you see your things afterwards, it’s like your baby – you made it and you feel good about it.
Davie Xu, 12, Seychelles
Have you ever wanted to change your job?
If I had to change my job, I’d be a dancer.