interviewed: perry chan.

 

I met Perry while working at a digital agency in New York City where he was gracious enough to allow me to capture his daily looks. He is an Experience Creative Director currently based in NYC, soon-to-be in San Francisco.

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Hi Perry, can you tell us what type of work do you do?

I want to say that I’m an Experience Solutioneer. Experience now touches everything, digital and physical. It’s interesting being in this realm because there’s both a research and strategy aspect to it. Then turning that into something creative and tangible. It can be anything from a wireframe, to a storyboard, to an animatic or a prototype. Whatever you need you need to tell the story.

We’re in this insular world right now where we’re focusing on web apps, mobile apps, tablet apps, etc. That’s why we need experience designers to tap into that new horizon. It’s fascinating to me that our discipline continues to evolve. It’s always different. Five years from now, there will be a different sort of paradigm for interaction.

That’s the long answer to what I do. It doesn’t even really explain what I do (laughs).

Is there is a project in particular that comes to mind that made a special impact in your career?

I think there were a few along the way. And sometimes it’s not an entire project, but an aspect of a project. One of my more memorable projects is creating digital signage for Bank of America in Time Square. They had acquired a smaller bank at the time and there was an opportunity to do something really cool with the notion of “play”. I took a team to Time Square’s Father Duffy Square and mapped the pattern of the day, where the crowds are, and how they come and go over time. We then created an interactive experience similar to video-tracking game experiences. The User’s play got captured and it was projected live on a giant BMA. Then people were able to participate even though they weren’t right there where you were.

It was memorable, even though it didn’t end up going live. I always think that the process is very important. As cliché as it may be, it’s not where you end up, it’s your journey along the way. Earlier you asked about some of the philosophical approaches that I have in what I do. That would be one of them. It’s always about the journey, never just about the end results.

Are you active on social media?

No, I try not to be. I’ll post a picture here and there, but things like the News Feed and all that, I just can’t deal with it. I may read a few updates, but I can’t get past three or four.

 

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Where do you look for inspiration?

I don’t frequent as much as I’d like, but I find inspiration at dance performances. Specifically, Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane Dance Company. They’re really prolific because they start from a story. Bill T. Jones will think of a theme and then write a story around that. It’s usually addressing some social issue or something in his life. Then their entire choreography happens around that story. It inspires me to think differently about my work.

I also get inspiration from yoga. Yoga is a life-long learning process, but some of the tenants of yoga, the breathing and the flow, and the notion of letting go, and being in the moment; it’s truly inspiring to me.

Architecture inspires me as well. I have a blog, called littlediggs.com. I love the idea of small space living. It’s applying experience design to a spatial environment. Learning how people do the things they need to accomplish in that space. How they store waste, create storage, create space for entertainment, work, etc.

You’re obviously well-versed in the digital realm. What do you enjoy doing or learning about in the physical realm?

I try to stay away from the digital realm as much as I can at home. I just like to be outside, doing things I don’t necessarily have to be doing (laughs).

 

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So how would you describe your personal style?

I feel like it’s always evolving. I would say it changes probably every five years or so.

Do you collect trendy or more timeless pieces?

I would definitely say timeless item. I’ll mix and match very different pieces to create an outfit that I like. Some stuff I’ve had for years. I don’t know what makes me decide what is timeless. Timeless for me is quality.

I’ve noticed that you frequently accent your daily looks with a pair of glasses or a unique hat.

I didn’t always wear glasses, because frankly, I didn’t need to. But now I’m like, “Hell, now that I have to wear them, I want something different.” And I’ve always been a hat person. You’ll notice that my hats are a little “off”. The color is what people notice first, but I’m actually more interested in the silhouettes. To me, that’s what really makes the piece stand out.
I’ve always been interested clothing in general because I grew up with three brothers. I’m the third out of four so I always got hand-me-downs. I had to do the best with what I got and get creative.
So you had to make it your own somehow?

That’s where that comes from, and I still have it with me.

What would you say is the most challenging thing for you as a creative person?

I think the most challenging thing is being in this space where you need to be okay with ambiguity, not knowing. There’s a discovery phase, an exploratory moment during all creative processes. Sometimes for what seems to be quite a long while. But like I said before, it’s more about the process, what you learn along the way.

Lastly, do you have a personal motto or mantra that you live by?

I believe that everything has its perfect timing. I feel like we get overwhelmed sometimes with this drive to be something, to be someone, to have things, to be in a certain stage in your career, etc. We’re always wishing for things and when it doesn’t go our way, we get disappointed or think less of ourselves. The best that we can do is just to throw things up into the universe and see how it comes back to us. And the way it comes back is how it’s meant to be for now. Focus on your passion and the things that you’re doing now. Do a kick ass job. Things will come, things will come.

 

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the perry project.

This is the Perry Project. It’s actually very simple, really. Perry is a Creative Director at our New York office whose personal style I adore. This is my attempt at capturing it. I will be creating a collage of his everyday looks and hopefully follow up soon with a more in-depth, interview-esque conversation, so you can get to know him more on a personal level. For now, I leave you with this first glimpse into his everyday.

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interviewed: denada design.

denada

DeNada Design / Virginia Arrisueño
www.denadadesign.com

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What is the meaning behind your work/brand?

The meaning of DeNada simply means ‘You’re Welcome’ in Spanish. When I was trying to figure out what to name the brand, I wanted to show people the connection between my designs and where I’m from. I chose a name that is Spanish but is easy to pronounce, remember and represents who I am.

What is your background? Did you study fashion?

I went to school at the University of Maryland for a thesis program in Fine Arts. I graduated with a concentration in Fiber Arts. I had always had an interest in the fashion industry, but I never thought I would become a fashion designer. Along with my huge passion for the arts, I was also excited about the business world. Soon after graduation, I started my career as an artist and quickly realized that it really wasn’t for me. So I sat down and asked myself what truly makes me happy that I can make a living on at the same time.

I got a job working for a handbag designer who taught me the ins and outs of design and gave me the opportunity to learn from her business. After working with her, I realized I wanted to start my own business. I couldn’t see myself working for someone else forever. Since I had this love for design as well as business, I took some business classes that led me on the road to launch DeNada. I actually first started with a handbag line and slowly moved onto knits, which is what I focused on in college.

Wow, there’s quite a big difference between handbags and knits. How did that come about?

I just re-examined my business and asked myself where my heart was aligned. And it wasn’t 100% there where I wanted it to be. So I started experimenting with my roots -fiber art. I developed a few different styles and created small capsule collections of scarves and I showed them to a couple of stores here in DC. They had a great reaction from the consumers and it sold really well. Next, I took them to the trade shows and the buyers loved them as well. That’s when it hit me. It just felt right.

Large Knit Cowl *photo by DeNada Design

Large Knit Cowl
*photo by DeNada Design

Infinity Skulls *photo by DeNada Design

Infinity Skulls
*photo by DeNada Design

Can you tell us about your collaboration with artisans from Peru and the skills they have that you can’t find here in the states?

I want meaning behind everything I do, even with where the production is done and how the knits are made. Peru is where I’m from, where my family’s from and I wanted to nurture that connection. Peru is really known for their quality in the production of knits and the outcome has been fabulous. And the fact that I can travel there and spend time with my family is always a plus.

What is your creative process like? Where do you get your inspiration?

I don’t have one specific thing or place I look towards for inspiration. Everything around me has the potential to move me. But a constant source is music. When I’m alone and I feel comfortable to draw and design to the music, that’s when I feel the most inspired. Poetry, music and nature. When I’m walking with my son and my dogs, I try to see things that most others may overlook.

Your husband is also an extremely talented artist as well as a local favorite. Do you draw inspiration from each other? How does he inspire you?

Kelly and I are complete opposites. His work is gritty, of course, in a good way. He’s your typical dude, and his work revolves around graffiti. The type of art he creates and things he draws inspiration from is different than mine, but he inspires me every day. Whenever I’m designing something, I always ask his opinion.

Woven Shawl *photo by DeNada Design

Woven Shawl
*photo by DeNada Design

Shrug Open Wave   *photo by DeNada Design

Shrug Open Wave
*photo by DeNada Design

How do you feel about the Asian market? Do you have any plans to expand?

The Asian market has really embraced our designs and the response has been very positive. Our Japanese clients love the cowls and tend to go towards the more experimental designs. I appreciate that.

I’m sure you are busy enough to fill up two lives, but do you have any other creative outlets besides your knit line?

I love photography. I used to spend time experimenting with photography and fiber art when I was in college, but as the business got more and more busy, it’s getting harder to make time for it as I would like. I try to maintain the blog since it’s always been a great way to keep up with my love for photography.

And why DC? Why not any of the other typical, more larger creative hubs?

I love this city. This city’s so beautiful and I love that I have this amazing space to work in that’s right next to my living space. My family lives a quick drive away, which is amazing. And DC is a rapidly growing city; it’s changing. And that’s so exciting to me. There are always open possibilities to move elsewhere, whether to a different city or out in the suburbs, especially with my son growing bigger each day. But for now, I’m extremely happy and busy where I am now.

DC has its own identity. It’s never going to be like New York or Los Angeles. DC’s unique charm is that the creative community is not as robust as those other cities so everyone knows and is so supportive of one another. It’s wonderful to be able to live in a city where you know these awesome designers, editors, boutique owners, artists, etc. We collaborate all the time and it’s a lot of fun.

What are your next plans for the future?

I want to expand to a kids’ line and I want to establish myself as the knit designer. In DC, I want to be able to support other small businesses and really try to promote design and the arts in the community.

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Check out DeNada Design’s newly launched site and all the pieces of her hot new fall/winter 2013 collection.

DeNada_3 Read More

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