Tiffany Hsu

The Creative Unconscious: What's your name, age, and professional title? Where are you currently employed?

Tiffany Hsu: Tiffany R. Hsu, Age 23, Designer at Civilization in Seattle

TCU: What hobbies do you have outside of your professional field that keep you inspired and motivated to generate personal work? How do they inspire you?

TH: Outside of my profession, I love traveling (although it can sometimes be an expensive hobby) to places that are culturally different and rich. I find inspiration from the things I see, the people I meet, and especially their stories. I feel that spontaneity is super important to my creativity as well. Going on adventures and getting involved in crazy shenanigans with friends always leads to the greatest stories and in turn, some of the greatest forms of inspiration. Most of my ideas come when I least expect it.

TCU: Do you have a hard time balancing being a creative professional and generating personal work that you're proud of?

TH: ALL THE TIME! However, my 2015 new years resolution is to change that. As a creative professional, there are a lot of things we need to consider and there is sometimes a struggle between what the client wants vs. what is actually the best solution or between what I think is aesthetically on point vs. what my creative directors think works better. So in the end, nothing is truly as I had envisioned it. Maybe I should work on my persuasive skills haha. Although, I have temporarily stopped doing freelance work, in order to make time for personal projects I can feel proud of. 

TCU: What time of day do you feel the most creative? What about the most productive?

TH: I feel like I can get pretty creative at any time. Wherenver I'm feeling uninspired,I just go through some of my favorite blogs and get so jealous of other people's beautiful work, that my mind starts generating ideas of how to be better haha. As for productivity, I feel I get the most amount done in the mornings when I have a clear mind and still have a whole day in front of me.

TCU: What are your creative goals for the future?

TH: Oh so many creative goals! Where should I begin?! The following is in no particular order. Firstly, to be my own boss! This might be a while down the road, but this is a total dream of mine. When you work under someone, there will always be office politics no matter how small the company is. There will always be some lines I can't cross and toes I can't step on due to the natural hierarchy of things. But one day, I'll be able to make my own design decisions. Secondly, to start my own curated design store (online first, then one day a brick and mortar store!). Thirdly, to start a magazine (theme and title, tbd...). 

TCU: Are you working on any personal projects right now? If so, can you share a little bit about your inspiration and your creative process?

TH: I'm working on Western Washington University's 2015 BFA show catalogue. It's as a favor to my younger sister (who is in the show) and her classmates. For this project, I was really inspired by Ann Hamilton's show "the common SENSE," which I believe is up at the Henry Art Gallery until April. What exactly was inspiring was not only her work, but the booklets in which she presented the description of her exhibition. It wasn't just a usual stupid brochure that gets recycled at the end of a visit; it was a well designed piece in itself. It's small details like these that make the whole gallery experience more integrated. 

I'm also working on branding a bilingual childcare facility which has probably been the most fun project I've ever had. It's so casual and playful! My designs get to be pretty free form and take on a more natural style rather than the clean-cut, corporate projects I usually take on. There's also a time when minimalism takes precedent, however I love working with lots of color and crazy shapes so whenever I get a chance to take on projects that allow me to do so, I accept immediately haha.  

TCU: Anything else you want to add?

TH: Being a designer is an extraordinary profession.

You can find out more about Tiffany and see more of her fantastic work at

DesignMeghan HoleComment