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elenwinata.com

Duration: After working at Singapore-based design firm Kinetic for two years and ad agency DDB for two years, I began freelancing three years ago.

Location: Singapore.

Education: Associate’s degree in graphic design from the Art Institute of New York City.

Career path: Growing up as a quiet kid, I always drew to escape from the daily grind and as a way to comfortably get my thoughts across—so choosing to major in art at college was one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever made! Having the option to turn what I love doing into something I do for a living is a privilege that I’m grateful for. Along the way, I’ve met many supportive mentors and peers who have helped shape the work I do today. My experience at ad agencies and design studios taught me that the idea is king and craft is queen. Each can’t stand without the other.

The idea is king and craft is queen. Each can’t stand without the other.”

Favorite projects: I’m most proud of the animation I did for the launch of Starbucks’s Cookie Straw in Singapore. When I first accepted the brief, I had minimal knowledge of animating with After Effects; even though I had wanted to learn the software for the longest time, I’d been stalling with multiple excuses. To meet the project deadline, I had to learn it in less than a week—and on top of juggling other projects. This project will always remind me that sometimes you have to take risks, push your own boundaries and not wait for the “right” time to do something. Whether or not you are ready is up to you.

Work environment: As a freelance designer and illustrator, my work environment changes all the time. Sometimes I might be holed up in my room for days, and sometimes I might be working from a coffee shop in the city. This flexibility enables me to recharge when I feel uninspired or drained, which I believe every creative has felt one time or another.

Approach: Having been raised in a multicultural society and having moved between different countries, I can better understand a brief from different backgrounds and apply the design style most appropriate for it. My experience has helped me become a more versatile designer.

Philosophy: Trust your gut. Make your own mistakes. Be successful by your own definition and not others’. Keep an open mind and throw away your ego, because at its core, design is a collaboration and not a one-man show.

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