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An Vuong University of Florida

"Because I spent a large part of my life denying my artistic tendencies, I am now focusing on finding my voice as a creative and exploring the world to make up for the lost time."

Tell us about yourself!

Hiya! My name is An Vuong. I’m going to be in my 4th year of studying graphic design at the University of Florida. I became an Adobe Ambassador in fall 2018. When I was a second-year, my friend Jessica mentioned that Adobe had contacted her to assemble a team of students who were passionate about the software at the University of Florida. Interest in the application was high so I had no choice. I battled to the death for the position, or at least it felt that way. Truthfully, I just sat in my room while it was pouring outside and frantically filled out the form with attached work samples. I barely made the 5 o’clock deadline and I nervous sweated a lot that day.

My passions include protecting the environment, storytelling, and K-pop. Because I spent a large part of my life denying my artistic tendencies, I am now focusing on finding my voice as a creative and exploring the world to make up for the lost time. In the future, I would like to become a creative director for K-pop music videos or a designer for K-pop merchandise. The music videos for K-pop groups are always jam packed with visuals and an intricate hidden storyline. You can come to purely enjoy the aesthetics or have the conspiracy theorist inside of you satisfied. The package design for K-pop albums always shock me. I could rave for days about things like paper quality, holographic embossing, and other visual elements. The K-pop fandom allows for lots of creativity when it comes to merch production and design.

This upcoming school year, I am the Fundraising Chair for the on-campus graphic design club, Vox Graphis. Art students make up 1% of the student body population and our buildings are always tucked away in a corner of campus. I once met someone who did not pursue graphic design because they were unaware that UF had an accredited graphic design program. My goal is to raise over $1000 for Vox while promoting the School of Art and Art History by selling student work. At the moment, I’m knee deep in finishing a stop motion animation that I started last year but never finished. If I don’t finish it again this summer…. I swear I’m going to just delete my own kneecaps.

"Take risks. Apply to that job, competition, internship, residency—whatever it is, do it! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain."
I spent an entire month immersing myself in UF’s on-campus mycology club and culture and the result was this digitally illustrated, handbound book! My goal is to debunk the negative psychedelic stereotype that often surrounds mushrooms and fungi. Fun fact: mushrooms are actually great immunity boosters!

Based on your experiences, do you have any professional advice or tips for other ambassadors looking to further their professional or creative careers?

Take risks. Apply to that job, competition, internship, residency—whatever it is, do it! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Panic about schedule conflicts after you have secured the position. As a perfectionist, I tend to not want to step out of my comfort zone until I’m “ready” or 100% sure of how I will complete the project because I don’t want to mess up or disappoint anyone. Unfortunately waiting to be “ready” means I’ll stay stagnant forever because artistic things and life in general are unpredictable. Being sure of everything before starting kills any chance of experimentation and discovery, making perfectionism a crippling disease for all artists. To this day, I am still majorly unhappy with my website and perceive it as a hot mess. However, I am learning to accept my work for what it is. What I am now is not who I will be in the future. So my advice is to get out there! Embarrass yourself with bad work! Disappoint people! Maybe even anger a few people (never intentionally of course). Everyone starts from the bottom so give yourself (lots of) chances to explore, trip, and face plant. Growth is uncomfortable and often preceded by failure. However, you’d be surprised how many people are willing to let you fail [face plant] in their presence. Be kinder and more supportive to yourself.

"Everyone starts from the bottom so give yourself (lots of) chances to explore, trip, and face plant. Growth is uncomfortable and often preceded by failure."
I listened to this one Kpop song that made me sad, so I created a storyline based off of my emotions. My hope is to finish this stop motion animation before the summer ends.

What are some tools or apps you can't live without when it comes to productivity or creativity that some people may not know about?

This is the one time I’m EVER going to say that I like the Instagram algorithm, but it has come in handy for finding inspiration and snooping on the art community. Another favorite app of mine is Adobe Capture. It usually saves me from leaving my studio desk to scan and transfer my sketches. It’s also excellent for capturing textures and transforming them into SVGs that can be used in Illustrator.

Goldfish are compact. In order to make the goldfish anatomy easier to digest for younger science students, I created a poster that broke down the parts into systems that overlap.

Where can we find you and your work?

Don't be afraid to say hi! I love meeting and talking to new people!!

One of my favorite things about coming to UF has been the wildflowers that bloom everywhere during the spring. I created a myth on how these flowers came to be and designed a card game inspired by the storyline. The gameplay based is off of Exploding Kittens.

About This Series...

The Ambassador Spotlights Series aims to recognize the members of our Adobe Creative Club Network (CCN) by sharing their stories and showcasing their accomplishments as students, creators, and young professionals. If you are interested in being featured, or have any questions about Adobe CCN, email us at adobeccn@gmail.com!

About Adobe Creative Club Network...

The Adobe Creative Club Network is a partnership with innovation, entrepreneurship and design clubs on university campuses across the U.S. By collaborating with these organizations, Adobe is tapping into a community of students that are already excited about how they can use Adobe to launch their careers. If you have any questions about Adobe CCN, email us at adobeccn@gmail.com!

Created By
Alexis Le
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