We had the good fortune of connecting with Loc Lam and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Loc, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
I think there’s a cliche that all artists, including designers, are introverted people that like to work alone. While there are many introverts in the design world, not very many of them are working alone. Design is a highly collaborative field where it always take a team of people to create something amazing. Being able to work with others is very important in our line of work. Even if you’re not part of a huge team, you will be working for a client to create something together. Designers are the most social of all the artists in my opinion.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I work in the realm of digital product design as a UX/UI designer. That is I designed how you interact with a digital experience and sometimes also get to decide how the interface look. What I love most about design is that it is essentially functional art and is constantly in someone’s life. The street signs, restaurant menus, logos, and how all those little apps on your phone. Design is everywhere and in so many forms. The purpose of design is to make things easier to understand, be more efficient, and help someone does something. As we shift our life to doing more and more things online, design is there to make everything you’ve once done in the real world be as comparable or even better online. And that’s where I come in 🙂
My journey was a bit rocky in many aspects. The first problem was I had no idea what design was. I’ve always thought being an artist is the person that draws all the time. I was always the doodler in class and the ones that always turn in artwork for class assignments because that was better to me than writing an essay. I just knew I wanted to be an artist, but I didn’t know what kind. In college, I immediately picked to be an Art Major and went about exploring different kinds of art disciplines. From the typical drawing and painting, to wheel throwing, textile, 3D, and even mold making. Then I found design and everything just made sense. However, there was a steep learning curve and necessary investments that I didn’t have. Back then, you needed Adobe softwares to create your designs, a printer to print out your designs, a computer that can do all that and won’t crash. Finally, you needed to understand the building blocks of design like typography, the grid, and be mildly proficient in color theory. I try and failed to get into the design program at Georgia State where I went to school because of my lack of knowledge and resources. But those class projects where I created a poster based on the criteria of the assignments so long ago was basically a design project. I’ve been designing this whole time and wanted to do more of that. Not getting into the program wasn’t going to stop me.
Anyone reading this, I want them to know that it doesn’t matter if you didn’t get into the fancy art schools, limited programs, or can’t afford an Adobe subscription. If you have the drive and curiosity to reevaluate the world around you, design is a space for you.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
First, I would need to conduct a user interview and determine their points of interests and past experiences. Atlanta is an amazing place with offerings for everyone. But to make things easier for myself, I’ll imagine this friend is someone similar to me.
Lets hit up the tourist spots: Aquarium, World of Coke, CNN Center, High Museum, etc
Nature Day. Kennesaw Mountain, Sweet Water Creek Park, Piedmont Park, etc
City tour and sight see. I like to explore on foot and go down colorful alleys. We’ll pick a neighborhood and go explore. From Midtown, to Decatur, or EAV, we might hit up a few.
Food tour. We’re definitely hitting up Buford Highway and get some bubble tea along the way. Lunch can be at Ponce City Market where we’ll also hit up the Beltline. Dinner can be at Krog Street Market.
To end with a bang, I’ll try to see if there are any concerts going on. Someone is always touring or playing somewhere.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to start off with a shoutout to Alex Kurth – my mentor/friend/ex-boss. He gave me my first chance to work in the world of design at an agency and I’ve been in the design business ever since. Next is a quote from John Knowles’ book “A Separate Peace” that reads, “There was no harm in taking aim, even if the target was a dream.” It’s just one of those lines that really resonated with me when I read it in high school. I didn’t have the means to go to a fancy art school, but once I knew what I wanted to do, I had to motivate myself to achieve it. That quote became my mantra in a way.
Most recently, I’d like to recognize my current boss and UX Director at Launch: Steve Boulton. He’s always finding ways to push me beyond my comfort zone, but with all the safety nets in place where I fail miserably and still not be a laughingstock.
Finally my circle of friends who keep me sane and entertained through pandemic and beyond.