.

If you're just starting out, work hard, be a team player and act humble. Attitude and personality will go a long way in this industry. 

Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

Hello, I'm Adam Chang a freelance art director and designer.

During both my freelance and full-time career, I've had the privilege to work with many great clients and agencies such as Big Spaceship, Your Majesty, MTV, Macy's, Ogilvy, Sony, and HBO among many others.

What do you do for inspiration?

I like photography and traveling, I think those two go hand and hand. So when I have the chance, I try to do that as much as possible. 

Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

I'm not sure what my favorite sites are, but the ones I visit the most are Twitter, Google, and VSCO.

How do you relax or unwind?

Nothing like some good ole' whiskey.

If you weren't working on the internet what would you be doing?

I would love a job where I just travel the world experiencing different cultures and documenting it. In other words, Anthony Bourdain has my dream job.

What's your favourite part of your job? What's the hardest part of your job? What do you do when you get stuck?

My favorite part is coming up with ideas and concepts and designing and creating the initial direction. 

The hardest part is right before the end. That period when you just have to grind through the numerous and sometimes endless rounds of small edits and tweaks.

When I'm stuck, I just step away from the computer for a while. If time allows, I'll sleep on it and get back to it in the morning. I find that usually helps out a lot. 

What's the longest you've ever stayed up working on a project?

I've definitely pulled some overnighters working on projects in the past. But I know others have done that on back to back to back days which is incredible.

Has winning FWA awards helped you in any way?

FWA has always been a huge source of inspiration in recognizing and awarding the best sites out there. To have worked on a few projects that won an FWA just shows that hard work pays off.

What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?

Haha, it was pretty bad, but I wish it were still online. I think it was basically a carousel of project images, and the main background was this vintage ripped looking wallpaper, it was all done in Flash. It's something to think back on and get a good laugh.

Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?

I have not written a book, but I have thought about it. I've been freelancing for a long time now and have lots of experiences, mostly good, and a little bad, that I think might be helpful and interesting to others.

What was the last digital effort you saw (or were a part of) that used social media in a way that really made sense. Why?

I don't recall what agency created the campaign. But it was for Domino's Pizza, and you can order a pizza just by tweeting a pizza emoji. I think that was a brilliant and fun concept.

Of all the websites you/your company have produced, which one are you most proud of?

I worked on many great projects with amazing clients and agencies, but the one I'm most proud of is a personal project, nytrainproject.com

It's an online tour of all the subway signs in NYC. I've spent countless hours riding the trains, photographing and re-illustrating the signs, reading facts, designing the site, etc., and I have only completed two of the four boroughs so far. 

The responses and exposure has been really humbling.

What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?

Although I went to college and got a degree in Digital Media, I consider myself primarily self-taught. 

The program at my college was in it's 2nd year when I started, and the instructors didn't seem to be knowledgeable about the latest technology and developments as far as web and interactive design goes. They would basically give us an outdated book and say read this and do the little project at the end of each chapter. At that time, Flash was just coming out, and I would see things online that I thought were interesting, and when I asked about it, no one seemed to have a clue what I was referring to. I think the program only lasted a total of 6 or 7 years before it was taken out of the program. 

I remember spending a lot of time in the bookstore looking at Computer Arts magazine for inspiration and reading O Reilly books on HTML. So from my experience, I definitely think someone can get into the field without having gone to design school. That being said, I have some friends who have taught at design schools so I know there are some really good ones out there.

If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring FWA award submitter, what advice would you give them?

If you're just starting out, work hard, be a team player and act humble. Attitude and personality will go a long way in this industry. 

What would be your ultimate vehicle to travel in?

One of the Spinner cars from Blade Runner or Falkor from The Never Ending Story.

How do you keep your finger on the pulse of the latest web trends?

I have a daily list of sites that I visit to see what's going on.

There must be a project that you have always dreamed of doing, what is it?

I would love to work on a project related to travel such as Lonely Planet or an airline.

What is the most expensive thing you have bought in the last week?

I recently got rid of cable and purchased an Amazon Fire TV.

Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

Don't take yourself too seriously 

It has been a privilege, thanks very much

Thanks Rob for the interview, I really appreciate it!


Links

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NY Train Project
NY Train Project

MTV Artists
MTV Artists

Audi Secret Lab - Created with Red Paper Heart
Audi Secret Lab - Created with Red Paper Heart

Glaceau - Designed at Big Spaceship
Glaceau - Designed at Big Spaceship

Illustration for charity
Illustration for charity

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