Graphic designer inspired by grandfather

Jeff Lamson – 
 Arts & Entertainment Editor

Inspired by her grandfather and exploring identity through conscious messages, Han Liu is making her way to be a graphic designer with positive and practical applications.

The junior, studio art major with a concentration in graphic design, said that her grandfather had a big influence on her and was her first inspiration. He was always drawing and sketching she said.

“Whenever we’d go out to a restaurant he’d just look at a random person and just draw them,” Liu said. “And I always thought that was fascinating how he could just take a person and just put them right there on a napkin in front of me.”

He would draw on a pizza box, adding values and dimension to the lettering and Liu followed by adding her own shadows to things. She said that their styles themselves are not necessarily complementary, but if he were to draw a branch she would draw a bird to complement it.

While he focused on people, she focuses on nature, including bugs and insects. She said that she had a fascination with ants when she was younger and would often sit and watch the ant hill and the behavior of the creatures.

She said that taking the time to focus on this or a single tree passed by on the highway, things that many people just brush over, is a good way to remove yourself from how busy everything around you can be. She feels suffocated with how one thing happens after another she said, and that the focus helps.

Since coming to Southern in the midst of the 2016 presidential election, Liu said she has made a conscious effort to learn more about topics such as the environment and politics in general. She said that she has grown a passion for it and follows campaigns nationwide and even writes letters to public officials.

Liu said that she is still trying to figure out ideas and people that she identifies with in this regard and that this effort is making its way into how she approaches her art to make it have more substance.

“So, when I put stuff out, I’m not just putting it out,” she said. “I have a message, I have thoughts and ideas behind it.”

Independent thought and opinions with fleshed out rationale are important to her and that this comes with purposeful personal improvement.

“It’s work that I have to do myself to grow,” Liu said.

While she is still exploring the field, she said she has developed an interest motion graphics with helpful information and positive messages. She said that she views graphic design as visual communication and that she sometimes is not as good with her words as she would like to be, sometimes drawing things out in the explanation process.

It’s more expressive and it’s more effective for me,” she said on using graphic design to communicate.

She said that lot of things can be communicated in motion graphics, sometimes more than just still images, and that it is important that these messages are easily communicated visually between people who may not share the same spoken or written language.

With this in mind she said that she would like to apply her skills in a practical, accessible way with positive and helpful information in the future. “I hope to be more aware of what I’m creating,” Liu said, “the message that I’m sending out.”

Photo Credit: Hunter Lyle


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