DEPUTY ART DIRECTOR AARP MEDIA, AARP, WASHINGTON DC
During the day Dian is deputy art director at AARP and at 4am you may find her installing window displays and dressing mannequins for the GAP. A former military dependent and the oldest of two, she grew up in the U.S., Berlin and Seoul. In fact, her creative passion continues to be fueled by random jaunts globally to discover new social initiatives, meet intriguing artists and gather inspiration for future projects. Her professional background includes publishing (print/digital), integrated marketing, branding, retail visual display and styling. She is in her 8th year serving on the board of AIGA’s Washington DC chapter, and in that time, she’s paired more than 60 mentors with young designers, and has overseen efforts to raise funds for students with financial needs. Her passions include education, philanthropy, fashion and pop culture. Dian received a BS in Graphic Design/Print management from Florida A&M University and is pursuing a Fashion Marketing degree from Parsons The New School.
WHERE OR HOW DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR DESIGN WORK?
I find inspiration EVERYWHERE. From fashions I see to nature I’m around or found objects I come across ‒ I embrace colors, patterns, textures and silhouettes of all types.
HOW DOES WHERE YOU WERE BORN, GREW UP OR LIVE NOW AFFECT YOUR DESIGN SENSIBILITY OR STYLE?
I was born into a military family in Ft. Benning GA which meant I was exposed to a variety of cultures and beliefs that required routinely adapting to various scenarios. As an adult and now working with publications and media, I learned that editorial could change at the drop of a hat. My background has allowed me to remain cool under pressure.
Pink. Don’t ask me the PANTONE color because I like them all.
FAVORITE TV Shows?
Law & Order, Dateline
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, The Day the Crayons Quit
Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, J.J. Abram’s Star Trek, Steven Soderbergh’s Oceans 11
FAVORITE MUSICIANS OR BANDS?
Jay-Z, Rihanna, Sia, BeeGees, Shirley Bassey
FAVORITE SOCIAL MEDIA?
Instagram, runner up is Twitter
FAVORITE FINE ARTISTS?
Kara Walker, Kehinde Wiley, Donald Robertson, Yinka Shonibare, Yayoi Kusuma
GREATEST STRENGTH/WEAKNESS AS A DESIGNER?
Strength: I can concept 100+ creative solutions to solve a problem or visually tell a story. Weakness: I have trouble editing down those 100+ solutions.
TALENT YOU WISHED YOU POSSESSED?
The ability to speak multiple languages.
ADVICE TO A YOUNG DESIGNER JUST STARTING OUT?
Research. Network. Implement. Also, always be prepared. You never know when or where your next opportunity will come.
IF NOT A DESIGNER, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
A retail buyer, social worker working with PTSD vets, back-up dancer. What can I say, I have a lot of interests.
A MANTRA OR SAYING YOU LIVE BY?
Keep it moving.