Suki Violet is a Shenzhen-born, NYC-based multidisciplinary visual designer and her style is based on surrealism. She works as a graphic designer, 3d animator, photographer and art director. Forever curious, Suki Violet explores diverse disciplines and to develop her own unique visual language.
We would love to hear how you get started and how the journey has been so far.
I went to college in Beijing to study visual communication, and because my university was the top-ranked school in China for fashion, I decided to pursue fashion photography – Well, actually I got roped into it to help a friend at first, but it quickly became a more serious endeavor for me as I began to develop a passion for the art form.
In my third year of college, I had the honor of being selected to study abroad in the UK for one semester. As I left the Asian continent for my first time, I became enamored with the natural beauty of the world, and I developed an incessant craving for new sights and experiences, which ultimately led me to NYC in 2017.
I graduated with my MFA degree at the age of 22, and although I am grateful for my education, I felt dissatisfied with the limitations of my studies, so I began teaching myself 3D design. Along the way, I have worked at companies such as TBWA and Mother advertisement agency, and I have worked on projects for major clients such as Adidas, Pepsi, Target, Tmall. I have also worked for NYFS and Lincoln Center as a photographer. As a curious and inspired visual artist, I will always collect new skills to incorporate into my art, but at this point I am competent in graphic design, 3D motion design, art direction, and photography.
Your projects mostly focus on the presentation of surrealism. Do you find a specific reason to address such a theme?
I have always been captivated with the beauty and power of surrealism. My fascination lies in the subversive delivery and portrayal of ideas. The true message of surreal art is never on the surface, but rather it disguises itself and subtly infiltrates the viewer’s thoughts in a way resembling the subconscious narration of dreams, inevitably guiding some deep message out of the subconscious and into the forefront of the dreamer’s mind.
I believe that the human mind needs a balance between well-organized thought processes and unrestrained fantasy. Personally, surrealism has become my most powerful mode of expression I believe that the human mind needs a balance between well-organized thought processes and unrestrained fantasy. Personally, surrealism has become my most powerful mode of expression as I have been exploring my own freedom of creativity and thought.
What is your process like? Do you have any secrets about staying creative?
My main secret is that I write ideas down as soon as inspiration hits me, no matter where or when it happens (our best ideas often come to us at the most unusual times – i.e. in the shower, on the train, etc.). I love to research other artists as a source of inspiration, and so I am always collecting ideas to help me develop my own visual language. Through this process, my list has inevitably grown to include far more ideas than I could ever actually pursue completely, and so I must choose the worthiest ideas for me to transform into reality. Once I have chosen an idea, I start with a sketch or two in order to clarify my vision. Then, I set a strict work schedule for myself in order to transform the sketches into their final form. Depending on the project, this is also the stage at which I often try to gather other perspectives and I sometimes invite my peers to collaborate with me in order to enhance the original idea as we bring it to fruition.
What does “community” mean to you?
To me, community implies a sense of shared responsibility; it describes a relationship between a group of people who all depend on each other for success. Through community, a group of individuals can come together to pool their strengths and expand their influence.
As an inspirational creative, is there any advice you would offer to others？
I would say that the most important thing is to stay curious and look for inspiration in every aspect of life.
Never stop creating personal projects and follow through with each worthy idea.
Creativity should be more important than skills.
What is your future plan as moving forward?
I’m interested in so many different fields like immersive experience, VJ, etc., so it is hard to tell where I will settle in the long term. For now, I want to focus on becoming an interdisciplinary visual artist who combines elements 3d art, graphic design, and photography. I want to pursue that which makes my style unique while also absorbing influence from other artists and from the world around me. Recently, I have been trying to incorporate more traditional Chinese elements in order to strengthen my artistic connection to my heritage.
text & photo courtesy of Suki Violet