Embracing the experimental with the Parsons design and visual communication graduate
When the time comes to start thinking seriously about life after graduation, play and experimentation often takes a back seat. From a creative point of view though, that shift of focus can be understandably detrimental. Parsons graduate Yerang Choi realised this dilemma but felt compelled to use the little time she did have outside of her full-time internship with Imprint Projects, to do something about it.
No More Graphic was and is the response. It’s a place and banner under which Yerang makes work for the sake of making work. Whether the output is illustrative, typographic or colour-based, it’s a means with which she reflects her day-to-day. “A few days ago,” she reveals “I got really excited to see a guy who was wearing a blood orange colour jacket who was on yellow steps.” It may seem an irreverent thing to take note of, but in a world where it’s as difficult as ever to land on a truly original idea, an openness to experimental thinking and making is to be lauded.
It’s an approach rooted in her youth then re-enforced and encouraged at Parsons. As a child, she developed three memorable habits. The first was to collect chewing gum packets “insanely”, resulting in a carefully cultivated book full of them. She also loved moving the furniture around in her home while her family slept. Her parents got quite used, it seems, to waking up to a newly configured house in the morning. Finally, Yerang became obsessed with architectural lines, photographing everything that she could involving them.
While at Parsons, she explored a range of studies including illustration, screen printing, information design and UX design. “It was a playground to me, one where I could experience unexpected processes and results with great professors, mentors and inspirational friends.” Although she’s still figuring out her career path, Yerang is quick to credit the people whose support has ensured that her inquisitive, exploratory nature has subsisted. “My Mom and Juliette Cezzar, the extraordinary professor, who taught me, anything is possible, I just have to do it.” Indeed Cezzar’s influence on Yerang cannot be understated. “Juliette was such a caring and intellectual professor. She pushed me to explore unknown and uncertain areas. I don’t doubt that No More Graphic is an extension of the education I got from her.”
Having been peer-pressured into buying in to the idea that a string of internships was a necessity, Yerang already has Spring Studios and Rational Beauty on her cv. In her time under the wing of Jeanette Abbink at the latter, she worked closely on Questlove’s somethingtofoodabout. “I really value that experience” Yerang explained, “as well as technical skills, I learned some key attitudes and manners from Jeanette, her humble personality and remarkable sense of design are a big influence.”
Hearing Yerang talk about other people’s influence on her, it strikes me that she’s destined to have a big influence on others as well. Sne may just be starting out in the professional world, but if this serves as a timely reminder of the importance to experiment and play, then Yerang will be ahead of schedule, as usual.