Jiali Ou, Graphic and Brand Designer

Jiali Ou, Graphic and Brand Designer

Jiali is a graphic designer and web developer. Find her at pbdengraphics.com 

What is your morning routine?

My morning routine starts off with hitting snooze about three times. I wake up to very soothing music (from my i-Phone) which is a great start to my morning. I get dressed, brush my teeth, and put on make-up. I pick up coffee on the way to my studio, and that’s when my work day begins. From waking up, to leaving my apartment, it usually takes about half an hour.

Tell us about your career path?

My career path began during the summer between my second year and third year at Ryerson University. I started freelancing for a medical professional who needed help developing a website. At that time, I knew very little about web design and development, so the saying is really true: fake it till you make it. From there on, I’d pick up small freelance contracts throughout my final years at university. Following graduating from Ryerson, I freelanced for roughly six months before I decided to go into corporate design. My first full-time graphic design job was where I met Amanda. I tried in-house graphic design and quickly realized that wasn’t for me, and promptly resumed freelancing and haven’t looked back.

What challenges do you or women face in your industry?

As a graphic designer, I honestly haven’t faced too many challenges, except for creative challenges. Some jobs I take because I need to pay rent, and some I take, because it’s creatively satisfying. The clients that I have never once mentioned my sex being an issue, and the majority of them are based on referrals, so they already have an understanding of who I am as a designer. That’s the great thing about being a freelancer, I get to pick the people that I want to work with.

What advice would you give to girls who want to be the NEXT you?

My advice to be the NEXT me? You have to have gumption and patience. When I was younger, I wanted everything now, now, now, and I wasn’t ready for that. It made me miss out on the journey to get to where I am now.

How do you separate work life from your personal life?

The reality is I don’t separate my work life from my personal life. I can’t just walk away at 6pm and continue on with my night. I do give myself personal time, like an afternoon of just fussing about, or going out with my friends for dinner, but those are small moments.

What inspires you?

Fashion inspires me. I don’t want to work in the fashion industry, but the work that the fashion industry produces is awe-inspiring. For example, McQueen had a hologram of Kate Moss in one of his shows, so I pitched that type of concept as a music video, and now we’re in the process of developing it.

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