The Pursuit of a Creative Life: Jennet Liaw

“It’s very American to think, ‘what do you want to be?’”

Jennet Liaw is a product graphic designer at Nike, a job she’s had since late 2015. But she’s more than just a designer. She’s a role model to many, especially Asian American women, who dream of following their dreams versus doing the responsible thing.

In this episode, she shares feelings about going against the grain and finding success.

It’s a common stereotype—and sometimes, occurrence—in Asian American households that you choose a career that is safe and secure. A creative career is quite the opposite.

“There’s a perception in this community that pursuing creativity is selfish.” Accepting that you are going to do a creative job, according to Jennet, is an entire journey in itself. She’s aware of those who grew up from different backgrounds and the contrast in advice given.

Jennet always knew she was an artistic person and that she would pursue the arts as her career. There’s often an added pressure when you’re “choosing who you want to be.” Jennet’s advice? “Chill out.”

At the time of this recording, Jennet’s only been out of school for four years. She’s been at Nike for at least two of these years. So what is Jennet’s secret to success? The ability to push past perfect.

So many artists and designers refuse to release anything on social media until it is just right. But Jennet didn’t come on to Instagram to use her profile as a gallery for her art. She was using it to tell the story of her art. This attracted over 30,000 followers to her account since she created her profile.

Jennet’s carved a successful path for herself by sticking to her passions and sharing what feels right. She notes that the process of creating her designs is what she loves most, and that surrounding yourself with other creatives who give feedback and collaborate will only help to take you higher.

Keep up with Jennet Liaw by following her on Instagram.