Meet designer from Hong Kong, Lorraine Mak.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi, my name is Lorraine Mak, I am a communication designer based in Hong Kong, focusing on Photography, Branding and Art Direction. I graduated from Hong Kong Polytechnic University, School of design and my major is Visual Communication. I was the lead graphic designer at NATIVE UNION, an award-winning product design company focusing on mobile accessories market.
Describe the city you’re living in and what it’s like to live there.
Hong Kong is my hometown and I have been living in there for 25 years. Hong Kong is a small city but you can get everything in this small but diverse place. It is mixed with Chinese and Western culture, no matter the architecture, transportation or even the people are really international.
What is the best and worst thing about living in your city?
The best thing living in Hong Kong is definitely my family, friends and also the FOOD!!! There are tons of choices you can get from the street which is super convenient. And there are lots of hikes and beaches if you like outdoor activities! Also, the pace of life is quite fast, things changing every day and you need to have the capability to adapt to the things around you. There’s just one thing I don’t like about Hong Kong which is during the holiday season, there are too many tourists and it’s too crowded on the streets. But I’m really lucky to live in this place.
The best thing living in Hong Kong is definitely my family, friends and also the FOOD!!!
Give us 3 words that describe what it’s like to be a creative in your city.
Hong Kong is close to China so it’s easier to keep track of the production and it’s so much easier to work with them. Also, pricing is also really cheap and reasonable compared with other countries.
I think there is some improvement for Hongkongers in learning how to appreciate design. In Chinese culture, I think Design is not as valuable to them as western cultures. I think one of the reasons why is because there are too many counterfeits made in China and it’s too easy to get one. So there are fewer people would buy the original design and respect it.
- Hard working
Basically, most of the timelines are quite tight at work but most of the designers in Hong Kong are really hard working, so we will work overtime to get work done so I am proud of being part of them.
How did you start your career in art?
When I finished my degree in Poly U, I started my first job in a design agency for 3 months but I found I wasn’t really fit at that company. And one of my friends introduced me to join NATIVE UNION and I love this company so I stayed for 3 years.
Were the people around you supportive of your decision on working as a creative?
YES! Most of the people are really supportive about what I’m doing now especially my family, they had given me 100% support oneverything so I’m really grateful to have them in my life.
On the other hand, my former company NATIVE UNION also supported me a lot. They have given me a lot of freedom and opportunities to explode my potentiality so I’m really happy to work with them.
Most of the people are really supportive about what I’m doing now especially my family, they had given me 100% support on everything so I’m really grateful to have them in my life.
What are some goals and ambitions you have for your future work?
Try to do your best no matter how hard it is and don’t be afraid of being taken advantage. Try to do extra work with no return. In my previous role, I was the leader of my team so leadership is very important. I needed to be a role model in order to lead the team. So I think to do my best is one of my ambitions in my life. I think getting people’s respect and appreciation has more worth than your position or how much money you earned.
In the future, I would like to explore more of the design industry and not just focus on a product design company. I quit my job 2 months ago and I’m trying to explore more on the design industry. I’m excited to say that I’m going to Singapore next month to start my new career and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen in this country.
If you could collaborate with any person in the world who would it be?
I would like to collaborate with Wes Anderson. He’s a filmmaker and he is the director of my favourite movie — The Grand Budapest Hotel. I really admire his aesthetic style, art direction, and creativity.
How would you describe the women around you?
They are independent, funny, and inspirational women.
Were there any local female creatives that you looked up to when you were growing up?
Not really, I will say every female is a role model. We influence each other so everyone is very important.
I will say every female is a role model. We influence each other so everyone is very important.
Are there any challenging aspects of being a female in your industry?
I wouldn’t say challenging, but there are some inconvenient parts of being a female at work. There is some risk of safety if you are traveling alone to China for factory visits or you might need to carry those heavy photography equipment stuff but there’s never a big problem at work. Working in Hong Kong, all genders are equal so there’s no difference being male or female.
Do you have any advice to young women who are aspiring to work in your field?
Don’t be afraid!! Do whatever you like to do. Girls can do everything a man can do. Don’t forget to stay positive even though you are stressed. You influence people around you every minute.
Photos courtesy of Lorraine Mak.