Close Up with Art Director and Graphic Designer Phu Nguyen

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.

My name is Phu Nguyen. I am a Senior Art Director and Graphic Designer. Design and creativity are my passions and I take great inspiration from all aspects of design and art.
I posess over 20 years of experience in the creative advertising industry .
The main aspects of my role involve the development of creative concepts and ideas and turning these into memorable, influential advertising campaigns.  I have designed and worked as an art director on many major  campaigns for accounts including; Subaru, Freedom Furniture, Merivale, Eukanubu (major dog and cat brand), Barbeques Galore, Dick Smith, Sydney Central Plaza (Westfield) and many more.

Who (or what) inspires you to do what you love in your own creative business?

I am inspired by a number of elements of design these can include simple things like the appreciation of design elements in my local community whilst walking my dog to the great masters including Monet and Picasso.  I have a great understanding and appreciation for abstract works and a great deal of my inspiration is drawn from this style.  Andy Warhol’s bold and innovative approach to art and design also inspires me.

What are the five words that people who know you would use to describe you?

Bold, humorous, honest, sociable and aware.
Little Daisy

Tell us about your very first job and what path have you taken since then?

My very first job was working in my mum’s restaurant I was the dishwasher when I was 14 years old. This job made me realise that I wanted to follow a path that I was passionate about.  I have always loved to paint and draw, ever since I was a little boy.  I have been fortunate to find my calling which was a graphic design course I did in which I graduated with honours at the top of my class. Since graduation I have worked for many of the world’s top agencies including; Leo Burnett, The Foundry and Cumming Agencies. I am cuurently employed as a Senior Graphic Designer at Merivale which is australia’s leading hospitality & restaurant group.

Describe a typical day in your studio space?

My day involves from anywhere from 2 to 5 creative briefs from a vast range of venues under the Merviale umbrella. My role is to strategize creative ideas and concepts and link this in with the company’s vision and branding.  I also brief other designers and set tasks and manage all aspects of the project including deadlines.  The programs I use are indesign, adobe illustrator and photoshop. My job also involves briefing photographers for photoshoots and  taking briefs from clients.

Can you please tell us about how do you connect with other artists, and your customers (i.e. how do you network)?

I work from home on Friday, the rest of the week is onsite at Merivale’s head office in Sydney.

What advice can you offer other creative people who are just starting out and following their passions?

Believe in what you do and your talent, be patient, listen and most importantly show everyone respect.  My greatest set back has been to work too hard previously and not have a good work and life balance.  Now I have that and I feel so much better for it.

What dreams do you still want to achieve or fulfil in your life?

I would like to one day own and run a successful design business and to have many satisfied clients which I enjoy working with that share a similar passion and enthusiasm for design.

What is your proudest moment so far?

Winning back to back agency of the year for a company 5 years in a row. This was for Cumming’s  Agency and Studios.

Who do you most want to meet and why?

I would love to meet Madonna, because she has survived one of the toughest industries and has an amazing ability to re-invent herself and her brand and continue to entertain many generations.

What is the most important lesson in life that you have learned?

The most important lesson I’ve learned is to not be afraid of something new. Wether it’s a new job, meeting new clients or a change in career. At the end of the day believe in who you are and your abilities as a creative person.

What book are you reading right now, and do you have a book you would like to recommend?

Luke Nguyen’s Indochine, I highly recommend this book and also his sister’s book titled ‘The secrets of the Red lantern’.  It traces their family’s life through their journey and passion with food and cooking. It’s a beautiful book with lots of amazing photographs of Vietnamese recipes and cooking.

Where do we find you and your creative services? (list stores & links, websites )

Mr Phu Nguyen
3/83 Marriott St Redfern
Portfolio available upon request.
Vinh Van Lam
the authorVinh Van Lam
Vinh Van Lam, co-founder of ArtSHINE, is a visionary art coach and entrepreneur with a passion for fostering creativity. With a diverse background in art and business, he brings a unique perspective to empower emerging artists, enabling them to thrive in the dynamic art industry through the innovative platform of ArtSHINE.

1 Comment

  • Good to read about how you have progressed in your art skills from those days of old joey banks well done for persuing your passion

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