Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Thienna Ho (TH) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Thienna Ho by clicking here.
Interview with Thienna Ho at Wednesday 1st of January 2014
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
TH: I do not have a background in design. I invented a lip enhancement device to correct my own aging lips. My dad is a gold smith since he was 7 years old. I learn to make jewelry from watching him. My design must have came from his influence and I am very grateful to my dad. Tools were always available for me to use around the house so I take advantage of that and invent things since I was 15 years old.
FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
TH: I have a company now which sprouted from my invention. She is a newborn and I know she is going to be FANTASTIC. She will help people restore and improve their looks. People have been searching for the fountain of youth since the dawn of time and I truly know that my company, CandyLipz, will do just that.
FS: What is "design" for you?
TH: Design is creation. It is what you can grasp with your 5 senses. Design carries a purpose, function, meaning, and beauty. It is everything you see around us and within our own biological construction.
FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
TH: I love to design beauty and anti-aging products. I truly know we can live beyond 120 and we still can look and feel half our age. There is no doubt that in the next ten to twenty years that we can go backward in time and be as young and healthy as we wish. It is also a mind set so we must start there first. This way, we can venture beyond what we now know. We can only break the aging barrier if we believe we can live longer, look younger, and still have the energy of a teenager.
FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
TH: You never really appreciate until you lose it. The simple flushing mechanism of the toilet is my favorite design invention in my home. It is something most of us may take for granted but you cannot live without it. Life would be a nightmare if you are unable to flush the toilet. I learned how terrible this was after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in Santa Cruz, California where I was unable to flush the toilet for 10 days! Everything was hell!
FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
TH: I designed my own packaging for my product. I had so much fun and it turned out as perfect as I expected.
FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
TH: I really have no favorite material. It will depend on what I design. All materials could become my favorite if I need them. If I do not need them, they will go unnoticed even if they are the most useful and beautiful thing in the world. My favorite technology is computer technology. I get to carry out all global business tasks from design, manufacturing, to running a retail internet store with just a click of the mouse. I could not ask for more. This is such a wonderful time to live in.
FS: When do you feel the most creative?
TH: When I am at a dead end or when I am in desperation to resolve an issue which has no possible solution.
FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
TH: For me, I focus on solving a problem first. Beauty can only go so far if the problem is not solved. A product must have a function to resolve a person's need and pain. Once you can solve their problems, beauty in design will be a natural course to take next. Beauty or how the product look will become a brand you want your company to portrait. Thus, this is truly important as the prior if not more.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
TH: I would describe my emotions as desperation to even manic depressive. If one is so content, there is no new venture to gamble or take. We would not have travelled to the moon or Mars, have the telephone or IPhone, aviation, or automobile, for examples, if these creators did not yearn to connect to the unknown.
FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
TH: The complex emotions I can describe feel like a big relief as in sex (orgasm). This may sound strange but I truly speak from the heart. Once you get to tap into the peak experiences, you are on cloud nine.
FS: What makes a design successful?
TH: For a design to be successful, it has to resolve a problem, has mass market appeal, and that it withstands the test of time: meaning it has no competition and it is useful for years or even generations to come.
FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
TH: Bad or good could be quite subjective if we as a population have not reach that level to appreciate it. A designer may journey before his or her time to produce an object that is incredible but if the public masses have no need for it, it is still not good. Good is determined by the masses so society has a saying on this. As for me, the aspect I consider first is function. How it solves a problem. How effective it is. How easy it is to use. Unless, we are talking about design as in Fashion where a design may be to trigger a certain emotional respond: sexy, luxury, modesty, style, etc...). In this case, these designs will have to be judged based on those aspects and how they affect the masses. If a judge can foresee which trends will flourish in the next 5 years, that judge is a genius. :)
FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
TH: From a designer point of view, safety has to come first and I know I must be responsible for the safety of all people who use my product. As a manufacturer, I am also responsible for a clean and green production. I am highly aware of the current situation we live in. I am doing everything I can to produce a green product and to help preserve mother earth.
FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
TH: If we are holographic beings as physicists have discovered, we have to start designing software or application where users can change their environment to which ever they please. If all our senses are taking away, nothing exists. If everything is happening in the brain, we can have a great trip to anywhere we want right in our own home.
FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
TH: I have none yet but I am looking forward to many exhibitions in the near future, worldwide.
FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
TH: I was inspired by my grandfather who used to do cupping therapy to improve blood circulation for health and healing purposes. Cupping therapy is an ancient Chinese method dated back to 3500 years old where you use glass cups with fire to create a local suction on the skin. I combined this concept and added an advanced lip-shaper technology to help shape and contour the lips in way not even surgeons can. Reseachers have confirmed that surgeons cannot correct the aging lips with lip injections or even lip surgery. If you enlarge just the lips, you will get stiff trout lips. To resolve the aging lip issues, you must enhance both the lips and the area above the lips to restore the pouty lip look of a child.
FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
TH: It is modern classic. It is my style really. I think I am a modern classic girl so I think my design had evolved to show my own self image. People always say, this is SO YOU. :)
FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
TH: I live in San Francisco, California. There is no pros and cons about California that would influence my design.
FS: How do you work with companies?
TH: I work with other companies via the internet! I could not have done it if it was not for the computer/internet technology. This life-changing invention. I am so blessed to live in this time.
FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
TH: You need to look for someone who has a passion to change or improve one's life instead of money. Money does not move itself, thoughts move money.
FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
TH: My design process was very simple. I knew the problems that I needed to resolve. Somehow the answers just came to me as though I was given the answers. The solution was just pouring out of me even if I was not thinking. I just knew.
FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
TH: Miele Oven Steamer, Juicer/Blender, Water Filter, Air Purifier, and Mattress.
FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
TH: My day starts with a morning meditation at 7 AM. I work throughout the day until 3 AM. I eat only within a period of 8 hours and let the body rest from food for 16 hours. I get 2 to 3 hours for myself for exercise, bath in hot bath or sauna, get massages, cooking, and get short cat naps of 20 to 30 minutes twice daily. Before bed, I relax with a meditation again before I drift to sleep. That is my day.
FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
TH: This is a difficult question. Many of us do not know what or who we are. You need to know yourself before you know others. Having the ability to see when your peer do not see will put you ahead in life. This means you must sit down daily to reflect on your life and life's events. When you want to do something to draw people, you must see it through their heart, mind, and body. You must know the right action to take. This is how you can connect to people and it has to come from your heart genuinely. If you are unable to do so, it does not matter what field you are in, you will not be able to make it.
FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
TH: Some positives about being designers are we create change in society. We set trends. We move society. The negatives about designers could be that we may be hard to work with at time (not all the time) because not many people can understand us. We can get frustrated and have a temper once in a while. We see the world in multiple dimensions and colors. If we work with someone or be with someone who cannot see what we see, there may be a conflict. This is why artists suffer a lot emotionally. People such as ourselves need to be handled with care and with love. They say ignorance is bliss. If we get to see more, we definitely suffer more. The tradeoff is we can definitely create from our own suffering.
FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
TH: The golden rule in design is to affect the emotional state of another person in some way, bad or good, love or hate, happiness or sad, etc. If you can find a way to affect the masses, you get more notice.
FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
TH: The most important skill a designer must have is the ability see people's need and pain and create changes to fulfill their needs and desire.
FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
TH: My sources of inspiration for my lip plumper invention was a few Wilson's racquetballs, a few white plastic supplement bottles, a few toothpicks, and crazy glue. I used these items to create my first lip-plumper prototypes!!! I cut the top off of the Wilson's racquetball. To create the mouthpiece, I cut out the neck of the bottle and glue that to the racquetball. To create the double-lobed lips, I drilled 2 holes and put the toothpick through the center of the mouthpiece.
FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
TH: It is a passion; it is fun and I never think twice that I was working. I am a bit compulsive so I really had to complete my task. Once I set out to do something, I like to bring it to completion. I can multi-tasking so managing the time to do everything from work to personal life is not an issue at all.
FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
TH: It took me 3 years to refine the product but the design actually formed in an instant. It is just that what you design cannot be realized from manufacturing perspectives so you have to try to adapt to the reality and hope your ideal can still be fulfilled.
FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
TH: How did you come up with that idea?
FS: What was your most important job experience?
TH: I have never worked for anyone else in my whole life. I have always been an entrepreneur. I think running my own business had taught me to learn every aspect of it. I practically know how to do everything on my own. I can put up my own website, set up ecommerce, do email campaign, do sales and marketing, and perform daily tasks necessary to run a company. All these experiences are important stepping stones for me to get where I am today.
FS: Who are some of your clients?
TH: I provide business to consumers. I am in the beauty and health fitness categories. My consumers are mostly females of age 18 to 55.
FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
TH: Beauty and anti-aging designs are my type of work I enjoy most. It is inevitable that we age. I love to stay young and healthy into my old age so I will defy aging any way I can by inventing new products.
FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
TH: My next invention which I am currently working on is to restore youth to the face. BabyFace is my next project.
FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
TH: No. I developed my invention all by myself without input from other people. Once I had my prototypes tested and that they are working for hundreds of people, I hired two engineers to help me create files that were possible for manufacturing.
FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
TH: Yes. I am working on another invention; it will be a product that will restore your face to its youthful appearance.
FS: How can people contact you?
TH: People can contact me at Thienna@CandyLipz.com.
FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
TH: Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share with the world my invention. I am forever grateful.
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