Karen Tan Eap
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I spent three years at a Parisian design school called Ecole Camondo and completed my studies at Art Center College of Design in California. I started out with several internships in design agencies around the world: designing luxury apartments in Hong Kong, pop stores and trendy nightclubs at Urbantainer, a cutting edge Korean agency located in Seoul. I also spent 6 months at LVMH between Paris and London assisting the interior architect to design the private home of LVMH's CEO.
How do you stand out in your field?
I grew up in Paris with Chinese parents so I've been immersed in a hybrid French-Chinese culture since birth. I believe my upbringing informs a unique vision of design, conceptualization and taste.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
I'm currently collaborating with an experiential agency in Los Angeles. We just wrapped up a few Comic Con projects in which I designed the branding, graphic, signage, and spatial activations. I am also working on other various upcoming events around California.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
I believe beautiful design should be honest and functional. I have a minimal, sophisticated, classy and glamorous style; but also very soft and discrete. The Nesquik project is a perfect example of bringing a popular brand to a more elevated and sophisticated level.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
I would like to focus on any kind of branding related projects in 2D or 3D, graphic design or environmental.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
The design world is very fast paced, sometime it is frustrating to not be able to spend more time on a project and refine it because of the very tight deadlines.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
I would hire someone to help me with the initial phase of a project like researches and gather insights.
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
After college, I wish I told myself to not be stuck on the idea of finding the dream job. The more experience you have the clearer you will be. Also I would told myself to be open, don't stop to travel, experience, all the imagery and feelings you experience creates your inspirations for the future.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
Having a design education and background, I haven't learned as much about the business side of design so I would like to expand my knowledge in that area.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I'm looking for any projects related to graphic design, branding, environmental, interiors. I'm also very interested in working in beauty, fitness and fashion.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
An ideal client would be someone that is interested in design, communicates well and knows what they want.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
Every project scope and client is different so please give me as many parameters as possible and I can get back to you with a budget.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
Please message me and say hi on any platform then we can grab a coffee.
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
I like to walk around galleries around LA. I also go back to Paris at least once a year to resource, see my family and catch up with my friends in a museum to see what's going on in the design world.
This member profile was originally published in August 2018.