Roslyn Fok has worked hard to become a top-level art director and graphic designer. Coming from a multicultural personal background, Fok developed an early habit of absorbing many different aesthetic styles from around the world.
These days, she works with some of the biggest names around, including huge fashion houses like Chanel, Nike, and Converse.
She has also been instrumental to Hommegirls, a fashion publication that highlights fashion for women who often like to use clothing pieces originally designed for men. Hommegirls has since become a hub for progressive fashion designers.
But Fok doesn’t like to limit her design work, and as you’ll see in our interview with her, found below, that also means that she continues to explore art and aesthetics from many different angles.
It’s all in support of her passion for her work and for finding new and interesting solutions to old problems, whether she’s working with clients or embarking on her own artistic explorations.
When you started your career, did you have a good sense of the expectations clients had for designers?
Fok: I honestly had no idea what to expect and I still don’t really know what to expect. I think that with designers, the range of capabilities and styles along with each client’s specific needs and deliverables vary so much that I’ve kind of learned to throw any expectations out the window and try to embrace the unknown. Additionally, since the technology designers are using is changing so rapidly, the expectations are constantly changing as well. So technological advancements are something that I’ve been keeping my eye on.
On your first few commissions, did anything surprise you about the process of working with clients?
Fok: Each client I work with is very different in terms of their needs, aesthetics, and opinions. I had to learn how to adapt and work with people to arrive at something that aligns with their vision. It surprised me that this often becomes sort of a form of method acting, in the sense that you have to really put yourself in someone else’s shoes and think about their ideals and ways of thinking at times.
Did it take time to figure out how to effectively communicate with clients?
Fok: As a graphic designer, everything within the field is about communication and I’ve found that giving clients many options or visual references is really helpful in terms of helping them visualize the final product and encapsulating the world they’re trying to create. When working in this field, I’ve found that people are visual learners. It’s much easier to show than to tell.
What about design motivates you the most? Has this changed at all?
Fok: Looking at design and art is a constant inspiration for me, and motivates me to produce good work. Additionally, the ability to communicate to the masses and incorporate a diverse range of viewpoints keeps me going with every project I undertake. Ultimately I do try and bring joy to the audience through my projects, and the thought of brightening at least one person’s day with something I made or created truly motivates me to keep doing what I do.
Do you often find the time to work on artistic endeavors outside of your professional work?
Fok: Recently I have been working with physical materials a lot such as clay and different types of paper and printing processes. I feel like stepping away from the computer and interacting with other media can really reinforce and influence the work I do in a digital space and I try to bring in the two as much as I can. It’s been hard to find the time to balance these artistic endeavors with my professional work but since I’ve been spending so much time indoors due to the pandemic, I’ve been seeing more pockets throughout the day to take on some side projects, so that is something that’s been really gratifying.
Is there a specific project that you feel the proudest of?
Fok: I feel most proud of the design of the fourth volume of the bi-annual publication Hommegirls. Designing the different covers and art directing the cover stories and the issue itself was quite an undertaking in a short period of time and it’s been so gratifying to see such a great response to the issues and an embrace of the diverse voices included within the issue as well.
Are there any projects you’re currently working on that you’d like to talk about?
Fok: Since wrapping up with Hommegirls, I’ve been working on a few branding projects that I’m really excited about and also really trying to take on some side projects to help me relax and cope with everything that is happening within the world right now. I’m excited to keep experimenting and see where my designs go and how it can impact my work in the future.
(All images courtesy of Roslyn Fok)