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Designer Spotlight with Rui Pu


Get to know designer Rui Pu as he shares his inspiration, musings, and creative path

Tell us about yourself.

I'm Rui Pu, an illustrator and designer who studied illustration in London and now lives and works in China. My clients include Nike, The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, Columbia University, and more. I usually like to incorporate printmaking textures, photographic collages in my work in a playful way.

Which design topics are you most passionate about?

I am passionate about pop culture and "meme" culture on the internet, and I try with experimental and playful approaches in my personal projects based on this. I see creation as an act of attention, focusing on multiple interconnected stories within online communities and individuals. Specific collage materials always attract a specific audience to celebrate with, and that's what I hope to see most whenever I post my work on instagram ;)

Do you have any special hobbies / things you like to do in your free time?  

In my free time I like to take walks, without looking at a map, to an unfamiliar place, it relaxes me. Also I am addicted to TikTok, funny things on TikTok always inspire me.

Share a project / exhibition / creative person / anything that you found recently and sparked your imagination 

I will always have a strong interest in the absurd, the playful, and the colorful. I am a huge fan of Yokoo Tadanori and George Wylesol and Bráulio Amado. Their work has been a huge inspiration for the techniques and narratives I use in my work.

What’s the hardest thing about being a designer?

Absolutely it's getting up early and going to bed early!

What’s the best thing about being a designer?

I can work wherever and whenever I want, which is very flexible. Also, working with different talented designers/art directors from all over the world is exciting.

Who would you love to collaborate with?

Bráulio Amado;)

Describe your dream project.  

Ah, I'm not sure. I'd really like to work with fashion brands though. Want to see what it would be like for someone to wear my designs! I think the turnout would be great!

Share the last photo you took for inspiration and explain why. 

I always capture the absurd yet normal moment in life. They become my inspiration and collage materials XD

What's the best advice you've received (and from whom)?

I think it was my advisor, Leah Fusco, who gave me advice during my graduate program. She encouraged me not to forget to develop my personal projects even as I worked on commissions. The two are separate but also complementary. Personal projects always leave a lot of room to explore my own visual language and way of narrative, then apply it to commission.

What do you do when you feel stuck and uninspired?

Disconnect from work, turn off Procreate and Photoshop, and as I mentioned, go for a walk or browse Tik Tok and do whatever makes me feel relaxed!

Recommend a book / movie / TV series / podcast / playlist to our readers

Infernal Affairs I, Infernal Affairs II, Infernal Affairs III.

Thank you Rui!


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