Designer Profile: Claire Xue - San Francisco
Hey Claire! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
A San Francisco based experiential designer and photographer creating lasting memories through immersive installations connecting people outside of the digital world.
What is your background (i.e. education, previous jobs, experiences that led you to create)?
I majored in Fashion Design and Fashion Marketing. Pursuing experiential design happened accidentally. It started when I put on an event with my best friend, Praise, a few years ago. I discovered how much I love working with my hands and unleashing my creative skills. Since then, I’ve been asked to design immersive experiences for events, and I realized how much I love it.
You are an experiential designer, photographer, and stylist - what drew you to working in these realms?
I've always loved Fashion and being creative. I wasn't intentionally pursuing any of these roles. However, things just fell into the places after a while. I didn't know I would be designing for events and pop-ups while I was studying fashion, but again my fashion background has brought a fresh perspective into my experiential design and photography.
What does your creative process look like? Are you normally collaborating with brands or creating work for yourself?
For my experiential design, I usually work with brands, and I create designs according to their brand identities. However, I also enjoy creating something just for my portfolio. Before designing, I start by thinking about my end goals and what message I want to deliver. I then look through past inspiration material that I saved on my phone. Sometimes even photography, outfit, or color stories will spark something in me, and I will hold onto that feeling from that piece and translate it into my designs. It’s like transforming that feeling into a different media.
What does planning and sourcing for experiential design look like for you?
It is enjoyable, exciting, as well as challenging. It is a lot of organization, building and painting, kind work. I source things from everywhere, Facebook market, Craigslist, eBay, etc. and I repaint them. There is also a lot of Home Depot runs, as well as cutting and sanding wood during the building process.
Do you have a dream collaboration or project?
Yes, I would love to work with Sonos someday on an experiential design project.
What are some of the setbacks or challenges you face with your work?
The most challenging part is finding a place to build all my things. I live in San Francisco where the rent is insanely high; I haven't found the best solution for it yet. I'd love to share a big studio with other artists; if you know anyone, let me know.
At The Glossary, we believe in women working together and helping one another. Why do you think it is important for women to support each other?
I think if every woman can share their resources with other women, together we can create a better future and environment for our children to grow up.
What creative women do you find inspiring?
At the moment, I love @gabby_parada. She makes brilliant content for brands. I love her creative direction.
Do you have any resources that have been helpful to you that we should know of?
I make use of Omni to store my event props and other stuff needed in order to build my set out. They do pick up and delivery as well. I found out it was beneficial in my case.
Is there someone who helped shape your career path?
There are so many who have played that role for me throughout the years. I can't thank them enough.
How do you deal with moments of self-doubt?
That is hard, to be honest, I still self-doubt at times, and feeling that I am not enough. But then, I look back to where I was at a year ago. I am so much better at what I am doing than I was then, and I have achieved a lot of things I couldn't have dreamed of doing. I tell myself I have no reason to self-doubt myself.
What are you trying to learn right now or what is something that you want to learn?
I want to learn to be better at time management.
What are some of your favorite places in San Francisco?
There are so many places I love in SF. I love @shoplepoint, a concept shop carrying some independent and contemporary designers. I love Laundré; It is a modern and minimal laundry mat and cafe. I love The Assembly SF, a women co-working space that has a Joshua tree vibe.