My name is Crystal Tam, and I am a queer first-generation Chinese-born American. I am currently a senior pursuing my Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Design with a minor in User Experience Design at Western Washington University. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I have always had a profound connection to the evergreen forests and organisms that surround me. Nature and art have always been a source of comfort for expressing myself beyond boundaries and processing the trauma that I have endured.
Being a deep processor, it is important for me to find the equilibrium between deconstruction and cultivation. As of late, I have been challenging my own socialization and privilege as a non-black person of color. There is so much influence and impact that comes with being a designer. I want to do as much as I can to create positive change in the world. This is why I utilize my platforms and skillsets to elevate underrepresented voices and provide accessible graphic resources to not only educate but to empower others about ongoing social, environmental, and political issues. These core beliefs extend to the work that I produce.
Living in a world that is inundated by information and imagery, I have found my prerogative to design mobile and web experiences that better serve the world and its people. I am also passionate about illustration, typography, and visual/brand identities. Most recently, I redesigned the website for a nonprofit organization called Seattle Audubon, created infographics for social media to bring attention to police violence, and coded a website in honor of one of my favorite artists, Yayoi Kusama. My other joys include analog photography, drawing, fashion, going on hikes in the wilderness, and taking care of my plant babies.
CHECK OUT MY WORK
Founded twenty years ago, April Six is a Business to Business marketing and advertising company. April Sixers are specialists in creating brands, strategy, PR, campaign planning and execution, UX/UI, and digital and website development, media, data & analytics, and sales enablement within the core industries of mobility, technology, and science.
Technology is evolving quicker than ever which is why April Six has expanded from the UK to having global clients and offices in San Francisco, Singapore, Beijing, and most recently, Seattle. What delineates April Six from other agencies is their holistic approach to providing quality service to their clients and maintaining client relationships.
Some notable clients include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Tableau, Docker, and HP. As one of April Six’s first graphic design interns, I had the opportunity to design web banners for multiple AWS campaigns using the AWS brand guidelines as well as develop icons for the internal April Six rebrand.
Over the summer, I became one of the seven people to make up the April Six Seattle team. There is a lot of adjustment that comes with the conditions of living through a global pandemic, interning for an agency for the first time, and learning how to work remotely over the course of just a few months. Luckily for me, I got to work closely with the Senior Graphic Designer, Efrain Leboy, who taught me how to fully realize my potential as a designer and proactively communicate while working remotely. Efrain watched me progress from not knowing how to properly package a file in Photoshop to confidently creating banner designs and delivering presentations for client approval.
Having to work on tight weekly deadlines pushed me beyond my comfort zone but it taught me how crucial it is to be a self-starter and manage my time more efficiently. I was able to streamline a large part of my workflow by learning shortcuts and reorganizing my virtual workspaces in Photoshop and Illustrator. As my skills in these programs grew so did my confidence in my ability to deliver. Being a perfectionist, I put a lot of pressure on myself, in the beginning, to work through my problems on my own. Doing so would lead to frustration, second-guessing myself, and wasting valuable time. I soon realized that I cannot become who I want to be by staying where I am and being afraid to reach out to others when I need a bit of help. This is why I am grateful that my mentors were always there for me whenever I had questions or needed clarification or guidance. After all, the purpose of an internship is to grow in the areas that are unfamiliar, ask questions, and learn from my mistakes. At the end of the day, I am a constant work in progress and I am grateful for how much I grew interning remotely with the amazing team at April Six Seattle.
Dear Efrain and Chan,
I would like to take a moment to express my deepest appreciation for the support and mentorship that you both provided me during my time interning for April Six Seattle. I would have never anticipated completing my first remote internship with a better community than that at A6. From you I learned the importance of communication, bringing curiosity, rebelliousness, and emotion to problem solving that will carry with me throughout my career.
Thank you for being there for me, your pep talks, help with projects, constructive feedback, and sharing your personal design experiences with me. You modeled what it means to always put forth your best work, be an advocate for your ideas, and to trust the process. Words alone cannot express how much I value what I learned from my experience being an April Sixer and your mentee.