ArtCenter: What are you working on right now?
Paula Hansanugrum (BA 08 Graphic Design) Executive Creative Director at Chase Design Group:
So many things! At the moment, I’m working on identity, branding and packaging design projects for several brands ranging from food & beverage to healthcare & beauty.
AC: What do you like most about your job?
PH: I love that every day is a new challenge. Our clients run the gamut from major companies to small startups and the type of projects we work on is always changing. I constantly get to learn about new industries, different consumers and their particular design needs. It allows me to stretch my creative problem-solving muscles daily.
AC: How do you define success?
PH: Living life with integrity and intention. It is being brave, working hard, learning, persevering and most importantly, loving what you do.
Master your craft while you’re still in school. You want all that foundational knowledge to be second nature, so you are free to come up with your own unique approach.
AC: Do you have any superstitions?
PH: I don’t! My brain is just too rational. For me, life is what you make of it.
AC: What’s the design cliché you’re most tempted to use?
PH: Less is more. If you find yourself adding more elements to a design, it probably isn’t working. I find that the most elegant solutions are the most clear and simple — when there is nothing left to take away.
AC: What do you do to detox from media and screens?
PH: Meditate. Listen to Dharma Talks. Read. Visit museums. Make a home-cooked meal. Get out of the house and enjoy nature. Go for a drive up the coast with my husband (Aaron Jacob, BA 08 Graphic Design) and our two dogs.
AC: If you could trade jobs with anyone for a day who would it be?
PH: Anyone whose job is to simply bring joy and hope to others by being themselves and sharing what they truly love. Maybe that’s a musician, a painter, a teacher, a travel blogger.
AC: What book is on your bedside table?
PH: I actually have three at the moment…
AC: Describe a moment in your childhood where you first identified as a designer.
PH: When I was in the second or third grade, I found myself designing board games and creating my own short story books. Even though I didn’t know it at the time, the creative wheels were set in motion.
AC: If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
PH: The ability to heal and make people feel at ease.
AC: What’s your most prized possession?
PH: My intuition. The design industry is full of conflicting opinions, ego, data and trends. There’s a lot of noise out there — trusting my instincts keeps me grounded and helps me to make the right decisions.
AC: How would your closest friend describe you?
PH: Caring, warm and empathetic. Hardworking, strong-willed and determined. A messy perfectionist.
Submit the Alumni Q&A questionnaire to share your story. We want to hear about your accomplishments, what you're working on and your advice for future ArtCenter students.
AC: What’s your best piece of advice for an ArtCenter student who’s interested in following your career path?
PH: Master your craft while you’re still in school. Really embrace and hone those nerdy graphic design skills. You want all that foundational knowledge to be second nature, so you are free to come up with your own unique approach. As Pablo Picasso said, “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
When you graduate, look for any opportunity to grow and learn. Go intern. Freelance at different places. Take that job that might not seem like “the best fit.” Have patience and perseverance. Be proactive. Do more than what is asked of you. Stay curious and be a sponge. Often times, you’ll learn things you didn’t know that you didn’t know and all that experience you collect along the way will help you to land your dream job.