Secondly, in the year before enrolment, I personally visited AUB and found the staff, including the person responsible for international students, and the department head Phil Jones, very friendly and helpful.
And then, finally, the university isn't too far from London, and the cost of living is relatively cheap. This allowed me to visit the city frequently for exhibitions. I’m grateful that I had a very open and accessible learning environment and that I was able to participate regularly in art events in London. This has also influenced my design style. With the accumulation of my experiences and Western influences, my works have acquired a unique style that differentiates itself from the Taiwanese market.
After studying abroad in the UK, I discovered significant differences in education compared to Asia, which requires self-learning ability. Many times, I worked independently without colleagues or anyone to ask for help. During graduate school, I became accustomed to finding answers and constantly conducting experiments to achieve better results. Another difference is English proficiency. Since I've applied for international awards, reading and writing creative concept descriptions have been crucial.
I began working as a freelance designer in early 2020. My favourite work involved collaborating with the contemporary dance troupe Les Petites Choses Productions (LPCP) on a fifth anniversary newspaper project, and designing a Zhengbin Fishing Port bag.
The newspaper design consisted of two posters, divided into at least six different visions through interactive folding and creative ingenuity. The purpose behind the project was to introduce LPCP in a quick and interactive way. It had to highlight the troupe’s core values, achievements and 14 dancers, among other things. Providing a deeper understanding of LPCP’s identity and values, as well as engaging readers with new perspectives and insights into their work.
These projects showcased many creative ideas and helped me to win several international awards in 2022*, including the Indigo Design Awards, Communication Arts Awards, and MUSE Creative Awards. They're important as recognition of my abilities, and they’ll serve as valuable assets when negotiating with clients in the future.
I have three primary short-term goals for the future. As a freelance designer, I hope to move gradually towards establishing my own design studio, and expand my client base in a more diverse and stable manner. My work often involves assisting clients with brand design, but I’ve never had a chance to properly establish my own personal brand. This year, I hope to create a personal brand system for myself. And then, if given the opportunity, I’d like to work on international design projects outside of Taiwan and put my English language skills to good use.
See more of Daniel's work on his website.
*Awards won by Daniel Shen
- Indigo Design Award 2022 – Promotional Materials (Gold Winner); Magazine and Newspaper Design (Gold Winner)
- Communication Arts 2022 – Award of Excellence
- Muse Creative Awards 2022 – Corporate Identity – Promotions (Gold Winner); Newspaper Design (Platinum Winner)