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A chance connection and a move from Minneapolis

Designer Marvin Chang has been a part of Fresh Produce for almost six months now, and he’s brought with him a unique experience and vision that have filtered into the work that we do. We sat down with Marvin to talk about his journey to Fresh Produce, how he found his love for design, and what feeds his creativity.

Marvin, can you share your journey to Fresh Produce? How did it all happen?

It’s quite a journey actually. It happened selectively and randomly at the same time. So my plan after graduating from MCAD (Minneapolis College of Art and Design) was to apply for jobs locally in Minneapolis. And if that didn’t work out, I’d go a step further and think of places like Portland, Seattle, or the West Coast. So “randomly” because I didn’t think I’d relocate to the state right next to Minnesota. And what I mean by “selectively” is in regards to my connection with Tom (designer at Fresh Produce). We had both been selected for last year’s Command X design competition organized by AIGA. If it weren’t for this opportunity, I wouldn’t even know Tom. We just got along, had things in common, and had mutual friends.

So through Command X, I got to know Tom a little bit and he talked about where he worked. He talked about Fresh Produce’s history and work culture, and how he enjoyed it. So I got curious and visited him in Sioux Falls after the competition, and he gave me a tour of the office. I love that there’s an art gallery within the space… I also got a chance to meet a few members of Fresh Produce and all the conversations gave me good vibes and made me think this would be a good environment to work in. Later on, as I was applying for jobs in Minneapolis and the West Coast, I heard that Fresh Produce was hiring and I got connected with Mike and Ted. I had a few interviews with them and got assigned a small project to work on. I got hired, and soon after got an apartment, a new dog (Marco), packed, rented a U-Haul, and moved here from Minneapolis in early February.

We’re so glad you connected with Tom and he introduced you to Fresh Produce! We’re happy you’re here. So, how did you get into design and what do you love about it?

I heard someone say that a logo is the spirit or soul of a brand and I’ve remembered that line for quite a long time. Imagine a million dollar business where the actual logo did a lot of work for it—it’s just hard to believe that before you’re a designer. So I studied traditional drawing. I think I was in the sixth grade when my mom put me in a training school for traditional drawing, which is hand drawn and pencil drawing with watercolors or oil. So I was trained to be a traditional artist. I did a lot of hand-drawn stuff earlier, but later realized I didn’t see myself becoming an artist, selling the art, or being an art teacher. I was looking for an option that incorporated my creative mind or process while formatting my skills and inspirations together. So I realized that graphic design is something that would help achieve that kind of thinking.

Going back to that quote—I started practicing logo design. The very first logo I did was for my brother-in-law’s friend’s family. He had a media company and was looking for a logo. I’d never done one before, but I’d always wanted to try. He loved the logo and now uses it for everything. He even printed it out really big to put on a wall at his business. I was so proud to see my work out there.

Do you still draw in your free time?

I do draw occasionally. But I do more collage work versus hand drawing now. I find magazines and look for interesting shapes, type, or color, and put together collages, and I post a lot of them on my Instagram. That’s something I enjoy doing. Aside from designing branding or logos, collage work is part of my creative process.

What are some things that give you energy or feed into your creativity?

I get a positive boost of energy from general life things. For instance, my dog Marco. Walking my dog, playing with him, and exploring different parts of town where he can run around. That just makes me happy. Watching movies is another thing that gives me energy. I watch at least one movie every week. I’m a huge fan of films, and actually, one of my dream jobs aside from being a graphic designer is to be a movie poster designer. As far as creative energy, I get that from reading design books. In college, I used to go to my school library and spend an afternoon there. Seeing other designers’ work also gives me creative energy.

What is your favorite Mystic Truth?

My favorite is, “I just love it.” It’s that little word—”just.” It has such a tone and personality. I think that’s a good attitude to have, to not think negatively of things.

How do you live an interesting life?

Thinking positively and paying attention to the beauty of life. Paying attention to the details, who you’re talking to, what’s happening on a day-to-day basis. I believe that the most important person is the person sitting in front of you right now. The most important moment is this moment. The most important thing is the thing you’re doing right now. I always love living in the moment. I think one of the reasons I love dogs is because they live in the moment. I try to focus on what’s happening right now versus thinking too much of something else. That’s helped me see things from a different perspective as well when it comes to design. Treating every project not as what we’ve done similar to it, but instead as an opportunity to try a bunch of new things. That’s where the fun starts to happen.

If you’d like to welcome Marvin to Sioux Falls or want to send him a note, you can reach him at marvin@pickfresh.com