Chen Xinyue: Spending Youthful Days on Design, Practice and Public Welfare

Chen Xinyue, a student majoring in Graphic Design at WKU, received offers from Goldsmiths, University of London (Art & Design major, TOP 14 in global ranking), University of Edinburgh, University of Southampton, University for the Creative Arts, University of Loughborough, and University of Leeds. The four years of college make Chen get closer to her design dream.

Graduate of 2023: Chen Xinyue

Major: Graphic Design

Graduate School: Undetermined

Origin: Jiaxing City, Zhejiang Province

Winning Multiple Scholarships and Building up a Design World

When asked about the Graphic Design major at WKU, Chen Xinyue believes that it differs from the traditional teaching of graphic design and encourages students to explore different media and materials in many ways, including paper printing, images, installations and performance art. She thinks the boundary between art and design, though still different from one another, is becoming increasingly blurred, and WKU allows students to try to break this boundary.

The classroom study at WKU focuses more on free creation and innovative design, which inspires Chen to explore more possibilities in graphic design. In such a free teaching environment and mode, she is able to open her mind to design and feel free to do whatever she likes. Though faced with many assignments of long-term projects, she has a sense of achievement when she finally sees the results.

Chen has won the Dean’s Scholarship several times, and she performs brilliantly in competitions such as the 11th National University & Middle School Student Marine Culture Design Contest (the Best Work Award), Micro Charity Innovation Competition, and the Startup Market Competition (the First Prize) during the Co-Creation Week of the university. She is also the winner of the International Pioneer Visual Art Award. From a freshman to an independent designer, she has built her own design world.

Taking Part in Various Extracurricular Activities and Establishing a Flower Shop on Campus

Chen thinks that a university student should try to explore areas of interest as much as possible, never afraid of failure or making mistakes. For three consecutive years, she has been recognized as an excellent RA; she joined the Youth Volunteers Association and Alpha’s Propaganda Department; and she also served as the head of the Food Club. Like many other students at WKU, she takes an active part in different club activities outside the classroom.

During her four years in college, Chen gives full play to her talent in different stages. From the planning and preparation of school activities, she has improved her communication skills. She said, “I need to communicate with peers from different majors in this process where I can keep exploring and learning.” In school clubs, she made her first attempt to try various forms of graphic design, such as the design of the freshman handbook for Alpha, and the Thanksgiving ticket and volunteer certificate for the Youth Volunteers Association. She seizes every opportunity to enrich her life at university.

Also, Chen has gained a lot in innovation and entrepreneurship. In the first Startup Market Competition of WKU’s Co-Creation Week, she created a campus-based flower shop brand and use it as a basis for visual and brand design. This competition gave her and her partners an opportunity to turn the dream into reality with their expertise and earned the first bucket of gold. During the first Micro Charity Innovation Competition of WKU, Chen and her team focused on the care for children with cleft lip and palate. They helped those kids through the creation of a series of cultural and creative peripheral products of WKU Bear, the mascot of the university. In her opinion, design can make a huge difference in the realization of public values and social responsibility.

Shifting From an Operator to an Illustrator and Breaking Away from Tradition

Chen has played multiple roles in her college days, from a teaching assistant for the art joint examination to an independent illustrator, a new media operator, and a designer assistant. She has grown step by step from different internship experiences. These internships enable her to gain a deeper understanding of design and see it in a more mature way.

To Chen, the most impressive experience was the engagement in the visual and material design for the exhibition themed “Zeya Paper Reborn”. This project was jointly planned by faculty and students from the Industrial Design and Graphic Design departments of Michael Graves College. At the exhibition, Chen was able to break away from traditional graphic design and try dynamic posters, which proved to bring more fun to viewers. The theme of reborn art was highlighted in combination with modern aesthetics while showing the appeal of Zeya traditional paper. For her, the best design can provide a solution to a problem, and graphic design can serve other design projects.

In the future, Chen Xinyue wishes to focus her career path on digital media, and she will set no limits on her life. She will pursue a graduate degree in visual communication in Britain and experience the strong artistic atmosphere in London. There she plans to visit more local exhibitions and excellent design colleges.

Translator: Wenwei XIANG