Youting Lin uses humour to help bring her designs to life

Using animation to communicate her ideas, Youting Lin often takes inspiration from everyday conversations for her short films and graphics

Designer and animator Youting Lin first became interested in the world of design as a teen through album covers, MTV graphics, movie title sequences and Japanese commercials. 

“Those vibrant graphics in motion gave me a huge surge of inspiration and triggered me to dig deeper,” says Lin. “Two of the most influential magazines in my life were WAD and IdN (those DVDs that came with IdN magazine are still sitting somewhere in my house). They played a key role when I was just dabbling in design, they were very helpful for me in understanding design.” 

Lin has just finished an MFA in computer art from New York’s School of Visual Art and she’s now freelancing in the city. “I feel like I got swayed by new fad skills and tendencies, which made me try to include too many aggressive things in one single piece of work,” she says of her time studying. “But I also found them transient. Now I think It’s more important to keep a fresh eye and approach things in my own genuine way.” 

As a result, Lin has adopted a “less is more” approach and her work is a graphic mix of clean linework with enlarged geometric shapes and figures, all in a poppy colour palette. Creating memorable images is a key part of the designer’s practice and she enjoys using animation to help bring her graphics to life.

“I really enjoy the process of turning stillness into motion, sometimes even the unfinished parts can be the most fascinating,” says Lin. “I also love to combine everything together (just like how I cook!) and make some digital experiments.”

Among the experiments, in Lin’s portfolio is a short intro celebrating 100 years of Bauhaus, a self-portrait for a design studio and her biggest project so far, her graduation film. Titled A Big Crush, the film is about romance, sex and desire, all from a woman’s perspective.

While only the trailer has been released for now it showcases Lin’s skills perfectly with neat but unexpected transitions and amusing crops. “Before I hop onto practical work, I think about funny ideas from my daily observations,” Lin says of her creative process. “A Big Crush is about emotions and sex, and it was simply inspired by the conversations with people around me.” 

Lin’s work is often centred around humour, not only because it helps push her work to be a little bolder but also because she wants to bring joy to the people who see her work.

“I feel like a playful sense of humour is the primary emotion in my work,” she says. “I hope people have fun when they see my work.”