If you haven’t heard of DREW NG-HOW-TSEUNG before, you've probably already come across Stocksy United. Unlike other stock image providers, Stocksy has a truly original selection of relentlessly creative photos and footage. We sat down with Drew, Stocksy’s creative Director to talk about his career path and his role at Stocksy. Without further ado enjoy the following interview.
How would you describe your childhood? Did your early experiences make your curious or interested in design or creativity in general?
Pretty standard beginnings for a graphic designer. When I was little I loved drawing: mostly weird monsters, fake tattoos on my friends, and mockups of video games that I wished existed. When I was a greasy teen crustpunk I think I might have loved the band logos, and badly screen printed patches more than the music itself. At the end of high school people would ask me what i’d be studying in college and I usually answered with a shrug. So I went to the guidance counsellor and she said “how about graphic design?”. I didn’t even really understand what graphic design was until my third year of university.
Could you describe your trajectory so far and the path you took to get where you are today?
In the immediate aftermath of 4 years of art school - I was feeling burnt out on design in a pretty naively cynical way, so I gave my resume to a friend to give to the cool coffee shop she worked at. But instead she submitted it to a local artist-run-centre who were looking for some design help - and that’s how my career started. Since then I’ve worked at small design studios and in-house for larger organizations with the usual fun freelance projects sprinkled in (ie. unpaid gig posters for indie rock bands). One of my early jobs that had a big impact on me was working as a teaching assistant for a university design program. I somehow wormed my way into this job that is usually reserved for masters students - but it was eye opening to see things from the other side of the lectern. Plenty of the students had loads of raw talent, but helping them mould that into real visual problem solving skills was crazy rewarding. It also forced me to reflect on myself at a time when I was getting comfortable coasting on a keen eye and good taste. Having talent is a lottery - but tempering it with sweat, curiosity, and kindness have been absolute necessities for my career.