My Linh Mac is a Saigonese multi-media artist, visual designer, and art educator based in Chicago. Mac is best known for her digital paintings, traditional oil paintings, and her series of contemporary ‘galactic/no-brush’ paintings- Ranbu. As an accomplished painter, her works portray beauty in humble places with her signature style of deep and vibrant accent colors. While Mac’s paintings have varied genres, from conceptual, abstract, and figurative to contemporary, her digital and visual design works are commercial.
Mac’s multi-media artworks are represented by Angard Art Hotel, Brauer Museum- in Indiana, Queen Victoria Museum and Gallery- in Australia, Museum of Outstanding Design (MOOD) in Italy, Czong Institute for Contemporary Art (CICA) Museum- in South Korea, and many exhibitions, private collections across the United States and around the world. In 2016, Mac established MMAC Visual Art & Design Studio with the goal of inspiring others through her art and assisting emerging companies, brands, and creative individuals in finding their identities and voices through her designs.
What was your first job?
I got my first job as a freshman in college. Back then, I was known as ‘that kid who can do art’ on campus and one day during lunch, a friend of mine who also happened to be a president of a student organization asked me to design a poster for their Halloween event. I agreed to do it for free and then accepted other similar requests. The word spread and in the following semester, I got an official employment offer for the Office of International Students Affairs as a poster designer. From there, I had the opportunity to engage with people from around the world and unexpectedly fell in love with graphic design and visual marketing.
What’s one thing you wish you knew when you first started your career?
Even when you finish school, your learning journey never stops.
How do you unwind from work mode?
I learn how to ‘live slow’ by picking up healthy habits such as investing at least 3 hours each week in engaging in endorphin-boosting physical activity. I also make an effort to spend at least two hours a day offline so that I can give my eyes a break from looking at digital screens. Without straining my eyes and continuing to be productive, I can make fast notes on my own performance, strategize areas to improve, and sort out issues with a notebook. Doodling, sketching fresh ideas, and taking long walks outdoors can be therapeutic. I’ve also learned that to enjoy life without internet because visual health is just as important as mental health.
How would you describe your personal style?
I embrace being a chameleon by exploring different aesthetic styles. But at the end of the day, I stay consistent with having fun and delivering a meaningful story/message of the brand and timeless aesthetic.
What’s one of the greatest innovations you have seen in your industry?
Without a doubt, AI technology is the hottest talk in town right now. It’s a double edged sword in my humble option. It may be the best tool to improve your performance and make life easier, depending on how you utilize it. If you rely on it too much and neglect your own intelligence, it might also be the worst tool. Remember the purpose of Ai, it’s meant to enhance your skills, not replace them.
What categories are you looking forward to reviewing for the Davey Awards?
Tough choice, but if I have to narrow it down to 3, it has to be:
1) Design & Brand
2) Online Advertising & Marketing
3) Integrated Campaign.