Art + urban planning + cultural bridges

I think I’m finally seeing these bridges come together:

1) I like drawing, and physically designing objects with my own hands.

2) I’m interested in urban development, with a focus on transportation and urban design.

3) I believe in developing stronger cultural bridges, particularly between China and The United States. However, not through the form of diplomats (IR), but rather through culture, through things people with relate with, such as food, music, language or art.

Career wise, this leads me to a lot of different opportunities that I’d like to pursue. However, I know for a fact that it is unlikely that I will be pursuing an entry level planning job initially after graduation. Reasons: high levels of competition and very little jobs available. However, if you’re aiming for a senior level position, while it’s harder to get the position, by the time I’m older I will have more experience and be more competitive. This is why I am open to doing non-planning positions as long as you can develop the following skills: reading/writing reports, public speaking, project management, and graphic communications.

However, let me rephrase my interests to a sentence that represents me better:

I am transitioning to be a graphic journalist with a focus on transportation, urban design, and environmental issues in China. My tools: illustration & animation.

Realistically speaking, this will have to be freelance (I’d like to contract my work for larger news agencies). Initially, I plan to be in Taiwan/Korea after graduation, likely teaching English, while on the side, honing my craft. Building up experience, working, enjoying life and really maturing, I hope to become an urban planner later in my life (i.e. early 30s), focusing on transportation planning / urban design, my medium is through expanding public engagement and civic awareness, after building up strong visualization and communication skills. (don’t want to plan to much, but this is my general direction)

Something I’ve also learned this week is the importance of work-life balance. (almost got burnt out a few times this semester) I want sort of an outlet to really get myself away from my work so I don’t get too stressed or hurt myself. Thus, in my spare time, I’m practicing my erhu, or learning how to cook Asian dishes.

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