Creativity Out of Crisis: Q&A with Siqi Xu
I had the pleasure of chatting with my colleague, Siqi Xu, Motion Graphics Designer and Art Director, to talk about her experience creating all the video content for the United Nations Foundation’s Giving Tuesday Now campaign. The campaign is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which particularly hits home for Siqi since her family is living in Wuhan, China while she is based out of New York. She opened up about her experience throughout the COVID-19 crisis and why this campaign is so special to her.
What is your role at VidMob, and how long have you been at the company?
I am the motion graphic designer and art director at VidMob. I’ve been working at the company for over a year now.
How did you learn about the company?
After graduating from the School of Visual Arts, I started my career as a freelancer. Being able to collaborate with a wide variety of post-production studios, I was able to experience different work environments with pros and cons. When I landed at VidMob for my first job, everyone was friendly and kind to me. From the start, I felt respected and trusted to express my full potential. So, here I am!
What inspired the creative concept behind the Giving Tuesday Now Project?
As a motion designer, I constantly remind myself that my job is not only about the technical capabilities to create the "coolest" design, but it's crucial to realize the power of the message. Giving Tuesday Now is about global unity, gratitude, love, and how much we can do for society as individuals. It is extremely important to send out messages of hope and unity. We are all in this together, and together we can overcome anything. For the motion design, I used illustration as visual elements and animated them in a cute and loving way to bring warmth and optimism. Elements, characters, and perspectives are always in motion revealing the text and creating an engaging atmosphere for the audience. To make this visually compelling, I chose a mixed color palette of teal and blue for the background and warmer tones for the animated characters.
Your family is so far away. What has your experience been like throughout the COVID crisis?
I’m the first one in my entire family to live and work outside mainland China. Right now all of my relatives are in Wuhan. My father is a doctor and he has been on the frontlines, fighting COVID since January. Since then, things have changed very fast. In Wuhan, quarantine was recently lifted after three months and things are slowly getting better. My dad, mother, and younger brother are healthy and safe—that is what matters the most. I can't say that I got too much sleep in 2020, but thanks to the support I’ve received from my co-workers, I always stay positive.
Why was working on the Giving Tuesday Now campaign particularly special to you?
This is a real, life-saving campaign. I believe everyone involved in the Giving Tuesday Now campaign has contributed to the communication of a very positive message, and so many people will benefit from it. This campaign has been important from a professional and personal standpoint. Inspired by the persistence and hard work of my dad, Dr. Xu, I find it necessary to stand up and offer some help in any way I possibly can. We are in this together and each one of us can make the difference, starting with social distancing, donating, or giving to health care organizations. I like this Tweet from Gov. Cuomo: "Socially distanced, spiritually connected." That is how I feel now.
Giving Tuesday Now is a day about global unity, gratitude, and love. What are you most thankful for today?
Nowadays, I’m thankful for everything, literally. I feel thankful that all my family, my friends, and people I know are healthy. Furthermore, my grandpa had a successful surgery and is recovered and in good health. I’m especially thankful to my dad. He is my hero now. He showed me courage, bravery, and empathy. Not only did he protect my family, but he also saved so many lives. In addition, I feel thankful to VidMob because they continue to protect us employees and are providing support to clients and freelancers whose lives are affected by this pandemic.
VidMob recently won the Inc. Magazine award for Best Workplaces. What do you love about working at VidMob?
I’m not surprised VidMob won this award. After over a year working here, I feel blessed I’ve joined this big family. First, I love our company culture and that we collaborate with professionals from all over the world. A diversity of ideas is key to our success. We have great leaders who really care for their employees. They took a series of responsible and right actions to protect us during the pandemic. Knowing my family’s situation, I received a tremendous amount of support and care that I’ll never forget. I’d like to name a few: Jason, Alex, Jill, Brian, and everyone on my team. They gave me so much strength to help me get through a very difficult time.
It’s a great feeling to work in a company where everyone not only pays attention to the work they do but also cares for each other as a team member.
Last but not the least, our kitchen is always full of snacks, fruit, and berries, all thanks to Brian Keller!
For more information on Giving Tuesday Now, visit: https://now.givingtuesday.org/ and to learn about VidMob Gives, visit vidmob.com/vidmob-gives.