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Getting to the Essence of Design with Pum Lefebure, Award-Winning Design Guru
Updated 2020-09-27

In an effort to connect eager learners with industry professionals through its “Masters Train Masters” philosophy, The One Academy had invited six renowned creative experts from corners of the world to share their knowledge, insight and inspiration through the Live International Masterclass: Creativity & Design Online Series.

Among the presenters was Pum Lefebure, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Design Army based in Washington, DC. She is an award-winning graphic design guru who judges some of the most elite design competitions around the world. Apart from winning many of these competitions, she has also worked with the biggest names such as the Academy Awards, Disney, Bank of America, Bloomingdale’s, The Ritz-Carlton, Lucasfilm and PepsiCo. Her impressive credentials and experience has led her to give design lectures and lead workshops across the globe.

Her session titled “Design Your Life” aimed to shed light on the purpose of designers and help them understand their roles in this period of time. She walked the audience through her experience as a designer, her background and the path that led her to where she is today. She also shared the design processes of some of her projects for The Washington Ballet, Neenah Paper, Harper Macaw and rebranding for the Hong Kong Ballet.

When it comes to balancing work and life, she believes in integrating them and making it fun instead of separating the two. She introduces the audience to the ‘black box’ method that she created, splitting the six sides of the box into ‘things that make you happy personally’ and ‘things that make you happy professionally’, and proceed to fill in the top three priorities for each.

“Passion is really important as a creative person. Without passion you can never be a creative designer. Without passion you can’t be good in anything. Find your passion and integrate it into everyday life. The things that we’re passionate about always reflect in our work,” she advised.

She mentioned some of the key qualities to be a successful graphic designer is to be able to articulate an idea effectively, either by drawing or writing. Also, be able to create a concept that is bold and out of the box, and possessing the confidence to present their work and get their ideas out there. She advised the students to “be confident and passionate about your work because it comes from you, therefore it’s unique.”

She added that to be good in anything, one has to put hours into it. Quoting a wise saying from her mother that is still stuck to her until this day, “you have to work on your weakness until it becomes your strength. If you struggle, work on it, then you won’t struggle anymore. It’s as simple as that.”

[The One Academy of Communication Design was established in 1991 with the aim of promoting the region as the world’s center of creative reference. Strategically located in the thriving creative hub of Bandar Sunway, Selangor, with a branch in Georgetown, Penang, The One Academy is today a top notch leading international institute in art, design and creative multimedia, renowned with graduates who steer successful careers in creative capitals worldwide. The courses offered are Digital Media Design, Digital Animation with Game Development, Film Visual Effects, Illustration, Movie & Game Art, Advertising & Graphic Design, Interior Design, Paris Fashion Design & Pattern Making and Fine Arts.]