As part of an ongoing series highlighting young talent in the industry, Branding in Asia brings you “One Under 30: Young Creative Spotlight”, a feature focusing on up-and-coming individuals in the ad world.
Next up is Natalie Parengkuan. A native of Sydney, Australia, she is now art director at DDB Group Hong Kong.
Name: Natalie Parengkuan
Agency: DDB Group Hong Kong
Position: Art Director
Hometown: Sydney, Australia
Current Location: Hong Kong
Education: Bachelor of Digital Media, COFA at University of New South Wales – 2012; Master of Communication Science, University of Amsterdam – 2016; AWARD School, Sydney Australia – 2017
How did you get your first break in the industry?
I worked in retouching and graphic design, before I decided that I wanted to work as an agency creative. From there, I went to AWARD School (a course dedicated to helping aspiring creatives conceive fresh ideas) in order to learn the ropes and started building my creative portfolio.
Eventually, I landed my current role at DDB and haven’t looked back since. I’m still really grateful for my previous technical experience because it’s helped me a lot to this day.
What is your personal mantra?
‘Make a start’.
Once a project or habit has begun, it’s always easier to improve draft upon draft, and practice upon practice. It’s just that initial stage that is tough to get through.
From what person, place, or thing have you drawn your greatest creative inspiration?
Can I be greedy and do all three?
Person: Frida Kahlo – I’ve always been especially drawn to her story and her art. She did what she wanted, regardless of what others thought.
Place: Hong Kong – moving here has me constantly experiencing new places, people, food, and overall a whole new way of life – which are all sources of inspiration.
Thing: Podcasts – I’m subscribed to many, and learn something new from them every day. Also, as a purely audible medium, they’re a nice break from screens.
What do you love about the job?
The best part for me is the initial concept stage where anything is possible. I love how ideas spread across a room of creatives, to eventually involving a small village to bring it to life. That initial stage is a real thrill.
What about your job are you not so crazy about?
I don’t like to occasionally see a fresh idea get chipped away in the hopes of making everyone happy.
What is some work you’ve done that you’re most proud of?
The work that I’m most proud of is an activation we did at DDB with anti-slavery NGO, Hagar International. It was a wonderful feeling to put my skills toward such a great cause.
If you had to choose another career what would it be?
Despite my love of podcasts, I would choose to work somewhere behind the scenes in film or television.
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