We had the good fortune of connecting with Jaylyne Nguyen and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jaylyne, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
– I started making work-life balance a main focus of mine during my second year of college. And I hate to tell you but it’s an ever-evolving entity to master. Even now, there would be times that work gets overwhelming and consumes my personal time. From past experience, planning a rough daily or weekly routine is a good place to start; that way you can be more mindful of how much time you spend on work and how much time you spend on nurturing your personal life. Although, I’m not sure if there is a time where I get to be too comfortable with a certain routine for too long. Every semester is different. Schedule changes almost all the time, especially in a creative field where each project is unique and often runs its own timeline. So, oftentimes, for each semester or each break, I have to reset my routine and adapt it to whatever my school/work schedule would be. The routine might be more consistent later on when I officially join the workforce, but while I spend my last year in college, flexibility and adaptation are things that I have to accept as a part of the process.

– My rule of thumb is to always set out times to have three meals a day, a quick stretch in the morning, and go to bed at a reasonable hour. I like to call them the “non-negotiable” in my schedule: it doesn’t matter how busy I am, my day has to include those essential activities to ensure that I am, first and foremost, physically feel well. When you feel good, you do good, am I right? 😉

– I also try to avoid putting too many things on my plates at one time (fail to do that sometimes). In particular, I’m not about the “hustle” culture that is raved about on social media: having 2 jobs, 18 hours of school, etc. Physically and mentally, I just know that I do not have that kind of energy to do well at all those obligations listed. I have my fair share of ambition of course; there are many things that I intend to accomplish, but I learned that setting priority is also important when it comes to balance. I am only one person, so, to a certain extent, there is only so much that I can accomplish in x amount of time. With that being said, I’d rather spend my energy effectively in a way that if I’m committed to one thing, I want to do it well and to the best of my ability before moving on to the next.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I don’t know where to start hahah. I’m very fortunate to have figured out my calling at such a young age. Again, with the incredible support from my parents, I grow up exploring art with a wide range of mediums: traditional paintings & drawing, photography, dance, film making. Graphic design came into my life later on almost naturally as I transition toward digital mediums. Attending a school that is known for their Communication Design program is an overwhelming pressure to say the least. Most of my works during my time of study range across different deliverables: branding, publication, user inferface, concept construction, motion design, wireframing, and marketing advising. Outside of that, I also keep myself involved with the Dallas creatives community and provide assistant/perspectives for their own projects as well. So, as you can imagine, I am on a schedule almost at all time. However, it’s also from these amazing growing opportunities that I develop what sets me apart from others: a keen sense for art creation and art consumption. I take pride in my hardwork and dedication because I believe talent isn’t all it takes to make a great artist. The process of growing from creating art as a hobby to create art as a career will always be a journey filled with self-doubts and uncertainty. It takes time and devotion as an artist to curate their own creative process, and thus, optimizing it to fit their unique vision. Relationship with oneself also plays a huge role in how artist view the world. Some of the hardest times might just give you the clarity that transcend through your practice afterward. So yeah! My two cents is to just explore what works for you and what doesn’t, learn from your peers, and maintain that fire inside. Because, if there is one thing I want people to know about my story, is that dedication alone will take you further than what you could ever imagine.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Overall I enjoy places that have 1–Good food, 2–Nice sceneries, 3–Not too loud. From past experience, I had the best time when I visit places with the hospitality that allow my friends and I to have long conversations. Some of the food spots that I would stand by are usually true to my Asian roots: Yoshi Shabu Shabu, Ari Korean BBQ, Manpuku Japanese BBQ, Manna Hotpot, Sushi Sake, L&L Hawaiian BBQ. Later into the night, we can go Harvest House for live music and open space bar, or Soju 101 if they want to party it up 😉 Rockledge Park in Grapevine also has amazing sceneries if we decided to wind down with a picnic in the evening.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
– Firstly, I want to dedicate my appreciation to my dear professors from the Communication Design program at the University of North Texas, specifically professor Karen Dorff, professor Steven Zhang, and professor Erica Holeman, whom I have the privilege of taking classes from in the past years. They have shared more than just knowledge and guidance but also ignited and fueled my love for the art of graphic design with much encouragement and care. Not only have they taught the hard skills of designing, they also designed courses that help us explore and weave our own personal interests into each assigned project. My experience in their classes has been nothing but incredible mentorship and growth opportunities. Plus, their office hours are always a delight to attend, and I always walk away with so much joy and passion afterward.

– Secondly, I want to shout out to my friends that I have made this past year, both through classes and through mutuals. Surrounding myself with these particular individuals has honestly been the best decision I have ever made in my *semi* adult life. From vulnerable talks about our life perspectives, sometimes a little TMI of a conversation, game nights, to creative sessions, they all have been an amazing support system for me outside of work and school. On top of that, being friends with some cool classmates in my program really elevated my whole learning experience. Coming to class is that much more exciting knowing your friends will be there, even if we just hopped off of late-night Discord struggle-bus calls. l could not thank my people enough for all that they taught me, and all that we experienced together.

– Saved the most significant folks for last, I want to send my sincerest thank you to my family. My parents, though far away, have been nothing but supportive of my journey here in America, both emotionally and financially. They are one the most genuine, caring, forward-thinking, and understanding people that I have the privilege to know. I am eternally grateful to be their daughter and I hope I’ve made them proud. And to my family here in Dallas, my grandma, aunts, and uncle, I want to thank them for taking care of me and looking out for me, even now that I have my own place. I know it must’ve been a crazy ride raising a rebellious teenager like me back in my high school days, but hey! I don’t think I turned out that bad after all 😉 I think they did an incredible job and I have so much love for them.

Website: behance.net/jaylynenguyen

Instagram: instagram.com/jaylyne.design

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/jaylyne-nguyen

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