Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It Starts With 12

Urbana 12 is just over a year away! We're already working on promotional materials. The first piece I worked on is the "rave card" (ie: flyer/handout). I was excited that my idea to make it circular was approved. Here's the final piece:


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Meet Laura Two

I’m excited to announce that the design team welcomed a new intern this month! Laura Medina (we’re referring to her as Laura Two) graduated from the University of Missouri and most recently worked as a designer for a music and culture magazine in Atlanta. I’m very grateful that she has joined our team, not only for the extra set of eyes and hands she provides, but also because she brings a lot of experience from the design industry beyond InterVarsity. Please pray that we would adjust to the new dynamics of our team and work well together over the next year.

Here are some photos we took of our new team of four!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Saving the Next Generation

Check out this insightful post from the national InterVarsity blog about how churches can invest in young people.
"The next generation doesn’t need more programs, louder music, or newer church buildings. They need someone to walk with them and help them grow in their faith."
 Read more here.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Settlers of Catan, College Edition

Recently I designed a board game based on Settlers of Catan for a different Fall Conference in southern Illinois. The game, “Snackers of the Dorm” used candy like Hershey Kisses and Starbursts, rather than brick, sheep or ore as in the original. It was used as a training tool alongside the Gospel passage about the rich young ruler. Students had fun while also learning about what it means to make choices as a follower of Jesus.

the board game uses the original hexagonal shapes. instead of ships it's vending machines. instead of the desert, it's a library. :)
in order to build a "mini-fridge" one needs a Rolo, Hershey Kiss, Goldfish cracker, and Starburst.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Behind the scenes at a conference

top - David running lights, Dan running sound; below - me running ProPresenter & PowerPoint, Steve running the switcher; Matt is not pictured because he took this picture!
My experience at Compelling was especially unique because it was the first time I've worked as part of the technical support. Twentyonehundred was asked to provide support with sound, lights, camera, and screens - basically, everything that you need to produce a professional conference. This was especially important since the conference has grown over the years. With 700 students in one room, it's important that everyone is able to see the speaker, hear the speaker, and therefore stay engaged during the main sessions.

my station at our tech table. those headsets were uncomfortable!
 At first I felt a little useless since I know very little about running a conference from a technical standpoint. But by watching my teammates David, Dan, Steve and Matt, I learned things like the names of different types of cords and what they are each needed for. I climbed a tall ladder and adjusted the lighting that hit the various parts of the stage, and set up the headsets that we all used to communicate with each other during the sessions. In each session I was in charge of advancing song lyrics and also keeping track of the speaker's PowerPoint presentation and letting Steve know when to switch from the presentation to the video feed which showed his face on the screens. These are the kinds of details that perhaps most people would not realize need to be thought about, but they are nonetheless vital for pulling off a successful conference.

Compared to the craziness of registration and administrative tasks I'm used to doing at conferences, this job was a breeze! I'm grateful to be on a team where I can learn new skills and serve in different ways. It was even kind of fun!

A Compelling Experience

In October 2000 I attended my very first InterVarsity training conference. I remember learning how to study the Bible in a way that opened my eyes and heart. Realizing that my relationship with God had so much room to grow significantly impacted me then, and has shaped the course of my life ever since.

Eleven years later, freshmen continue to encounter God in meaningful ways at their first InterVarsity conference. A few weeks ago I had the privilege of participating in and witnessing this at Compelling, Michigan’s annual fall conference. With nearly 700 students in attendance this year, it’s clear that God is using Compelling to bring many students to a new understanding of his love and purpose for them.
Close to 700 students from all over the state of Michigan gathered in Lansing for Compelling
Reconnecting with old friends from my former region was, simply put, good for my soul. I loved hearing about all the growth and new work that God has been doing around the state of Michigan. I also met new staff, including the woman who now runs Compelling’s registration. I was excited to see the process I created 5 years ago improved upon, as she dealt with more than double the number of students!
Students spent time in "tracks", receiving practical training in areas of Christian life such as prayer, spiritual disciplines, Bible study and evangelism. Topics such as relationships, life after college and homosexuality were also featured in some of these tracks.
The most special moments for me, however, were conversations with students. I loved reconnecting with AIV, now almost a completely new chapter. The seniors were just freshman the year I left! I had a great conversation with one particular student looking for a way to merge his interest in graphic design with his passion for ministry. During the free time on Saturday, 2100 invited interested students to talk with us about our internship program. It was exciting to meet 8 students with a wide variety of skills and interests in media communications.
Over 60 students from AIV participated in Compelling
At the end of the conference I sat in on AIV’s chapter sharing time and heard many students testify to God’s work in their lives over the weekend. One student who suffered from depression for years finally had the courage to bring it to God and receive healing and peace for the first time in her life. Another student addressed a certain sinful addiction and felt a deep sense that the Holy Spirit had truly removed it from his life. Other students mentioned newfound truths they learned about God and exhorted one another to be passionate about his mission on campus. The time ended with wonderful heartfelt prayers of thanks and praise from many students. It was clear to me that the Lord was with us in that time.

Overall the conference was a huge success, with at least 15 first time decisions to follow Christ, and hundreds of other decisions to follow Him in new ways. It is hard to quantify the significance of weekends like this, but if these 700 students experienced anything like I did eleven years ago, I know that God has accomplished great things. Praise God for his faithfulness and power at Compelling and other conferences like it all over the country! Students are encountering Jesus and being empowered to take the Gospel to campus.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Sometimes I get to work on a project that doesn't require me to stay as close to the InterVarsity brand as usual (ie: colors, choices of font, logo, etc.). I'm currently working on some designs for the Asian Pacific Islander Women's Leadership Conference which is sponsored by InterVarsity's Asian American Ministries, Epic Movement (Asian American branch of Cru), and Asian American Christian Fellowship. Since it is not an InterVarsity-only event, the look of the conference can have its own identity.

One requirement that had been given to me with this project is that the look should be visually inviting to women of South Asian and Southeast Asian descent. Typically Asian American designs can lean towards the more prevalent East Asian influence (using lots of red, for example). Another brainstorm was the image of an orchid - to symbolize thriving in hard places. (The conference theme is "Leadership over the Long Haul").

With those 2 ideas I've been working on some designs and I'm super excited about what I've been working on so far. I gathered some images of Southeast Asian fabrics which are full of vibrant colors, as well as intricate patterns using fairly simple shapes such as squares, diamonds, and triangles. It's been really fun to go a little outside my normal sphere of limitations and explore possibilities.

a screenshot of my computer monitor

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Who are Asian American college students?

Asian American Ministries from AAM InterVarsity on Vimeo.

Check out this video about Asian American college students animated and edited by my colleague David Hui.

The narrator's voice might sound a little familiar to you too. ;)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Food that fills, fruit that lasts

AIV students preparing to serve free bubble tea - they served over 1500 students!
AIV students at North Campus barbecue where they gave out free burgers to 800 students

I recently designed a tshirt for AIV, the chapter I worked with at University of Michigan. The concept behind the design stems from two images of Christ in Scripture: Jesus, the Bread of Life, the source of true satisfaction, and Jesus, the Vine, from whom we bear fruit as we abide in him. Together the bread and grapes represent communion, a symbol of Christ's body and blood. It is only through Christ that we find "food that fills" and we bear "fruit that lasts".

It was fun to be able to participate in their New Student Outreach events in this way, even though I am no longer there. Continue to keep students and staff in your prayers during this season of meeting new students and introducing them to Jesus!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


click to view full size
I just designed this donor report which gets sent out to everyone who gives to InterVarsity. This edition is espcially interesting as it contains some data on this past year of our ministry. One of my favorites: 2,615 new believers this year! Praise God for all of those students and faculty who entered the kingdom!

Click on the image to see some of the ways God has been at work on campus thanks to you and all of our donors!

(Note - the annual report link is not yet live. if you go to the link shown on the report, you'll be directed to last year's report. I'll let you know when it's up! It will include much more information as well as some stories and videos about God's work through InterVarsity this past year.)

UPDATE: the Annual Report link on our website is now live! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First Asian American Banner Printed

I designed a banner for Asian American chapters last year, and today I printed and trimmed the very first order! Special shout out and thank you to Christian Chin at University of Washington for ordering my banner design!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Change the university, and you change the world.

click to view larger
Recently I created this infographic in honor of World Assembly. Isn't it quite amazing that only 13% of the world's college students are in North America? It certainly gives you perspective thinking about the 18 million students that InterVarsity is seeking to reach here in the US.

I'm so thankful that InterVarsity is part of International Fellowship of Evangelical Students, where we get to partner with over 150 other student ministries all over the world. It's great to work alongside thousands of staff and students who are seeking to proclaim Christ on university campuses everywhere. Pray that the nations would know Jesus Christ is Lord!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Compelling2011 - The Sign of Jonah

click here to go to website
Compelling is a training conference that happens in November and is hosted by the Michigan Division (all universities and colleges in the state of Michigan). For five years I have designed the look of the conference, including the flycard, website, and other materials like nametags and program. The website is now up if you want to check it out! Click on the link above. Below are images of the completed flycard!

front of flycard
The theme for this conference is "The Sign of Jonah". I know we have all seen countless Sunday school renditions of Jonah being swallowed by the whale. I tried hard to not go that route. I still reference that important aspect of Jonah's story using a fish tail, but I tried to make it less obvious, using darker shades and not making it the focal point.

back of flycard
The textures were created using a several different layers of images of clouds, waves and storms. I wanted the texture to look a little bit like a fairy tale or a children's storybook, which is also why I chose this serif font, that looks a little bit whimsical and unique. I also handwrote some of the words like "the sign of" "tracks" "speaker" and "registration".The wavy lines of text as well as grays and blues add to the feel of being in a storm on the water.

It'll be exciting for me this year because I am planning to attend the conference! Last year there was a record number of 600 students attending. It's been amazing to see how God has used this conference in hundreds of students lives for the past 5 years.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The LORD is gracious and compassionate...

I recently was assigned to work on a project for World Assembly, which is a conference for student ministry leaders, taking place July 26-August 3. It is sponsored by IFES - International Fellowship of Evangelical Students, the umbrella organization that InterVarsity is a part of, as are 150 other student movements from around the world. On the last day of this conference, Marilyn Stewart, who has been on staff with InterVarsity for over 50 (yes, FIFTY!) years, will be speaking on Psalm 145. She asked me to create a piece that each conference attendee (there will be over 600) could take home as a memento and reminder of all that God did and said during World Assembly.

This assignment was fun and yet quite challenging! For starters, how do you visualize ideas like "grace" or "righteousness"? And because there are people from all over the world who speak dozens of different languages, how do you do this without the use of a common language?

I ventured into this by starting at the passage itself. I spent many sittings just reading and rereading the passage, and letting God speak to me. I also gathered many of my teammates asking for their ideas and thoughts. I sketched a lot, and gathered images from online that I liked.

After all of this, I decided to try creating a painting that would capture at least some of this Psalm. I am not a painter and know very little about painting as an art form. I definitely felt out of my element on this project! However, as I spent nearly two days painting, it struck me at how privileged I was to be able to try out a new form of art as part of my job! When else does someone get to do that? I love my job!

front of postcard - painting
Here's the final product of the postcard design. The front shows the painting that I did. I purposely left a lot of blank space in the image to give room for people to write out in their own language whatever God was speaking to them. Psalm 145 is full of wonderful words, showing God's character and God's work among his people. There's a sense that all of our worship and praise is only a small echo of who God is and what he has done. I used rich yellows and oranges because those colors reminded me of the richness of God's love. There's a verse in the psalm that says "You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing." - what a wonderful picture of God's provision, gentleness and care!

back of postcard with main verse in English, French & Spanish
The back of the card shows the theme verse (8 - "The LORD is gracious and compassionate; slow to anger and rich in love.") in the 3 languages that will be used at World Assembly.

Please pray that this conference will be an outpouring of God's love and compassion to IFES and its leaders. Pray for God's voice to be clear in inspiring student ministry workers to follow him in his work at universities around the world. Pray that Marilyn Stewart's talk on the last day would be full of truth and grace as participants head back to their mission fields.

Based on these designs I also worked on a video that will show during the talk while people are studying the passage and reflecting. When that's ready I will try to post it here for you to see. It features another one of the paintings I did. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Stepping out of my "Comfort Zone"

I'm proud to be able to show you the secret video project i've been working on for over 3 months. This was my first time co-writing, directing, and producing a video, and it was a great experience (albeit hard work and at times quite stressful)! The final product is below, followed by a behind the scenes video and some outtakes. Read on for some more on how this project came to be.

The Comfort Zone: Official Trailer - College sophomore Sophie Banks thought it was just another year on campus. But when her InterVarsity staff worker Jack gives her a challenging mission, it's a race against time, and herself, to break out of the Zone.

The Idea
People are always talking about breaking out of our 'comfort zones'. This is such a common phrase in our culture because we really value safety, comfort and security. But as Christians, Jesus often calls us to be exactly the opposite. Following him means taking up our cross - doing risky, dangerous and bold things. And hopefully, we do these things in faith and obedience, and because we value His will more than our own comfort.

We wanted this video to challenge people to do just that, but we also wanted to make people laugh! I realized over the past several months of creating our weekly infographics on Facebook that there is something really effective about using wit and humor to communicate ideas. Sometimes being a thoughtful communicator means showing that you don't take yourself too seriously, and that you can relate to an issue by laughing about it. So, we decided to create a parody movie trailer called "The Comfort Zone" (I must pause briefly to give credit to my teammate Glenn who came up with the original concept). There are several movies with similar titles (The Twilight Zone, The Dead Zone, Green Zone) and they all have a suspense or action feel to them. So we wrote a script that encompassed all the cliches you would find in these types of movie trailers, including dramatic narration, "the turning point", and lots of fast action sequences. Over the course of a few months many people on the communications team, producers, writers and designers, had input on this project. Perhaps due to my own naive determination as well as others' ambivalence, I became the project's spearhead and took the lead on seeing this thing come to completion, which proved to have many challenges!

One of the most difficult things about completing this project was that we are a team full of behind the scenes folk! None of us were up for the task for starring in this video because it required real acting! We had actually initially recruited a local UW Madison student majoring in theater to be our main character, but due to delays in production she became unavailable as finals and summer began. So where to find our Sophie Banks? And who could play our other characters with such short notice?

I actually thought of casting Katie Montei, a former and future communications team member, while I was lying awake at night, thinking about this project (not an unusual occurrence these past few months!) She turned out to be the perfect choice and jumped right into the process. She was so game to do anything we wanted (including straightening her lovely curly hair every time we filmed as well as running all over campus take after take in a leather jacket on a hot summer day.) Through the process I really enjoyed getting to know Katie and I'm excited to have her as a coworker soon.

Adam Jeske and Luke Jones ended up being perfect in their roles as well. Adam, while he has never actually been a campus staff for InterVarsity, really embodied the typical staff worker while also pulling off the humorous ironic seriousness that I wanted for his role. Luke, a former 2100 intern, drove all the way down to Madison from northern Wisconsin to shoot his part as the "agent." He was only available for about 2 hours, and he was perfect. His experience behind the camera came in handy as well. I'm so glad he got to be a part of the project.

Behind the Scenes - watch for an interview where I talk about the story and characters of "The Comfort Zone" and a few stories from others who were involved in the project.

The Production Process
Once we were ready to start filming, we came across a lot of obstacles. First of all, I was completely dependent on the production team to do all the shooting, since I have no experience behind the camera. There wasn't a lot of buy-in early on from our supervisors, so we had limited time and resources to work on it. David was initially working on this with me, but then he had other work and also family responsibilities that prevented him from being able to do the rest. Additionally, Katie's work schedule often conflicted with times that we were available to shoot. Elisa, one of the summer interns, stepped in for David half way through. She ended up being really great to work with. She even made an appearance in the video acting as 'the friend', and, more importantly, edited the entire video! (I must pause and give a huge thanks to all of Elisa's hard work and patience. This was no small task, especially working with someone like me who had no idea what I was doing!)

I learned a lot about filming during this project. The total runtime of the trailer was just over 2 minutes, and we shot probably 13 or 14 hours of footage altogether! It's amazing what kind of work it takes to set up a shot, making sure all the technology is working properly and that you get every possible angle that you might want to include in the final cut. Although we did go location scouting, as Elisa mentions in the behind the scenes video, there were many moments when we'd come up with new ideas on the spot. In that sense the process of creating the video was very organic and quite creative. There were things we couldn't plan for (like the limited time we'd have with Luke, and the audio recorder not working when we needed it.)

I have always enjoyed learning about filmmaking whenever I watch the interviews and behind the scenes clips on DVDs. And after this relatively small video project, I definitely have an even greater respect for all of the people that work on films. Not only directors and producers, but actors, crew members, writers, propmasters, editors, etc. It takes a lot of work to make something seem authentic on screen!

Outtakes - a few of the more 'uncomfortable' moments while filming...


Since I'm really a designer and not a video producer, what I was really excited about on "The Comfort Zone" was making movie posters to go along with the trailer. During the week of the 'premiere' I created 4 posters and posted one on our Facebook page almost every day leading up to the day that we finally showed it. I love how the movie posters turned out! I thinkthey were pretty effective in creating buzz about the video too.

Final Reflections
I have to admit, I thought I would be a lot happier after completing this project. I think with any experience that you're really invested in, whether it's a work project or some big event, after it's over there's this emotional letdown. In the days since we finished, I've actually felt quite vulnerable. I feel like I poured so much of my energy into something and at the end of the day I'm not even quite sure what really came of it. I've gotten a lot of positive response from people on the video, but I've also received a perceived ambivalence from some people whose opinions really mattered to me. I'm quite sure that the evil one would want me to feel doubtful that my work was actually helpful or good. But, I also think that I've learned more about what kind of affirmation is important to me in my work and hopefully in the future, I will be able to make that more clear with my colleagues and teammates.

At the end of the day, I am proud of this project, especially considering my lack of experience and our lack of time to complete it. It has also been another reminder of the work I'm called to. It's very rare to be able to truly know how I am making any impact on the kingdom of God. There are so many ways my work as a designer can be under the radar. But I know that I will continue to take risks, to step out of my 'comfort zone' and, by God's spirit, trust that He can do great things when I am faithful in serving him.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

James 4: the way of greed vs. the way of grace

sorry for the delay in posting for chapter 4! i've had the design done in pencil for a while, but haven't had the chance to get it polished up. 

chapter 4 was full of cause and effects, which makes for a nice, pretty flow chart. it all begins with 'desires that battle within' - ie: SIN.  as in many other passages in scripture, there appears to be a choice between two paths: friendship with the world (enmity with God) or humility before God. the crazy thing though, is that it isn't our own actions that get us what we want. it is all about grace. 

"Come near to God and he will come near to you." (8a) 

It is God who comes near to us. we do have to make the choice to submit ourselves to him in every way, recognizing our sin, but it is God ultimately who comes near to us and changes the entire flow of the flowchart! this is the Gospel! 

thank you Jesus, for giving up your life so that we could have intimacy and friendship with God our Maker. thank you that we no longer have to go down the way of greed because you have provided the way of grace!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

James 3: it only takes a spark...

click to enlarge
 I kind of struggled this week to figure out how to visually represent this chapter. In the end I had to go with something simpler than what I imagined. But I was struck by James' use of many different metaphors to express the way that a person's speech (tongue) can have a huge impact on the person as a whole. There were all these small-ish things that had a large impact. A horse can be turned one way or another by the bit in its mouth. A ship is steered by a small rudder. A forest fire is created from just one spark. 

5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 

James isn't just talking about an individual person's speech affecting that same individual person. He actually begins the chapter by warning people that 'not many of us should become teachers'. Why? It's because he realizes the impact an influencing agent can have on the larger community. The tongue has great potential for bad but also for good. It's a warning but also a challenge. Those of us who are in leadership positions, especially those of us who speak often (verbally or otherwise), have great potential for good and bad influence. What are we going to do with the power and potential given to us?

Monday, May 23, 2011

James 2: Favoritism and Faith

Chapter 2 of James contains some pretty deep stuff.  Here are my attempts to summarize...

The first half talks about favoritism and judgment. I found this highly convicting. How quickly I judge people based on outward appearance. I'm drawn to people who are popular, charismatic, beautiful, intelligent and charming. These are the social "riches" in our culture today. And while I may not be outwardly mean, I do tend to avoid or ignore people who I find socially awkward or less attractive, those who are socially "poor". I hate to admit this, but it is true. James admonishes people like me, who favor the rich over the poor. The thing that brings us back to equal ground, is what all of us have in common, rich, poor, you and I: "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it." (2:10). I am a rotten sinner, no matter how good I appear, and therefore, I have no right to judge others based on their appearance. Man. So much harder to actually live out!

The second half is where the big meaty stuff is (as if the 1st half wasn't already pretty heavy!)  This is the famous "faith without works" passage! It's a complex concept, and I definitely don't claim to understand it completely. BUT, I think there is also something simple about this: Faith that is not demonstrated by action is not real faith. Verbal profession without any consequential change in lifestyle, is meaningless and empty. It's like having a car but never getting in, starting the ignition, and driving it. What is the point? The engine may as well be dead.

The tricky part is when 2:24 says "You see that people are justified by what they do and not by faith alone." Doesn't this contradict what Paul says in Romans and elsewhere in his letters? Doesn't the new covenant eradicate our obligation to the law? No and Yes. James here is talking about actions that are a response to genuine belief and profession of Christ. He never says that faith is not necessary. It is. It's completely necessary and essential. The kind of works that Paul says is meaningless, is the kind that replaces faith. Doing a bunch of dutiful, obedient actions in hopes that you can earn your way to salvation is what Paul criticizes. I think Paul would be the first one to agree with James that real faith means a faith that is demonstrative and life-changing.

This definitely doesn't do justice to the 'faith and works' discourse, but I hope it was at least partially helpful. The takeaway point for me is that I need to ask myself, "What am I doing that shows real faith?" If I have a hard time seeing actions in my life, why is that? Have I been leaning on an inaccurate view of 'faith alone'?

Some food for thought.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

James 1

James has been quite a challenge so far! After a week of personal study, I kind of realize why I hardly ever hear it preached on or study it in group Bible studies. Some commentaries I've read have said that certain scholars think there is no real clear theology in James. It's important though, to note that James was likely writing to Christian Jews who already had a pretty solid basis of theology. His focus landed more on practical living, as in, knowing what faith looks like and feels like. In some ways, this can be more challenging than talking about God theoretically isn't it?

For example, in the first chapter, one thing that James talks about is anger, speech and listening. These are 3 things that I know I deal with each and every day of my life. I'm much more prone to quickly get angry than to quickly listen. I say things that I really shouldn't. It's only natural, right? And yet according to James, it has everything to do with my faith. Being a 'doer' of God's Word means being slow to get angry, and being quick to listen. Lord, help me be a doer and not just a sayer or thinker.

So, I know that 'righteousness' can't really be measured. Because compared to God, our righteousness = 0. But I thought it might be fun/insightful to create 'infographics' based on what I'm learning in James. Here are a couple from chapter 1:

click to enlarge

Monday, May 9, 2011


Something I miss about being on campus staff is having a good source of accountability to do consistent, in-depth Bible study. As I leaned towards using most of my time on campus working with small group leaders, I used my own personal time in Scripture to prepare and know the passages that the leaders would be leading. I've had some pretty great times in both Hebrews and Luke because of that. I have grown so much in my understanding and love for God's Word.

My first year in Madison I was not participating in any group Bible study, and because of that my own quiet times suffered. This year I made an intentional effort to rejoin Bible Study Fellowship, as well as a Bible study group through my church. It has been a great year of studying Isaiah in BSF and Daniel in my church group.

Now that the summer is here, BSF is ending and my church group will meet less often. I really don't want that to affect being in God's Word on a daily basis! So I've decided to study the book of James this summer, or at least the beginning of this summer since it's only 5 chapters.

I'll try to post some updates on what I'm learning and thinking as I study through it. It should be a good study... I haven't heard James preached on much, nor have I ever studied it closely. Looking forward to getting to know James as well as learn what God has to say through his letter!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Presenting some work from over the year

Click here for a larger view of the slideshow, including captions.

When I was in Michigan last month I created this slide show with some of the projects I've worked on this past year. I've posted it here for those of you who weren't able to come or who don't live in Michigan. Hopefully this will help give you an idea of what I do from day to day (and month to month, sometimes!), and the variety of ministries I get to be involved with.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Design is Funny

click to enlarge

One of the more fun things I've been doing these past couple of months has been creating and designing 2100's "Infographic of the Week."

Infographics are basically just visual ways of displaying information. Sometimes they communicate real data but others times they are used to express something humorous. Our infographics have been the latter, and our aim is to show the humor that can arise when you intersect faith or InterVarsity's ministry with campus culture.

The one we created this week was especially fun and funny. Since Easter is so late this year, we thought it would be fun to see how Holy Week and Finals Week are different and similar. Surprisingly there is a lot of overlap! ;)

To view past infographics, or to follow our future infographics, make sure you go to our Facebook page and "like" us.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Making information understandable

part of my job as a designer is to make information understandable. the beauty of design is that we can take a fairly complex set of ideas, and organize it into something that you can look at and quickly understand all the main ideas. (well, good design does this anyway. it's a work in progress for me.)

i worked on these 2 diagrams recently for International Student Ministry. the first diagram shows the level of satisfaction of a person who encounters transitions in moving from their home to a foreign culture, and back again. in both cases, there is a cycle of fun, flight, fight and fit responses that happen throughout the experience.

click to enlarge

this second diagram is a widely used model that helps us see what happens whenever anyone is in a situation where more than one culture is involved (which is nearly all the time, actually). it shows that you can either approach these situations on a green line (desired) or red line (not desired). how you approach will largely effect how you respond, although there are certain aspects that are inevitable.

click to enlarge

we made both of these diagrams into 2-sided bookmark that will be sold at an upcoming conference. i'm looking forward to helping communicate these two ideas to people so that they can learn and grow in engaging new and different cultures. as people who are called to be a witness to the world, these are important things to know and understand!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Enter In

 I recently designed this logo for this year's regional staff conference for my old region, Great Lakes East. The design concept came from the idea of a gothic rosette window, with a 'trinitarian' allusion. The theme "Enter In" refers to coming into God's presence in prayer. The conference will revolve around prayer and hearing from God an authoritative vision of where He is leading our campus ministry.

This process ended up being a lot of fun. I've never worked with rosettes before and I realized there are endless possibilities with color, shape, and lines when you have something with so many aspects of symmetry. Those artists in that era of architecture and art were super smart!

my interpretation of a gothic rosette as a logo

these were a few of the other designs i had mocked up for the client

example of a real gothic rosette window design

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Tonight was the first of four consecutive days of public speaking for me this week. I got to share about my ministry at my church's young adults fellowship group meeting. I think it went well, but already I'm beginning to feel nervous about the rest of this weekend's events!

Please pray for me over the next few days!

  • Friday night: I'm speaking  on Nehemiah at Asian InterVarsity's large group meeting (in Ann Arbor). Pray that God would speak through me and that the students will receive God's Word and be challenged to take risks for God's mission. 
  • Saturday afternoon: I'll be sharing with many from my support team and hosting a dinner for them at my family's house. Pray that it will be a time of mutual blessing as I connect with those who pray for and support me in my ministry. 
    • (Pray for God's strength for my mom as well, who has been busy cleaning and cooking to help with this event, I thank God so much for her!) 
  • Sunday morning: I'm sharing briefly in all 3 services at my home church, Chinese Bible Church. Pray that church members would be encouraged to see how God is working through InterVarsity.
Thank you all for praying, I am so grateful for each of you!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I've been told that in order to have an effective blog you need to post regularly and often (at least 3 times a week). Yikes. I think I'm usually proud of myself if I am able to post twice a month.

I don't think I'd have enough work/projects to post more than once a week. So what other kinds of things should I write about here? Does anyone who reads this have any ideas? Here are some that you can give feedback on:

- reflections on Scripture I'm reading/studying
- art or design that I find inspiring
- media reviews (books or movies that I'm reading/watching)
- photography (once in a while I like to pretend that I am a photographer)
- tips and tools for design (which I will probably need to steal from other people who actually know what they're talking about)

Anything else?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Testimonies from international students


I designed this banner for their group as well.
Remember the ICF logo and shirt I designed a few weeks ago? Here's a short video with testimonies from that student group. It is exciting to see that international students are hungry and open to the Gospel of Christ, and God is changing their lives through the work of InterVarsity!

Note: you'll need access to Facebook to watch the video.

Click here to watch

Sunday, March 13, 2011

10 years later...

Huaren Cultural Show in 2002 (I don't have digital pictures of that first performance in 2001!)
My first introduction to what is called "body worship" happened when I was a freshman in college. Body worship is a combination of sign language and dance and is performed along to music. CCF, Chinese Christian Fellowship (what is now known as Asian InterVarsity Christian Fellowship), has a tradition of performing body worship at Asian American cultural shows. It was an opportunity as an ethnic specific Christian group to share our faith with the broader Asian American community.

The song we performed was "God of Wonders" by Third Day & Caedmon's Call. We practiced for weeks and it was a wonderful experience. I learned a lot about what it means to worship God with not just your mouth but your body and soul and heart.

In the ten years since that performance, I have taught the movements to many other groups, including the CCF at Michigan State, and the youth group at my home church. This week, I am teaching it to a few young girls at my very non-Asian church to perform at our upcoming church talent show. It is quite a different experience teaching it to 4 to 8 year olds as opposed to college students!

Did I realize that what I learned 10 years ago would still stay with me and provide me opportunities to serve at my church, share a cultural experience, and continue to broaden people's views of worship? No. But I am grateful that God prepared me during college to bless his people for years to come. That's what InterVarsity is all about!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Greek InterVarsity featured in the New York Times

Click on the photo for more photos from NY Times.
Read full article here.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Coming Together

I recently worked on a piece that was very fun for me. Every month we include a small insert in donor receipts. This month the insert focused on InterVarsity's love for Bible study. We decided to make the insert not only a report on how InterVarsity trains students in studying Scripture, but to include a tear-out bookmark for donors to use themselves. This bookmark has a very brief guide to what InterVarsity calls the inductive Bible study method. Having previously spent much of my time on staff training students to study the Bible and to lead others in studying the Bible, I was excited have that particular passion be a part of my designing work.

I was able to use some of my own experience as a trainer to develop the bookmark's content, and I even used some of my own colorful manuscript pages in the design of the piece.

Some of you will receive this piece when you get your monthly receipt in the mail! For the rest of you download a printable version of the bookmark (a PDF file), click here. To view the content of the piece as well as some more Bible study resources, go here.