Lydia Pang

Refinery29 Creative Director chats about finding her super power, dealing with imposter syndrome, and hacking it on Myspace.

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The Beginning

  • Without knowing it Lydia was introduced to the idea of 'self-branding' through hacking her myspace page and designing it to represent her.
  • Lydia's Mother was a photographer through Lydia's childhood and was always photographing her as a child. Her Mother would curate shows in their home so Lydia was always surrounded by creativity and that is what originally attracted her to photography. She never considered herself much of a maker and didn’t really take photographs. Her mother introduced her to the idea that understanding and explaining a photograph is also just as valuable as making the image herself.
  • During the first year at her art program Lydia struggled to gain a sense of who she was. She had to take a moment to herself and stop mimicking the people around and focus on what she was good at and it paid off! A big takeaway from going through her program was follow what you are genuinely interested in, do the work and it will pay off in the end.
Betty the guard dog. Photograph by Jon Sorrentino

Favorite Dim Sum Spot

Her Fashion Style

  • Lydia doesn't really follow any fashion trends and her sense of style is inspired more from photographers such as Man Ray rather than the fashion designers of today. However she does very much admire Rei Kawakubo the founder and designer behind Commes Des Garcon and Dover Street Market for her unique ideas and perspective on fashion.

Becoming a Creative Director

  • Lydia is currently a creative director at the young age of 30 but that didn't happen over night. After university during the summer she would take as many internships as possible while friends and others would take the summer off to relax and hang with their friends.
  • One of Lydia's first internships was with M&C Saatchi where she originally applied to an internship as an account manager because there were no roles open in the creative department. Luckily after the interview they contacted Lydia about an opening they created just for her.
  • During her time at M&C Saatchi the advertising industry was shifting and Lydia took the opportunity to position herself as an expert in the digital space. She proposed that she would let the creative teams work on their respective duties while she would help expand the content for the client's use on other internet platforms and websites. This helped progress Lydia's career by showing she could offer nothing but value to the company without altering the existing process.
  • After M&C Lydia worked together with a group of friends to conceive a campaign for Rape Crisis UK called #thisdoesntmeanyes. The campaign was done pro-bono and received press from major media outlets all over the world. Lydia took the opportunity to make the work that she wanted to for no other reason than to do something good for the world and to make.
  • Currently Lydia is a creative director at Refinery29, a mission driven company for millennial women. One of the reasons she enjoys it so much is that the work always connects back to R29's mission, 'a catalyst for women to feel, see, and claim their power.' Otherwise they don't do it and that is something that Lydia strongly believes it.

Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

  • Being around creative people that also have a wide skillset really helped Lydia get over her imposter syndrome and own the idea that she was 'good' at a number of things and not 'amazing' at one thing.

On starting your own business as a woman...

  • Try to find the people that you identify with. There are support networks like HERS Global Network that Lydia has participated in that she has found to be really helpful.

Find a job that is artistically fulfilling and financially supporting

  • Do the work that is your truth. Make work you're proud of that makes you feel that you're contributing to this planet and someone will pay you for it.

Getting Your Work Noticed

  • Make fucking cool work. Make work that inspires you and continue to make work for yourself because it will travel and inspire others. Be on the platforms that they are 'chilling' on.

Footnotes

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