Meet Sophie Cheung
Meet Sophie Cheung, an award-winning visual artist and current Head of Design at YC-backed startup, Reframe App.
In this special feature, we asked Sophie all about her work, passions, path to design, how the pandemic affected her, and how she finds inspiration.
Keep reading if...
You're interested in photography
You want to go into app design
You wonder how industry creatives find inspiration
You're trying to find your design purpose
What is Reframe?
Reframe is an iOS app that utilizes neuroscience to change drinking habits.
As Head of Design and the Creative Director of Reframe, what do you do?
My responsibilities at Reframe include:
Branding Reframe’s current sleek, tech style
Redesigning, owning, and executing the UI and UX of the app and the upcoming website
Owning and designing new features
Leading creative direction for content creation, animations, ads, and graphic design for social and branding materials
How do you manage growing both your work with Reframe and your photography?
It’s been a lot slower since I decided to move to LA during the start of the pandemic, so I’ve been doing a little less. I’ve been doing it [photography] on weekends. I am mainly focusing on engagement photos and creating branding photos.
Can you tell us about your path to photography and Reframe?
I was a design major in college. I majored in architecture so my transition was actually very smooth and natural, since I had been designing for 4 years. When I was in college, I wasn’t sure if I wanted a career in architecture, so I felt a little lost, and I started doing a lot of photography.
I was doing my own branding and designing a lot of my own media assets for my business. Honestly, I think I did 20% pure photography and 80% planning, marketing, design, networking, and editing.
How did the pandemic affect your creativity and work?
During the pandemic, when there were a lot less shoots, I started doing even more design, particularly web design and app design. It made me reflect on my career and what I’m doing.
Because parts of the pandemic were so horrifying and reality hit, I realized I missed the feeling of solving problems and helping people. My photos seemed ‘pointless’ then, when so many more things were impacting the world. We weren’t going out and I wasn’t inspired to create work. And so I fell back in love with design; it became another creative outlet.
How did you find your design purpose?
With Reframe, I felt like I finally found my design purpose. My current job is kind of the perfect transition for me. I love working on something that makes a positive impact on the world. We are literally helping thousands and thousands of people change their lives for the better.
My background in photo and video has been an asset for my role as the Creative Director at Reframe. Because of my knowledge and experience, I’m able to direct a team of creatives and understand their perspectives in order to create content that helps our users.
What inspires you to create your work? What do you consider good content?
I used to think good content is just whatever’s pretty to look at, but now, good content to me is something that is both valuable and aesthetically pleasing.
What does being a creative mean to you?
“Being a creative means the world to me.”
What inspired you for the design and art direction for Reframe?
For my tech work, I’m constantly listening to podcasts, checking out new apps/platforms, checking out news websites, and listening to our users. Helping users are the main inspiration for my work.
A lot of people are turning to alcohol during the pandemic, so Reframe has been very useful in helping people realize their problems, as well as help them cut back on alcohol use.
What inspires your photography? How do you capture the moment to get the dreamy shots?
My inspiration is a mixture of impressionist-European paintings and 1950-80s Hong Kong. Like Monet mixed with Wong Kar-Wai. It’s kind of bizarre but I love it. I grew up in England so I was surrounded by European art, and I think that really gave me the dreamy touch of inspiration.
I love being able to use my aesthetic and vision to create for artists (commercial) and tell the story of my private clients. It’s so much fun to create memories for them and bring out their stories. Each story is unique and the joy of using props, editing, location, and photography to tell their story means the world.
What piece of advice do you want to give to other creatives like yourself?
Figure out how you can solve problems with your art, and you will love your work!
Follow Sophie and check out her amazing work at @sophie.vision
Keep up with us @innerchild.creatives for more special features of industry and community creatives we admire!