Alumni Spotlight / Peng Wu ’13
Welcome to our new feature on the MCAD MFA blog!
This month, we caught up with Peng Wu, ’13, and asked him some pressing questions about art and life.
Peng is “an interdisciplinary designer and artist working in sculpture and public art, interactive and social practice, visual communication, to create powerful and innovative narrative.”
Where did you grow up, and how did that influence your career path?
I grew up on a pretty mainstream/conservative university campus in a quiet city in mid-south China. I remember back then most of the best graduates in the university chose to go to the United States for their PhDs, and then stream into science research labs afterward. There was a popular joke of interpreting our university’s acronym USTC as United States Training Center. Looking back, I must have been influenced and unconsciously believed that going to the United States was a solution for all unsatisfying situations in life.
What’s something you learned as an MCAD/MFA that surprised you?
I started to feel this sense of community for artists, where, regardless your artistic discipline, race, gender, age, sexual orientation, political opinion, nationality, one artist would support another artist without really knowing each other. I am surprised by this kindness.
Who is your favorite artist?
Comic artist Jon McNaught is a big hero of mine. The energy in his calm and quiet narrative stabilizes me.
What inspires you lately?
A few recent street protests against Trump inspired me as to how art can participate in public spaces historically. I was joking with Christine Baeumler: I had to come to a country like this to take a walk like that, which I am very proud of.
When you look back at your tenure here, what do you wish you would have done more or less of?
I wish I would have spent more time with my parents in a less confrontational way while they visited me from China. I sort of had my parents be part of a few of my open-structured participatory art projects, which upset and confused them, and made them feel worried about my future.
What have you learned since graduating?
I learned to have a plan. The plan doesn’t have to have any details. An abstract plan won’t help.
What do you do when you feel creatively blocked?
I call my mom and ask what she had for lunch.
Tell us about your current company. What is your role there?
I work for Bosch as a Senior Graphic Designer, in the in-house marketing department of the Communication Systems Division, which covers a few brands that Bosch acquired. I work with the Creative Director to deliver key marketing content for both North America and global use, as well as art direct external design agencies for outsourcing projects.
How did you get the job in the first place, and what was the interview process like?
I found the job opening on the MCAD Career Services website and submitted an application. They liked my Behance portfolio. I had two interviews with my boss, and her boss, before I was offered the position.
What’s a favorite part of your job?
Designing the visual evolution of the brands at a planned pace, to keep the brands relevant in the ever-changing global market is a technically challenging and fun part of my work.
What scares you?
The idea of settling down in a status scares me.
What makes you fall in love?
How do you keep challenging yourself in your art?
I don’t quite challenge myself in my art… I try to enjoy myself in my art.
Being ready for whatever might come.
For more information, visit Peng Wu on the web!