November 21, 2019

Jennet Liaw customizing a black bike helmet

Meet Jennet Liaw, one of our favorite designers around. One reason we love her is because her designs aren't just stunning – they're also a clear expression of who she is. Her beautiful projects and typographic works reveal her artistic style, cultural identity, unique creativity, and personal values.

Jennet added a personal touch to her helmet with our new Monograms so that she'll always have a helmet that fits into her personal style when she's riding through Brooklyn. She personalized her Carbon Black helmet with her initials in the Lightning Bolt style with a Gold Leaf finish because, in her words, it's "subtle, but definitely special, and speaks to what I like in the things I aim to create and surround myself with."

We sat down with Jennet to learn more about how she expresses her unique P.O.V. through art, design, and style.

Jennet Liaw customizing a black bike helmet

THOUSAND:  How did you get started in illustration and design? How did your experiences lead you to where you are today?

JENNET LIAW: I don’t think any of us remember when we began drawing, I just never stopped drawing. I draw to process thoughts, to communicate, to pass time. I think those of us who get in the habit of using pen and paper to work through ideas are also the ones who begin to crave an understanding of the immeasurable impact of design in the world around us. I feel like that’s what happened to me. It’s not necessary for designers to draw “well” - they just have to find the act of it important.

Also important to note that, just because it came out of me naturally doesn’t mean the path was smooth. The world assigns more challenges to anyone fighting to be more of themself, as many of us know. Countless humbling experiences and right-place-right-time-right-response moments later, I’m here and still gunning it.

T: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to pursue a career in art and design?             

JL: Expect the rewards to be personal, and then pursue it relentlessly. This is unglamorous work and measures of success fluctuate on the daily - 90 percent of what I make will never see the light of day and yet I’m ‘strong’ in my field and make rent happen each month. The best advice I can give new designers is to position themselves to be most excited about personal growth beyond their imagination. The greatest reward for my work over the years is now knowing that I’m more and more capable of discerning between what matters and what doesn’t, and of compromising gracefully.

T: How would you describe yourself only using 3 words?

JL: Curious, calm, sensitive.

Jennet Liaw customizing a black bike helmet

T: How would you describe your personal style? How do you express your unique P.O.V. in your everyday life?    

JL: It’s easy, but considered (when I give myself the time). I’ve been working full-time in the apparel industry for five years now, and due to designing for different consumer bases through the seasons, I do grow a bit numb to trends and really just like the things I wear to be special just to me. So my personal style is just…very personal. 

T: What inspires you? How do you find creative inspiration?

JL: I actually find that true inspiration strikes, rather than is found when I’m looking. The latter is just moodboarding. My setting for meeting inspiration where it likes to strike is a good old fashioned walk around the block. 

Jennet Liaw customizing a black bike helmet

We've partnered with Jennet to give away a personalized helmet with a unique design inspired by our vintage moto origins. Here's what she had to say about the inspiration behind the design she created on our helmet:

"Because of the design of the helmet itself, I saw the opportunity to dive into some vintage moto research. I love the various wing emblems, retro type lockups, use of latin existentialism, etc. It’s all definitely masculine and sometimes even grim… but Thousand as a brand is, to me, also lighthearted, and approachable. So I was inspired to take a few of these moto-inspired graphic elements and give them a playful voice. Once I sketched out the idea for the peace-out-pigeons illustration, I ran with the storyline and deuces ex machina is what came through to seal the theme."


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