Q: When you first established your agency, how did you know that ‘Todot’ was the right name to go with?
A: To me, TODOT is just a name. I still don’t really know if the name is correct. The initial use for this name was in hopes that our team could work towards the same direction.
Q: Other than Todot Design, you are also responsible for Ultraworks; in charge of creating chic and ultra-modern items such as watches and cardholders. What was the motivation behind the creation of Ultraworks?
A: I was born in Macau and I have spent most of my life here. After graduating from college, I went to work in China. I returned to Macao about five years ago to form my own studio. At that time, Macao began to put forward some words: cultural creation, cultural industry, product design, etc., which was not evident in Macau before this. Coming back, I found that the products launched by Macao were very different compared to China, Taiwan, and Japan. The creative scene in Macao is still in its infancy, so from then on, I tried to do what I think is the ‘real product’. I hope that through the spirit of the product and brand, it can more or less represent the positive energy of the Macao people.
Q: Was there ever a time you received criticism for your work and how did you incorporate that feedback into your work approach?
A: My design work has two main parts: design service and product development. In my line, there will always be someone who would criticise my work, whether it is on the design or project management. Not all collaborations are smooth going; it also means that not all design will come out as hot or appealing to the audience. But, one thing I can be sure of is that my team does their best to implement and create each piece of work.
If our clients have opinions about our way of doing things, then we will try our best to convince them and provide them with data analysis and reference materials. If something that we created gets criticised after its launch, then I will be willing to listen but I won’t explain too much because I find it would be difficult for everyone to understand the design process. Every step directly affects the outcome of the product.
Many people will find the root of the problem and correct it, but I think that is very difficult to do with design because it is subjective. No matter how much data or references you can provide, clients will have their opinions. I think it also comes down to common sense and who’s paying. Other people don’t have much to do with it.
Similarly, when ULTRAWORKS products were launched into the market, we received many comments. Of course, it was a mix of negative reviews and praises. So, from my point of view, I can only listen to their opinions and analyse that to be better prepared next time.
Q: Walk us through your creative process. What steps do you take when you’re working through a project?
1. Communication and cooperation with customers in the early stage, confirming the direction and goals of the collaboration
2. Institutional cooperation contract; the official project starts after signing
3. The written proposal completed before the deadline
4. Review of the project, including timeline, quality of the finished product, whether the product has achieved the expected result, etc.
Q: The fact that a creative’s life is always hectic and stressful with long working hours and brain-draining as can be, how do you get a work-life balance?
A: I often think that I am a bad example of this because there is no good balance between my life and my work. This isn’t a good thing. It feels like telling others that this is how it is with the design industry – it’s all work day and night.
I spend most of my time working on things. In my life, there is only work, eat, and sleep. I know that I can tell you how to effectively allocate time and make a find a balance between work and life in this conversation. But, I don’t think it’s necessary to deceive the audience and myself. Knowing how to balance work and life is a kind of ability all in its own.
Q: What other areas of your work or personal development are you hoping to explore further?
A: In fact, I have a lot of things to do in the future. Although I am a graphic designer, I want to try other areas of design such as space, architecture, clothing, and multimedia. For the future of the team, I don’t want the group to leave too soon. I just hope that we can go steady and stick together in the long run.
Good things are meant to be shared. 😉 To see more of TODOT’s work, check out the links below!