Meet Sucha Becky (@sucha_becky), a 47-year-old Executive Creative Director based in Washington D.C.
17 years ago, Sucha visited America for the first time. Little did she know that this is where she’d fall in love, discover new passions and now work at an award-winning graphic design firm. Let’s see how she designed her life over the years.
🖌 || A Designer's Journey || 🖌
• Where are you in your career now?
I’m an Executive Creative Director at Design Army, based in Washington D.C. We are a creative consultant for brands and offer creative solutions through design.
• How did you get into design?
I studied Communication Arts at Ladkrabang Technology Institute and landed my first job at Propaganda – it was one of Thailand’s pioneering graphic design firms in 1995.
• What did you learn from your first job?
It was really challenging. It made me realize that I knew nothing about design.
University taught me design principles and all the tricks and tools to use. However, I was never taught how to think like a designer. At the time, graphic design was a fairly new field in Thailand so there weren’t many graphic designers for me to look up to. The lack of conversation about different design ideas and perspectives made it harder to feel inspired too.
Throughout my 3 years at Propaganda and now more than 10 years at Design Army, I learnt there’s more to design than meets the eye. Design isn’t just about making something look pretty – it requires a lot of careful thought. As a designer, it’s important to stay curious and listen carefully to the stories around you.
• Any career advice?
My advice would be to keep exploring your passions and expand different interests beyond design. Fine art, poetry, literature, politics, music, film, fashion, architecture, religion. Be observant. Be curious. Look at life from different perspectives. See beyond the surface. Notice how people interact in different situations. Think outside yourself. Find a different point of view to be amazed by.
A good designer is not a design nerd who’s crazy about design alone. Designers’ tasks require many layers of thinking and in different directions – all at the same time. So, try to experience life from different perspectives outside of your narrow design world. You need to surprise and delight people with a point of view that is new and fresh to them.
Design is just another language under the umbrella of CREATIVITY. There are so many ways in life to express this gift from God. So, make it unique to your own.
🏡 || New Home, New Me || 🏡
• When did you move to the US?
It was 17 years ago, when I was 29. The plan was to learn English during a summer course, but then later the plan was changed.
Like most people who move to a new country for the first time, I was homesick quite a bit, but soon realized that it was a waste of time to be comparing my home to America. I thought “why don’t I appreciate America as it is?” There are so many beautiful values that had made this country great. So, I decided to be completely open to new experiences and let America transform me.
At a community college, I explored many subjects at school beside language. I took English Literature, Fine Art and American History classes and made new friends from all around the world. Then later I met the love of my life and got married 7 years later.
• What’s been a life-changing experience?
Changing my religion. Finding Catholicism has made me more grounded and patient. Spiritually, I’m the strongest I’ve ever been in my life.
Prior to this, I only had a bit of interest in Buddhism just because I grew up in a Buddhist society. I was pretty open to anything that would offer me whatever deeper—deeper meaning, deeper point of view. Deeper this and deeper that. I was interested in Christianity but knew nothing about it. I spent my time comparing Buddhism (that I also knew so little about) to Christianity and tried to understand both at the same time through books, lectures, and even debate!
It ridiculously became a mental work when I could only touch on the surfaces of things. There was nothing really spiritual about how I approached it. There was no true happiness, only confusion. Then I realized that I needed to choose one—Buddhism or Christianity. Which one?
• At what point did you decide to convert?
I spent so much time on the religion comparisons and bored my husband with this subject. But in a reality, I had not given my faith to anything at all. The idea of choosing the right religion started to pressure me more and more.
Surprisingly, the answer was given to me at a train station.
I walked by a public payphone and noticed a list of emergency numbers to call for help: the police, the ambulance or any other help service. The one on the very top was 01 — God. I thought to myself “Wow, I can call God right now? That would be fun.” I gave it a ring, curious to see who picks up. I was expecting an automated response so I was shocked to hear a woman’s voice on the line.
“Hello, how can I help you?”
“Can you help me? I’m lost.”
“Where are you?”
“I’m at a train station.”
“Can you find your way home?”
“Yes, but can you give me a direction to my faith?”
She started the Lord's prayer and told me to recite it. I did and cried my heart out. To her, the conversation probably sounded mundane, perhaps she even thought I was homeless.
To me, every word in the prayer held deeper meaning. It was a very emotional experience because after all the confusion and frustration I created for myself, here the real answer was given. At that moment, I knew that I wasn’t the one who was choosing. I was chosen by God.
💗 || Matters of the Heart || 💗
• In your own words, what is love?
Love is something bigger than yourself. It’s the reason why people exist for one another.
When I was in my twenties and thirties, I was interested in romantic love which is a matter of a fuzzy feeling that you crave from someone (a man). But, in all honesty that’s just a shallow start! To really love someone, you need discipline and sacrifice and really need to be faithful to that person. A sacrificial love is the most valuable love of all.
• What quality do you most admire in a partner?
I think having passion and a strong moral compass are extremely significant. A passionate person is really attractive and my husband is very much that. He’s an artistic person and has a strong trust in God. We share morals values and the love of God which is the foundation of our marriage. In fact, he was the one who introduced Catholicism to me.
• Advice for your 20 year old self?
I’d say have a general idea of where you want to see yourself in the future, but don’t rush through life. Don’t plan a super detailed checklist and hurry to tick off the boxes. That very checklist may disappoint you later on because everyone has their own timeline. You won’t always get what you want, when you want it.
Success is different for everyone and age is just a number. Your friends may be achieving their version of success from the age of 24. You might have your own version at a different time. Stop worrying about “success” too much. Don’t let that word imprison you. Don’t let people define what success means to you. Everyone has their own stories. If you all achieve the same thing at the same time, it’d be a boring generation. [laughs]