Aki Pic

Hi, My Name is Akiko

For those who speak English, it’s like “a key co.”

If you are a Spanish speaker, it’s like “here (aqui).”

And if you are from Jamaica, I am that vegetable in ackee & saltfish.

a bit of everything

I love solving mysteries, whether it’s a design brief, a new line of code, or a crime novel - nothing’s better than the moment everything falls into place.

As you might have guessed from my name, I was born in Japan, grew up reading books and mangas non-stop. When I was not reading, I was drawing (pens and pencils), painting (oil), or sometimes building large installations for school events. Oh, and I’ve been an event photographer since age 13. I believe I picked up my core aesthetic and love of visual communication during these years. Unfortunately, I was also allergic to “cute” and that’s probably why I ended up in the States - the first big leap across the Pacific Ocean.

Next came the leap across the Atlantic Ocean. I moved to Europe on working holiday and managed to extend my stay by a few years attending art school. Stuck in a studio all day every day, I acquired my work ethic in each stage of design processes (analogue and digital).

Here's some random non-UX/UI stuff I've done/still do.

Figure Drawing (charcoal/paper)

Portraits (pencil/paper)

Icons and Graphics for Presentation (Illustrator/PPT)

Pen Drawing (Copic Multiliner)

more of a bit of everything - now dive deeper

Upon my return to California after an art shool and a hitchhike later, I landed a design job in the East Bay area through a chance meeting. It was a jack-of-all-trades position and I did everything from PowerPoint presentation, print brochures, and large banners to the department’s websites. While it was a design generalist position, I gained variable real-world experiences in consulting clients/content experts, working solo and in a team, and working with outside vendors.

Through my generalist days, the urge to consolidate my paths to dive deeper in one direction became too strong to stay put – another leap. But this time I didn’t change my zip code – I dove online for an apprenticeship at Bloc in UX/UI design. While it was by far the most introvert processes wrestling the projects on my computer, it was the most extrovert journey climbing a steep learning curve. Communicating and seeking assistances with mentors, fellow apprentices and countless people who helped my user researches, my design became more meaningful. Great visual communication is nothing if there is no recipient. I consider myself lucky to be able to reinforce that core value while reinforcing the skills required in the trade.

Here's software and tools I regularly use.

still that mutt - with updates installed

I consist of random mixtures of Japan, North America, and Europe. I love manga, ice hockey, and sarcastic UK jokes. I love working in a digital realm, while I have no intention giving up the sensation of a pencil leaving marks on a paper. I can’t do the math in English but composing an email takes just too long in Japanese. It may be confusing but not a bad way to be.

If you like what you’ve seen or your interests happen to be in alignment with mine, please feel free to get in touch.

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