'Design is subjective and everyone has an opinion': Beyond the Brief with David Luong, Horizon Media

David Luong, Horizon Media

To celebrate its 100th Anniversary, the 4A’s has partnered with us at The Drum to pull back the curtain and look at an industry full of problem solvers, creative types and analytical minds. But what keeps them going once the briefs are written, the campaigns executed, and the pitches won (or lost)? The Drum is now interviewing 100 people at 4A’s member agencies — across all disciplines, levels, regions, and agency types — to get a glimpse into what drives them at work and what fuels them in life.

David Luong is a senior creative and designer at Horizon Media in Los Angeles. He has had that role for the last two years, in addition to work at 72andSunny and as a visual designer for new business at Horizon Media before that.

But in addition to his creative work, he is a balloon artist under the creative title, Popspace Balloons. Whether it’s to create giant minion balloons or balloon flowers to celebrate a graduation. Luong’s balloon art show that he looks to be creative but also doesn’t take himself too seriously.

Kevin, Stuart, Bob, meet your master, Gru. Gru, meet your new minions

A post shared by david luong (@popspaceballoons) on

Luong’s passion for design and creativity, as well as his balloon artistry, shows that he is living beyond the brief.

What makes you excited about going to work every day?

When it comes to creative and design, there are two aspects that always hold true and keep the work exciting. First, there’s never one solution or “right” or “wrong” answers. Everyone has their own approaches and will present different ideas from their own experiences and knowledge. Second (and this is partially a result of the first), design is subjective and everyone has an opinion. It doesn’t matter what your background is, everyone has a creative opinion and perspective. With infinite solutions and opinions, it may get messy from time to time, but it also keeps new projects of any scale exciting from inception to execution.

If you weren’t in advertising, what would you be doing?

I would like to imagine something still somewhat creative and involving design as I find myself naturally gravitating towards creative pursuits outside of work. So, regardless of whether I was in advertising or not, I’d still be doing something creative and design focused. The ability to work in advertising has opened many doors for me, and has also given me several other opportunities to be creative beyond my day job.

What’s a virtue that you live by?

Empathy. In both life and work, it’s important to remember that there are always larger ripple effects to consider. It’s always worth considering decisions outside of your own personal rationale and from the perspective of the others involved.

What’s your passion outside of advertising?

About three years ago, I came across a balloon pump in the mess of my car trunk and decided to get a small bag of twistable balloons. Naturally, I made some classic one-balloon figures: a dog, flower, sword, etc. by watching YouTube tutorials. One bag of 25 led to a few dozen wholesale bags of a few thousand more in different shapes and sizes a few months later. I never imagined that a balloon dog would evolve to commissioned sculptures made from 100+ balloons. Popspace Balloons was born. Needless to say, it has spiraled out of control – and I still have no idea how that balloon pump made its way into my life.

To pitch someone from a 4A's member agency for Beyond the Brief, please complete this linked form.

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Haley Velasco

Haley Velasco is a writer based in Chicago, IL, who has a background in PR for a sports media company and has reported on a variety of topics, including sports, opinion, politics and celebrity news. Based in the Windy City, she covers industry happenings in the Midwest and throughout North America. She has been reporting for The Drum since May 2016.

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