Staff Reporters
Apr 21, 2022

Creative Minds: Silvia He is fed up with being judged by her appearance

The senior art director at BBDO Shanghai on gaining confidence as a young designer, her childhood interest in archaeology, and wanting be known as ‘more than just a pretty face’.

Silvia He
Silvia He
In Creative Minds, we ask APAC creatives a long list of questions, from serious to silly, and ask them to pick 11 to answer. (Why 11? Just because.) Want to be featured?

Name: 何昱辰瑄 Silvia He

Origin: Changsha, Hunan, China

Places lived/worked: Shanghai

Pronouns: She/her


  • BBDO, Shanghai, senior art director, 2019-2021

1. How did you end up being a creative?

It actually sprouted when I began to be curious about my surroundings as a child (my sister often said that I knew lots of weird knowledge). And then when I started a live 'recommendation sale' in a speech at university, it started my creative journey.

2. What's your favourite piece of work in your portfolio?

It’s hard to choose. We had a Jagermeister campaign to sell home appliances in the 618 promotion campaign that I really like. As an alcohol brand, it's hard to make waves when it comes to promotions. We found that the best sellers in 618 are home appliances, so we designed a brand of alcohol that sells home appliance. It’s a great gimmick, and we executed the idea by presenting a retro ad. The old-fashioned TV shopping style makes the whole video look nonsensical but textured and full of fun.

3. What's the one piece of work you most wish you'd done?

BBDO released some work for Anta in conjunction with the Tokyo Olympics. It made me excited and I wish I could have experienced this sense of honour.

4. What/who are your key creative influences?

Su Qiuping (Peter), Lin Junming (Jimmy), my tutor in college Liu Yang (Amber), and my teacher Eason. They were my mentors and my guides in advertising. In my sophomore year, Amber advised me to take part in the Longxi Awards (龙玺杰青). At the time, I was in a student group competing against dozens of groups of professional participants from 4A agencies.  At first, I was still very scared and afraid that my ideas were not good enough, but she told me “the newborn calf is not afraid of tigers”. In the end, I won second place in the North China region, the Top Popularity Award, and went all the way into the final shortlist. In the competition, the teachers made a great impact on my career path. I learned lots about the methods of creative people, which is very useful now.

5. What's on your bucket list?

Getting rich and travelling all over the world. I also want to win a Cannes Lion. 

6. What career did you think you'd have when you were a kid?

When I was a child, I loved watching archaeological programmes. I found it quite interesting to explore ancient civilisations, so I wanted to be an archaeologist.

7. Tell us about the worst job you ever had.

This job is my first, so I haven't encountered any bad jobs yet. I remember when I first joined the company, my skills were not good enough. My bosses and my colleagues taught me how to do shading, but I couldn't do it very well. So I felt I was so stupid and hid in a small room and cried.

8. What advice would you give to 10-year-old you, if you could?

Have more fun and see more of the world when you're young. It is better to travel a million miles than to read a million books.

9. What really motivates you?

Recognition for the work, the creativity, and the talent. I am not that confident, but when I became a winner of Young Lions Competition, I realised that I am not bad. Participating in the competition really motivates me.

10. How would your co-workers describe you?

In the past, a colleague described me as 'beautiful and looks rich'. But I’m not rich! Maybe it’s because I love life, I tend to spend my money on improving my quality of life. For example, I like travelling, I like good coffee, and I like to buy flowers. And it’s very cheap to buy flowers in a livestream promotion.

I wish people will not be prejudiced against good-looking girls but also recognise their work and ability. Now, people have started to change their perception of me. I am conscientious and responsible, with a sense of humour and leadership potential. In the future, I hope to hear more comments like "her intelligence is what makes her look rich, and she is also beautiful".

11. What would you do on your perfect day?

My idea of a good day is to wake up late, have brunch, play with my cat, listen to jazz while cleaning, have some coffee, watch an entertainment show, have dinner, watch a movie, and play video games.

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