Girl Profile / Serena Sundai

Dear Serena,

I met you through Shannon, my Girls Club co-leader, because you work with her! You have been a part of Girls Club from the beginning (and your sister too – so cool), and have always been very supportive.

You are also a really cool designer, which I completely admire. And I love your style – your clothes, your looks, your makeup, your hair, everything! If I had to go shopping with someone and trust their opinion, or get a friend to be a stylist, you’d be one of the people I’d pick.

All right, onto the questions!

WORK + PLAY

How are you today?
I am pretty good, thanks for asking! Just got back from dinner, and a fed Serena is a happy Serena.

What do you do for work?
Graphic design.

What does that involve day to day?
Each day is a different combination of things. It can cover illustration, branding, layout design, art direction, web design and copywriting… I’m probably forgetting some other stuff too. In my current role, I don’t get to deal with clients directly, but I have had to in the past which–thanks to the benefit of hindsight–is actually something that I kind of miss.

How did you get to this role, this field, from school?
I’ve always loved drawing since I was a kid, and would fill exercise book after exercise book with doodles. So I always knew I wanted to do something creative. I didn’t even realise there was such a thing as a graphic designer, so when I left high school I opted to study Architecture – that way I would be studying something that was creative and interesting, but still a degree that my parents would approve of…product of Asian parenting, but that’s for another questionnaire! I completed the first three years and got the first degree but decided it wasn’t for me. The graphic design students were in the same building as us architecture students, so I got to see their work and what they got up to and thought… yes… that’s my vibe. And here we are.

What do you do for play?
The answer is ‘consume’. What I do for play involves indulging my appetites for music, stories, random trivia and food. So going to gigs, movies, scouring the internet for random bits of info… that sort of thing. And I like to get lost in my own little world… to me, that’s about as fun as it gets. You can find me on Saturday morning literally staring out the window – what looks dull to most people is in fact, the MOST fun I could be having.

FAVOURITES

Do you have any favourite sites or blogs?
On weekends I like to check out teamcoco.com – I love Conan O’Brien and I like to watch random clips here and there just to get my chuckle on. There’s also ComediansInCarsGettingCoffee.com which is Jerry Seinfeld’s site where he meets up with other comedians and well… gets in cars and gets coffee. I’ve also recently discovered partysmasherinc.com, a site dedicated to DIY creative culture that was started by Ben Weinman of Dillinger Escape Plan.

What TV/music are you currently enjoying?
Recently, I have been bingeing on Hannibal, Rectify, Halt and Catch Fire and Outlander. Shows along the ‘lighter’ side have been Bob’s Burgers, The Mindy Project, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia and Drunk History. Anthony Bourdain’s ‘Parts Unknown’ has started again, so I have been looking forward to a new episode every week.

On the music tip, I’ve been listening to FKA Twigs, Hawk House and Goat. I have the new Aphex Twin and Flying Lotus, but I have to set aside some time to absorb those.

Who are favourite females in your life?
Don’t make me choose! If you’re a female who is in my life, you’re pretty much a favourite already. My sister is important to me as she is my best friend and she has supported me a lot (not that I have given her much choice, hah!). And I would also say the ladies (Shannon and Fox included!) that I have met over the last couple of years here in Melbourne have been really awesome – they have helped to make the transition to life here a little easier.

And though these women are not literally in my life, I do look up to these intelligent and funny women: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Mindy Kaling and Kirsten Wiig. Finally, my style icon would be Alexa Chung.

THE BIG PICTURE

What are your passions?
Music. It’s practically a religion to me. Equality is also very important to me, and I find myself struggling on a daily basis trying to understand how humans can be so hateful to another on the basis of them being deemed an ‘other’. I haven’t yet figured out how I can channel this passion into actually doing something about it other than voice my opinions to anyone who will listen.

What are you looking forward to, coming up?
The gigs and festivals I have lined up, hanging out with my family over the holiday season, and booking more travel destinations.

What would you do, if money were no object?
Become a property investment guru and live off the money I made from that, which in turn would allow me to do way more travelling. Then start up my own business which would be music-related (right now, I’m thinking a music school for kids). I would also move to London permanently, have homes in NYC, Dubrovnik and Singapore and move between those as and when I pleased. And most importantly, make sure my family’s needs were taken care of.

What would you do, if you weren’t afraid?
Pretty much what I said in the previous answer… move to London and start my own business. And also learn a martial art. Too bad I don’t like pain.

COMPLETE THIS SENTENCE

I would love to meet other girls who…
are open-minded and enjoy a good hearty laugh.

I need help with…
learning to follow through. I always have ideas of things I’d love to do, but alas, the love for the couch and my stories means that they tend to get shelved.

I’d like to promote…
my brother’s band – well, it’s actually Elise’s band, called Fait. The music she writes is atmospheric and instrumental and AWESOME. My brother plays drums in her live shows.

And I guess myself too – I do freelance work outside of my day job, so if you’re after any graphic design, please contact me!

LAST WORD

If other girls are reading this, is there anything you’d like to ask them / say to them?
Please do not think that being in a relationship ‘completes’ you. I think it’s important to learn to be whole and happy with yourself and not require someone else to do that for you. I have known too many girls in my life who are willing to stay unhappy in a toxic relationship simply because the thought of being single is a ‘stigma’ they aren’t willing to bear. You are amazing, and you are not defined by your relationship status.

CONNECTING

How can people connect with you?
www.serenasundai.com
twitter.com/mojopin66
instagram.com/mojopin66
au.linkedin.com/in/serenasundai

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