Traveler Series: Karina Ha, Creative Director & Branding Designer

This week on the sixth instalment of our Traveler Series we're featuring the wildly creative talent, Karina Ha! Raised in New Zealand and later moved to Hong Kong, Karina is a celebrated creative director and branding designer. Prior to Hong Kong, she's had a fascinating journey all around the world from New York, London, to Shanghai. Karina describes herself as passionate, sentimental and adventurous. She loves sports but also enjoy spending all afternoon daydreaming at the cafe. 

Follow along as Karina shares with us her secrets to gorgeous beach photos and her recommended destination for art lovers. Check out her Instagram to be inspired some more!

ESEMBLE Journal Traveler Series Karina Ha Dive Bucket Bag in Fog PMQ HK 1
Shot in PMQ, Hong Kong with Dive Bucket Bag in Fog

As a designer, what inspires you to travel and what do you hope to find in your travels?

Culture, art, music and scenery. Any special exhibitions at that time too. I hope to find inner peace and inspiration for my future work – for both design and social media. I always love talking to the locals and learn from them. For me, traveling to new places is a great way to feel recharged and inspired again, especially for creative work. Bringing these conversations of Art, Culture and even Fashion to life is what I find most rewarding.

ESEMBLE Journal Traveler Series Karina Ha Travel Lifestyle Kyoto New Zealand
Shot in Kyoto, Japan; Saint Heliers, New Zealand

How many countries have you been to so far? Any upcoming travel plans lined up?

25 countries, more than 70 cities. I'm going to New York for my best friend's wedding in September. I may also stop by the West Coast!

List 3 travel essentials that you can't fly without and will never forget to bring.

My camera, sketch book and running shoes.

ESEMBLE Journal Traveler Series Karina Ha Dive Bucket Bag in Fog PMQ HK 2
Shot in PMQ, Hong Kong with Dive Bucket Bag in Fog

We love the photos you took on your recent trip to Sanya, any secrets for taking the perfect travel photo?

For Sanya, its all about sun and sand. Natural sunlight is all you need for beach shots. It's also fun to explore the elements surround you, such as reflections of sky off the water surface.

Have your past travels inspired any of your branding/ design projects? 

The two I can think of off the top of my head are Four Seasons Hotel and Wahtiki Island Lounge in Hong Kong. The former was inspired by bamboo groves from Kyoto, fused with some Chinese elements and a touch of Paris; the latter was mainly inspired by Polynesian, New Zealand.

ESEMBLE Journal Traveler Series Karina Ha Travel Lifestyle New Zealand
Shot in Newton, New Zealand

What is one of the places that you would recommend visiting for art/design lovers?

Iceland, definitely. Everything there is just WOW – stunning scenery, color harmonies of the nature, great music and culture... Oh, and my favorite is their minimalist, slightly quirky Art. LOVE!

We hope you enjoy this instalment. In case you're new here or if you missed the previous instalments on Traveler Series, make sure you check them out for some wanderlust inspiration.

Read more: 

Ida Anduyan, Style Blogger & Digital Creative
2017 Summer Wanderlust Playlist
Natalie "Lee" Chiaravanond, Travel Show Host & Actress
Natasha Huang Smith of JETSETAWAY, PR Consultant & Travel Writer
Denise Lai of SUPERWOWOMG, Graphic Designer & Founder of FIRSTLOVE


All images © Karina Ha