Where do you work?
During the day I work as a graphic designer for Trafalgar Tours. After hours I freelance for a large variety of clients both in Australia and abroad. I’m also a part of one of Australia’s largest design blogs; Design Federation.
What is your role?
For Trafalgar Tours I’m the sole designer who works on the global marketing and collateral. For my freelance work it varies a bit more, taking on more creative direction and art direction. I also have a large focus on typography. For Design Federation, I’m a contributor as well as the Events Coordinator.
Describe your typical day as a designer.
Typical day as a designer? There is no typical day except for lack of sleep perhaps! It changes all the time. Jobs will come through sporadically and I just have to be aware of what’s on and juggle the jobs efficiently.
What do you love about being a designer?
I love the diversity; jobs which always keep me on my toes and wondering what I might be getting next. I also love the people who love design which contributes to a fun and exciting work environment.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
It’s hard to just pick one really. Creatively directing my first national campaign when I was only 18 was an amazing experience. Designing posters for some of Australia’s biggest DJs is also quite high on the list. Only recently my work got accepted into the Semi-Permanent book as well as being displayed amongst some of Australia’s biggest illustrators, street artists and other creatives in a Sydney show so that was quite an experience as well.
When did you graduate from Shillington?
I graduated in 2006.
What course did you study F/T or P/T, why did you choose this path?
I had only just finished high school the previous year and it was either this or university. I was really eager to just get into the industry so the full-time course suited me perfectly.
What area were you working in before the course?
I was in high school before the course.
Did you have any design experience before the course?
I occasionally scribbled on a piece of paper. Surely that counts!
Why did you decide to do the course?
I learn by doing! The hands-on nature of the course really was the most important thing to me.
What was the most valuable thing you took away from the course?
So many things but I guess the most important thing I learnt was really how to make commercially viable work. It is so important and often ignored in other education institutes.
How did you find the college environment, facilities and teaching?
Amazing! No other word to describe it. Working on nice new Macs with the coolest teachers I could have imagined. Nothing could have been better really.
How confident did you feel about entering the design industry after you graduated?
I was really young so I wasn’t as confident as I should have been with the portfolio I had. In saying that, there was a definite confidence that came from the level of my work and after a few interviews I knew my portfolio was far beyond the standard graduate level.
How long did it take you to secure a job?
The first job I got was pretty much straight out of college. It was a three month contract with a government department.
What was the response like to your portfolio during interviews?
Beyond anything I could have imagined. The compliments on the quality of my work from some award winning designers was quite an astonishment really.
Any advice for someone pondering whether to take the leap into graphic design and sign up for the course?
It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be!
Where do you see yourself 12 months from now?
Who knows? The progressions I’ve made in the last 12 months have just been amazing and are still rapidly moving forward. With a typographic mural painting in a Sydney laneway coming up soon, releasing some limited edition t-shirts and posters and helping release a book at the end of the year I see things are going to be busier than before with probably even less sleep. I can’t wait!
Shillington graduates talk about life after completing our course.