What were you doing before the course?
I had previously studied Fashion Design Womenswear at Central St Martins in London. This led to working for various designers such as Christopher Raeburn and Beyond the Valley doing print work and pattern cutting. I was also the principle jewellery designer for Anna Lou of London and later had my work in Topshop and also designed necklaces for celebrities such as V.V.Brown.
Why did you decide to do the course?
I wanted to increase my skill set. I could draw but I wanted the computer, like my fineliners, to be an extension of my thought process. I had met with Toby Hoare of JWT London and he agreed that creative ideas and drawing skills alone weren’t enough to get to the top of this fast-paced industry. I wanted a course that would teach me all the skills I would need for a serious career in the world of design. Both Toby and Krystjana of Beyond the Valley loved the work I've done at the college and we hope to work together when I return to London.
What did you enjoy most about the course?
The dynamics were just perfect. Fast-paced, competitive and, at all times, creative and interesting. I love to learn and meet people who take heart in design and the tutors and other students made for the perfect learning environment. Shillington taught me more in the time I was there than any other educational establishment I’ve ever known or indeed heard of. Whilst teaching 22 students in total, the tutors also took the time to teach me skills specific to my style such as illustrative tips. The personal interest that they took made the teachers not only great but inspirational. I also loved the variety in characters at college. We had such a lovely, engaging class and we all keep in touch with each others’ progress. ‘A design community’ you could say...but it sounds lame...so let’s not!
How would you recommend this to people who haven’t studied art or design before?
That’s what so great about the course. It starts with design principles and idea generation, so anyone can learn the design processes. One guy in our class came from working at a bank and ended up producing the most stunning work. He not only learnt all the skills but also had a great individual style throughout. A lot of courses ask for previous design knowledge but Shillington asks nothing of you. It really does start right at the beginning and takes you through all the steps at a coherent pace. I would really recommend the course to anyone and everyone because it will open your eyes to how important design is across all industries. Every business has branding, logos, style guides etc so it really is relevant to everyone out there who’s keen to get as involved as possible.
How did you find the college environment and facilities?
The city environment was a busy but positive place in which to study and the college itself worked more like a studio than a college or school. The scanner and the library of design books and magazines were an amazing luxury for me. Taking inspiration, whether conceptually or directly, from other people’s work is all part of the process and I felt truly spoilt to have all those magical resources at my fingertips.
How confident do you feel as you enter the design industry?
I think I feel very confident although at times I wobble and think my feet might fly from beneath me. Self-doubt has haunted me before but I feel now, more than ever, that I have the drive to make something happen. All I can do is take the lessons that I’ve learnt in the past few years along with my rad red portfolio and be myself. On a scale from 1 to 10 I’d say I was an 8.
What are your next steps?
My next steps are embracing all the opportunities that I can. To get in front of as many people as possible and to get to know how the industry works. I'm working on some illustrations with a tutor from Shillington for an annual report and have other various projects going on such as album artwork and logo design. I’m off to WMA to enthuse the chairman with my ideas on music graphics…
Shillington graduates talk about life after completing our course.