Aimee Chappell was always the one in primary school turning boring A4 reports into crazy A1 posters with the brightest coloured card you’d ever seen! She tells us who are her top five design crushes right now, how busting your balls, working hard, taking risks and it will all pay off. Also she gives us some great insight into where she believes design is heading in the next five years.
When did you fall in love with design and how did you get started? I fell in love with design from an early age without even realising it. In primary school I was always the one turning boring A4 reports into crazy A1 posters with the brightest coloured card you’d ever seen. I was also really into ‘bubble writing’ all of my headings, which was very, very cool in 2003.
I started university in 2011 studying Communications and convinced I was going to become a journalist and broadcaster, but when I got to my second semester I became very uninspired and dropped out. I took a few years off to work and travel and in 2014 I found myself itching to leave my full time job to exercise my creative side and decided to pursue a career in Design, spent 2 years finishing my degree and now the rest is history!
Who are your top five design crushes right now?
Jasmine Dowling – jasminedowling.com
So elegant, so beautiful! I know Jasmine is popular for her typography but I love the way she designs her blog posts with her beautiful brush strokes and amazing colour palette! So yummy.
Ellen Porteus – ellenporteus.tumblr.com
I have a massive design crush on Ellen. Her work is just so good to look at, but most importantly I love that she illustrates about serious issues and still makes things engaging and easy to understand. Oh, and her animations are 10/10!
Spenceroni – spenceroni.com
Patterns, patterns patterns! The best patterns I’ve ever seen. So good.
Ashley Ronning – ashleyronning.com
Her illustrations are amazing! I love the hand drawn feel and can’t wait to buy all of her zines.
Camille Walala – camillewalala.com
Another pattern crush! Not just pattern on paper, but pattern on walls and clothes and everything you could ever dream of. She’s got some serious style!
Whats your take on internships?
Yes! I love internships, as long as they benefit both parties involved. They are a great way to get on the job experience and if you get the right place you can find amazing mentors who have a wealth of knowledge that you can squeeze like a sponge. I have done two internships so far and have learned so much from them, not just about how to be a better designer but how to be a designer in the workplace too. This may be an obvious one, but they are also an amazing experience to network. Do your research, find the right place for you and go for it. What have you got to lose? At the end of the day everything is a learning experience whether it is positive or negative.
What has been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt along the way?
Get social and collaborate.
Working with like-minded people can be one of the most rewarding and eye-opening experiences. Know your industry, make a design community, create a network, give feedback, ask for feedback and just keep creating.
Love what you do, if you don’t love it then leave it. If you are passionate about what you do then working hard won’t be hard, and you’ll be doing your dream job.
Make it work.
I went back to university on 2014 with a car loan that still needed to be paid. I had no laptop and spent 14 hours in the university E-Labs on Saturdays teaching myself the software and doing my assignments. After my first semester I decided this was unrealistic and took out a credit card to buy a laptop, whilst still having a car loan to pay off. I also went on two international study tours that I quite frankly couldn’t afford, but I have absolutely no regrets because every single one of these decisions has paid off, and I have now paid off both my car loan and credit card. I guess what I am trying to say is that you have to make it work. You have to bust your balls and work hard, but, if you do I promise it will pay off.
Say yes to every opportunity.
As long as it is good for you you have no reason to say no. Oh man, sometimes they can be scary, but so was learning to drive when you were 16 and I bet you’re a pro now. If you are presented with an opportunity then you were obviously offered it for a reason, so just say yes and figure the rest out later.
Don’t be silly (Thanks Poppy).
This one is my favourite. A few months ago I was freaking out and quite frankly being a wuss about a job. I told my Poppy that I was afraid that I would fail or “stuff it up”. He turned to me and said, “Don’t be silly. You haven’t failed yet so why would you fail now.” It was the best verbal slap in the face I’ve had all year.
Where do you think design is heading in the next five years and how will you adapt?
I think design will head towards a more service based future. As much as I love design and illustration, I think we as designers have to offer more than a product that just looks good. We need to think about the function of how things work and what their purpose is. We need to think how will we use them and question if we can we do it better. Can we use a more sustainable material? Can we reduce the amount of wasteful packaging a product has? There are so many online services and templates where you can download a logo or a business card for $12 now that we need to bring something else to the table. I’m all about service design and questioning why we do what we do in our day to day lives. We need to be thinkers and innovators and use our creative brains to help build better communities world wide.
Whats the big goal in the next five years?
I’m torn. I would absolutely love to be represented as an illustrator and have enough work to freelance but I would also love to be involved with companies who use products, projects and service design to help improve communities not just in Australia but worldwide. I love to illustrate, it’s my favourite thing in the whole wide world, but I also want to use the skills I have learned to help people and our planet, and create purpose with my work. So if I can find a job that does both than I’ll be happier than a pig in mud, or a creative visiting Naoshima Island in Japan, (if you’ve visited you’ll 100% know what I mean). I’m passionate about recycling and waste reduction, as well as sharing the privilege of education so if I could find a project that ticks all of the above I will die peacefully.