Recent Swinburne graduate Nathan Nankervis is one seriously talented illustrator, he was in our 15 to watch in 2015, Nathan tells us all about his interships, whats on the horizon for 2015 and his tips on how to make it through uni alive!
Tell us about where you are today and what you love about your job!
I’m an illustrator, though I recently graduated with Honors in Communication design. Since graduating the work has been pouring in which I am extremely grateful and excited about. I’ve been to a couple of internship interviews and even helped out at The Hungry Workshop this year but with so much on I decided to roll the dice and work for myself to save ca$h-mon3y for Europe. Hopefully I can tee something up over there.
I’m currently freelancing fulltime for myself, though it’s taken a while to get to this point, I couldn’t have timed it any better. I’ve been lucky enough to have my work featured by magazines such as Hello Mr, Voiceworks and Frankie, as well as scoring some big name clients such as the accounting software Xero and super cool boutique burger joint in Hong Kong called Little Bao. What I love about my job is that I do what I love and not many people can say that.
What’s your take on internships?
Internships are extremely beneficial. They allow you to meet creatives within your industry, which may not seem like too much at the time, but it is extremely valuable in starting your career, as these are the people who will pass on work to you and recommend you for jobs down the track. Internships also help you dramatically improve and expand upon your creative skill set as they allow you to apply your skills within the context of the real world.
I’m not a fan of studios that don’t pay their interns, or offer them a minuscule stipend. I know you have to earn your stripes but I think by paying interns a reasonable amount will elevate the creative industry as a whole.
Did you do any internships?
I managed to tick off three internships whilst I was studying, a studio called Peel, Jacky Winter’s Lamington Drive and Pennant. At times it was extremely stressful juggling both uni and internships, but it was definitely worth it in the end.
At the start of last year I actually went to a TDK x Spenceroni pattern workshop where I met, Spencer, which then led to an internship at Pennant. Working with Scott and Spencer couldn’t have been better, we got on really well, they’re both awesome designers and even better people. Spencer was going through a transition from design to illustration at the time so I would always speak to him about how I really wanted to do the same, but was hesitant as it’s a massive risk being such a subjective field. I think if it weren’t for the little chats I had with Spencer, I wouldn’t be where I am right now. He gave me the confidence to take the plunge and commit to illustration and I can’t thank him enough for that. We still stay in touch now, I’ll hit him up for advice or questions I don’t know the answers to. We might even be collaborating later this year. It’s the little things like that, which make internships so valuable.
What advice would you give students starting out?
Be patient. Work hard. Work smart. Stay positive. Get your work out there. Don’t rush your work. Only put out the work that you want to get back. Get out from your computer and meet people. Be confident in yourself. Do what you want to do. Experiment. Write your goals down. Be organized. Write lists. Do self initiated projects. Talk to other creatives. Go to exhibitions. Go to creative talks and conferences. Get feedback and opinions. Go with your gut. Get on social media. Get the hell off social media. Get inspiration without looking at a screen. Take brakes. Have hobbies. Travel. Don’t take things too seriously AND remember to have fun.
Whats on the cards professionally and personally in the next 12 months?
I’ve made it out the maze of university and exciting stuff is on the horizon. I’m currently working flat out on some really cool projects, I’m rebranding a timber-yard in Melbourne which possibly has the best name ever, ‘I Got Wood’. I’m also currently working with realestate.com.au on some exciting stuff and I’m aiming to have a small exhibition later on this year whilst collaborating with some super awesome people on the way. So keep a look out. Also I’ll be helping run #TDKTuesdays in Melbourne so get down, say what up and talk some baloney.