Sometimes I lose hours at a time browsing through blogs and websites, scrolling endlessly without really looking at anything—so to counter this I’m a huge fan of collecting physical things! Anything from postcards, business cards, packaging, clothing tags, tickets—you know all those piles of stuff on the floors of shops? I’m an ephemera hoarder!
Don’t wait until you graduate to start getting involved in the design world. There are some things (read: a million things) you can only learn on the job and with practice. Why not have an internship or some sort of experience under your belt before you graduate? It can only help you in your job-finding quest! This is something I didn’t do, but wish I had.
In 2013 I interned with Melbourne Aquarium (MAQ) and Studio Pennant. As you could imagine they were extremely different experiences, so they influenced me in different ways. At MAQ, I worked with the head designer Raewyn within a marketing team. I learnt to work to extremely strict deadlines in an extremely fast environment where you needed to be able to switch on to completely different briefs constantly, which with my 2 jobs & freelance work I now have to do a lot myself. At Studio Pennant, on the other hand, it was just Scott, Spencer and I in their boutique design studio. Their belief in the importance of a strong concept and their impeccable, next-level attention to detail has absolutely influenced any work that I’ve done since.
It’s hard to choose but If I had to pick one it would be working on the website design for the 2014 Groovin’ the Moo music festival, working under Michael Ebbels Design. My role was to take graphic elements provided by Warren Taylor & Cattleyard Promotions and design page layouts, patterns and moving graphics in the form of gifs that had to work aesthetically but also be suitable for slicing and coding. It was pretty exciting working on something like GTM that is quite well known but what I enjoyed the most was working with a web design team. I really enjoyed Web Design at Uni but have found it hard sometimes to teach myself since finishing uni, so it was great being around people who really know what they are doing (shout out to Dom Mazza!) because I was able to pick some new skills along the way.
I recently had a folio review with Toby from Just Another Agency that re-inspired me to design and build a shiny new website for myself. To accomplish this I’m *slowly* learning Webflow (look it up, it’s the bomb if you’re not so great at coding). I also attended Jacky Winter Gives You The Business, which opened my eyes to a whole new world of businessy-things including a little something called passive income, so I’m trying to investigate that further at the moment and see how that could work for me.
I’d like to share a personal project I completed earlier this year that has unexpectedly resulted in me gaining international exposure. As part of The Short List collective, in January, I exhibited some prints in the group exhibition ‘Getaway’ at No Vacancy gallery. The prints were well received so I decided to enter them into this year’s Supergraph Art Fair. I’m now excited to say that my prints have been selected to be part of a curated Supergraph booth in London’s ‘Pick Me Up’ Graphic Art Festival this April. I’m pretty stoked. I think it goes to show that personal projects are always worth doing—you never know how they might end up!
I exhibited a poster for the Semi-Permanent ‘Take Me Home” Exhibition at The Tate Gallery in Sydney 2013 after being one of winners of the competition, so my tip numero uno would be to enter as many competitions as you can! I’ve also exhibited work at Tacit Contemporary Art (2013) & Supergraph (2014) as part of the collective The Short List. The Short List is a group of Monash 2012 graduates who wanted to continue working and creating together after Uni finished. So, we respond to briefs and present the outcomes in gallery exhibitions and also recently an Art Fair – where selling our work was just an added bonus! So tip numero duo is if you want to exhibit your own work, get some friends together, arm yourself with a well-written exhibition application & apply to some galleries. It is easier then you think! Finally, your website is like your own personal exhibition, so keep it regularly updated!
An interesting collaboration that I have been involved in recently has been with Jeff at Soxy Beast, who works with a different artist and charity every month to create a unique sock design. Jeff saw my work at the ‘Getaway’ exhibition and we have been collaborating since, brainstorming charities that are close to me and creating a repeat pattern of my design that will work seamlessly (pun intended) on a sock. I can’t reveal anything else at this point but It’s been a lot of fun so far and I can’t wait to see how it turns out!