We touch base with Jessica Bong the wonderful Melbourne #TDKtuesdays host that we just can't get enough of...she was in our 15 Designers to Watch in 2015 and was the Art Director of Monash Uni's Esperanto Magazine. She is a fresh keen grad and Jr Designer at Clear Design and Brand Strategy. She has some great tips for students starting out and shares with us her exciting design related travel plans!
Jess Bong tell us about where you are today and what you love about your job!
These days, I’m cutting my teeth at Clear Design and Brand Strategy, down in Fitzroy. Overall, it’s a great experience! It’s full of all the challenges you would expect as a Junior Designer trying to understand the industry. Luckily, I have a strong and supportive team of people behind me ready to answer the tedious questions I may have. I love the weekly meetings we have (Aptly titled D-d-d-design Talking), where we just talk about design, and let out the design nerd the rest of society doesn’t quite understand. There’s a great energy you don’t get working alone.
Whats your take on internships?
Internships are invaluable. It’s good to scare yourself once in a while to make sure you’re alive. If you have the resources—do more than one internship. It’s your time to jump around from studio to studio without a bound contract—to understand further what kind of environment you do like, and don’t like. The people you meet, will also become future mentors and contacts, burger buddies.
Which three people in the design industry would you pick as mentors and why?
1. David Eggers—Due to his radical way of thinking of the ‘magazine’ as a beautiful ‘book.’ He worked with discardable and unconventional content, released it in beau-tiful compediums. Each issue was unique masterpiece on its very own. To tap into his mind, would be amazing.
2. Adrian Shaughnessy—His insight and experience into self-publishing would be fascinating and something I’d love to learn the ropes about.
3. Alex Trochut—Not many people can do what he does. He is someone I would also consider a master of his craft. He’s young, fresh, embodies a lot of the values of our current generation of designers but has also worked very hard.
What advice would you give students starting out?
1. You’re not that great. Work hard, learn.
2. Take frequent walks away from the screen.
3. Don’t take criticism personally.
4. Things won’t get easier, but you’ll get better.
5. Don’t use headphones at a studio—no, not yet.
6. Come down to #TDKtuesdays and get acquainted. ;)
*Bonus* BE YOURSELF. I REPEAT. YOURSELF. IT’S TRUE. IT’S ALL TRUE.
Whats on the cards professionally and personally in the next 12 months?
I’m flying off to Fabrica, over in Treviso, Italy! I’ll be there learning what I can, and then not worrying too much about what the future holds. I hope to explore self-publishing at some point, political design and web. I think it’s time to get onto web. In my personal life, I just want to love and learn Chinese.
What do you think the design community could do more of to give back?
If a larger portion of designers could use our design capabilities to:
—Question anything that is blindly accepted by the masses.
—Target social and environmental injustices.
—Encourage edifying cultural behaviours then there’d be a lot more happy designers and happy non-designers.
Salt Lake City
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