When did you fall in love with design and how did you get started?
I don’t think I fell in love with design until year 12. During high-school I enjoyed science and maths but my interests slowly moved towards visual communication. I was inspired by previous students who had their work on display at the VCAA Top Designs Exhibition at Melbourne Museum. I remember thinking to myself “That’s pretty damn cool, I want to do that!”, then the following year I had my folio on display – it was pretty damn cool!
Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs?
I’ve just completed my Bachelor of Design (Communication Design) at RMIT University. I started freelancing during my final year and my first freelance job was for a new start-up business called Hunter Concierge. Hunter Concierge is a high-end event planning and management service in the Hunter Valley region of NSW, and they needed an identity and some collateral. After designing their logo they referred me to a few more clients including Fort Denison in Sydney Harbour, Lisang Design in Noosa and it took off pretty quickly from there.
What was your plan for graduating and what actually happened?
During my final year of study, I ensured that my portfolio and CV was constantly up to date and I kept a look out for any design jobs and opportunities that arose. I was lucky enough to have some great mentors at RMIT who sent me design opportunities as well, and this led to a number of interviews that further aided my communication and interview skills. After graduating, I planned to continue my search for full-time employment, but a couple of weeks before finishing I was fortunate enough to be contacted by Giuseppe Demaio, Founder and Creative Director at Local Peoples. He offered me an internship which I’ve just recently started; I’ll continue with my freelance work as well.
Any passion projects you would like to share?
Oh easy – Model Magazine. For my final uni project, I had the opportunity to design an A3 publication on a theme of my choice. I have been a car enthusiast ever since I can remember and it didn’t take me long to decide that the automotive industry was going to be my focus for my final project. Model Magazine began with the desire to learn more about the classic car restoration scene in Melbourne. I met a number of passionate individuals who were more than happy to show me around their workshops and talk me through their current projects. They gave me great insight into the restoration process, their workshop and team involved. I plan on designing a second edition sometime soon, focused on a different car culture.
What advice would you give students starting out?
1. Experiment as much as you can throughout uni. Uni isn’t about perfecting your skills, it’s about learning new skills, so challenge yourself to learn something new for each project. Do what you want to do.
2. Work hard and be confident, get your work out there! Create an online portfolio and get on social media. Share it, spread it and only show work that you enjoy doing.
3. Prepare yourself for graduating. Know the industry you’re getting into, locally and internationally. Who else is out there?! Apply for internships, jobs, competitions, and exhibitions – get involved, say YES more and learn from these experiences.
4. Feedback hurts. Don’t take it personally – grow that tortoise shell of yours. Get feedback and opinions from others to improve your work accordingly.
5. Have hobbies.
6. Be nice to people.
7. Have fun!
Whats the big goal in the next five years?
In the next five years I’ll hopefully be a mid-weight designer working on more identity, publication and event designs. I’m immensely interested in restaurant and property identities. I’d like to think that Melbourne is continuing to become more aware of design that represents quality over quantity. I feel that the property and the dining landscapes play a huge part in changing the perspective of Melbournians towards seeing, using and existing alongside great design in the everyday. Contributing to this I hope will give me a greater sense of connecting consumers with thoughtful design. Model Magazine will continue as a personal project to enhance my knowledge and insight into the world of classic cars and the restoration process. I also hope to continue doing freelance work. Oh, and buy a Mustang.
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