Featured Graduates

Ryan Benniston

April 2014

So this is Ryan Benniston! Ryan's been interning and freelancing from the get-go of his UK based design degree.  After his degree he opened his own design studio and later worked for Revolver Revolver, UK. Ryan runs Helloyoungfriends, a platform for students to showcase their work. This guy's been around the block and back and is now living in Melbourne, job hunting, with his mojo back and balls intact. Read on for some great tips and advice from our fellow creative graduate.

Ok lets begin. Where did you study and what were some of your first creative jobs?

I studied graphic design at the University of Derby back in old England and started freelancing for a few studios/clients in my first year. The studios I freelanced for mainly wanted me to help out on branding projects. I really enjoy the ideas generation stage of a project and I was involved with that quite a lot. I interned in Derby, Nottingham & London too whilst studying and got the chance to work on some big projects for clients like Mars and Rolls Royce, as part of a big team. My first client of my own was my friend who owns a tattoo shop that has quite a good reputation throughout the UK.  I did a lot of work for him whilst studying and got the chance to have my work featured in bizarre magazine quite regularly.

How would you compare the creative scene in Melbourne vs. UK?

Before coming here I didn’t know a lot about Australian design to be honest. It wasn’t until I decided to come to Melbourne that I started looking at the design scene. The more I looked in to it, the more little creative gems I found. There’s some sweet design knocking around Melbs. I wouldn’t say its too different to the UK.  I think Melbourne suits my design style more than Derby and It’s helpful for creativity when you stumble on nice designy things around the city (like TDK :) ) and your not freezing balls.

Tell us about HelloYoungFriends. What’s is all about?

I started Helloyoungfriends after my lecturer asked me to do portfolio workshops for students. I saw a lot of students with really good portfolios but who were unsure on what they would do after graduating. I was running a small studio at the time and thought it would be a good way to help out as well as raising our profile a bit. The aim was to create a platform for students to showcase their work, sell there stuff and get noticed.  It’s going well, we have shows and screen printing workshops happening, that the talented @youngfriendjason has been working on. And a new young friend, Rosie, contributing some handsome illustrations. Check out helloyoungfriends.com & @helloyoungfriends

Do you have any other personal projects?

Apart from HYF and freelance projects, Here is my to do list.
Work on promotional things to send to some Melbourne Studios. I like to send things to people. bits of print, illustrations, animation…All sorts. Even if there’s no openings I find it’s good for creativity and hopefully it makes folk smile.
Learn some more. I’m thinking of doing a Web course of an evening RMIT or Shillingtonor somewhere? (I need to look into it more though) I know my way around the old website making but I want to be better.
Surf. I haven’t surfed since last year in the icy deep around England. I can’t wait to get in the brine over here.

Where are you working at the moment? How’s creative life post graduating?

I’m working on projects with clients I had in the UK mainly but I’ve been working with a small business in Melbourne. I’ve only been here three months though so its early days. Its been a busy time for me since graduating, I started a small studio after Uni, which was a steep learning curve but fun times. Then I was offered a job at a great design studio, Revolver Revolver. Both taught me a lot about design and business. I’m just rattling around the city at the minute and getting inspired. I’ve got my Mojo back and I’m ready to get some design done.

Any advise for graduates looking for a job in a design studio? How do you get noticed?

I’d say send stuff to out. People would send us emails all the time and it was sometimes a bit much deal with them all. When little design parcels fall through the letter box its exciting and it gets your attention. Go to events/exhibitions/workshops and such, you’ll meet people naturally, If you love what you do that’ll come across. Do work that makes you laugh, If you have fun working that’ll come across too.

Whats on the cards in the next year?

Well this time last year I was surfing in Portugal, so who knows? I Had planned to move away at the end of 2013 but to where was undecided. If at the end of 2014 I found myself in a Melbourne Studio I'd be more than happy. In the mean time I hope to create things learn stuff and have Australian fun times.

Thanks for having me.



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