Featured Awards Winner

Shyanne Trutwein

March 2019

A big congrats to Shyanne Trutwein (@shyannetrutwein), one of our 30 TDK Awards winners' for 2019. A Billy Blue College of Design graduate from Brisbane, their work was chosen by Oliver Siegenthaler from Siegenthaler & Co in Bogota: “A portfolio with a super balance. It's handling of typography, illustration, composition and colour are very good and it's surprising when it takes the concepts to different disciplines (Brand, packaging, digital, visual communications). Her work shows branding system capabilities”. We asked Shyanne to answer a few questions for next years TDK Awards hopefuls.

What do you wish you’d known now when you started your design course?

For me I wish I had known how great collaboration and opening up to others can be. I think being young and introverted (as a lot of creatives are) there's a real unwillingness to work with people on University group assignments or even get feedback from peers. I think young people and students are really worried about what people think of them/their work and don’t really consider the great power in discussion and criticism. Truth is collaboration can be amazing and sometimes that’s where the best ideas come from.

What originally lead you in to design, and how has that changed - what do you want to do/are doing now?

I always joke that finding Kidpix on a school computer back in the Windows 95 days is what lead me to design. I actually wanted to study architecture growing up but that didn’t work out. Graphic Design was never the obvious choice for me but now when I look back it was always there. In school years I downloaded some weird photoshop dupe called gimp to make custom BEBO skins and Myspace layouts for my friends and I (hilarious I know), but it helped me understand composition and how to use programs. I was also playing around in the Brisbane music scene for a bit, which lead me to DIY/create a lot of visual content for myself and other people.

I’ve been freelancing for over a year, now that I’ve graduated I’ll probably continue to do so. When I first started freelancing I never would have thought my work would be Illustration based (secret is I can’t draw with a pen and paper) so that's something that has changed. I’d love to continue freelancing but really want to gain some studio experience.

Any hot tips for getting ahead at uni?

I think having prior knowledge of adobe programs and feeling comfortable using them can put you far ahead in the game.

You only get out as much as you put in, if you’re not attending or engaging it can reflect poorly on how you look as a student. You’ll probably find that a lot of lecturers are very much apart of the industry; they’re unlikely to recommend you for jobs etc if you don’t engage no matter how “good” of a designer you are. Also just straight up listening and being open to ideas and critique is extremely valuable, this is your time to make mistakes, lose the ego, you’re there to learn.

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I think young people and students are really worried about what people think of them/their work and don’t really consider the great power in discussion and criticism

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What do you love about the design scene in your city and what companies are on your dream list to work or collaborate with?

Brisbane is so underrated! But I guess that is it’s charm. We have so many great creatives and the design scene is really strong but everyone is so friendly and approachable. It’s nice being able to reach out to someone established and ask them for advice etc.

I love collaborating and providing visuals for music based projects. It would be a dream for me to work with people like Courtney Barnett and Khruangbin who have different artists/designers create their tour posters. Anything music related, working with a festival would be awesome or a music platform that embrace visuals like The Boiler Room and Soulection.

Where do you see your career in 5 years?

I’m always bad at these questions. Aren’t millennials supposed to change their career every 3 years? Who knows I may not even be in the design field.

Ideally though I would love to have an established freelance career while also working in a studio. As a designer I’d love to be considered as one that has helped build brands and communicate stories visually. I’ve been toying with the idea of relocating overseas or interstate but Brisbane’s pretty great.

2019 for you in a sentence

2019 is the year of trying to remember you no longer need to hold down shift with command + T.

Website: shyannetrutwein.com

Instagram: @shyannetrutwein

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