I studied Design at TAFE in Melbourne, and then moved on to studying Visual Communication at RMIT. After finishing university, I interned at a few design studios and worked as an in-house graphic designer for a fashion label in Melbourne.
My plan after graduation was to work for 2 years then start a studio. That was really as far as the plan went. My overall goal was to start my own studio. After graduation, I interned with studios that I liked from a design and business perspective and got as much experience as I could before I was ready to just go at it alone.
We try to look at each design job from a different point of view. Obviously, some are more inspiring than others, but really you try not to put too much emphasis on this and look at it more as steps to get to the next stage. Every single time, inspiring or not, there are always aspects of a job that you can learn from. Trying not to be too idealistic and precious helps make you stronger and more flexible in the long run.
I was an intern when I first graduated, and I felt like I learnt a lot from the experience of working within a studio. I think it really depends who you end up interning with and what they have you working on. For us, we will only take an intern on if we feel they can work on projects that are not only collaboratively fun, but also become part of a learning process. We generally don’t take on many interns unless we feel both can learn and feel inspired by the experience. It needs to be mutual gratification. We have only had 4 interns in 5 years and currently are not taking new interns on.
FFF (Fun, Fame, Fortune) — only take on a job if it can tick at least 2 of these boxes.
Be true to yourself and follow your strengths.