The first thing I studied was Photography. It's a subject that I had been taking throughout high school and college.
After I finished at the Canberra School of Art majoring in Photomedia I decided that fine arts was just too limiting for me in that moment and that's when design caught my eye. I then studied a two year diploma at RMIT in Graphic Arts. It was nice to bridge the conceptual thinking with the more practical skills. Funnily enough I’ve ended up leaning heavily on my Photography skills when I shifted gears into stop-motion a few years ago.
My first design job was with a company that primarily produced novelty giftware - Bud by Designroom. It was a pretty fun job as I was straight into making repeat patterns, prepping packaging and illustrating prints that would end up on rubber ducks.
I had really wanted to work at a ‘cool’ design studio, specifically a branding studio but more specifically, Qube Konstrukt. I don't think they are around these days but they were making some really exciting work. I was way too shy and self doubtful to contact them and pester about work. What actually happened is that instead of pursing the companies I wanted to work for, I took whatever was advertised.
I know it's going to be smooth sailing and be a successful project when a client is respectful of my opinion. That's not to say I'm always right. My freelance projects are essentially a collaboration between client and myself, it's not a one way street.
It hasn't been all rainbows and lollypops. I've had some projects gone sour and I’ve had to navigate some tricky territory. For example, on one job, I jumped in without having my quote completely signed off on. I had also stipulated some conditions important to my process that were in writing but were completely overlooked. When I finally voiced my concern the client was not happy about my hesitation to move forward and it went pear shaped. From now on, no matter how time sensitive a job is, the financials need to be agreed on and we'll have multiple conversations about the process as it moves forward. If anything I've become more in-tune to red flags.
Go HAM. Believe in yourself and stop overthinking.
Professionally I feel like I’m at a bit of a crossroad. I’ve just spent the last few years working at a stop-motion animation studio which focused on social media advertising. Since leaving I feel as though I’m somewhat in-between design and animation. I'd like to find opportunities that embrace this cross-over so I can keep learning and being challenged. Personally, I aim to get back into creating work for myself. To treat my practice as more of an artistic expression that is less focused on commercial output. I think this is important because it helps to evolve the style, skill and actually, just makes me feel good about making work. I also think further on, this type of output can lead to more commercial work. So it’s a bit of a loop.
Get more Magda Ksiezak insights & wisdom at MAKEit MADEit. Second round Early Bird Tickets are on sale now for one more week. For tickets and to check out all the other speakers this year, jump onto the MAKEit MADEit website: makeitmadeit.com.au