Each summer DA profiles a selection of the top design graduates coming out of our tertiary institutions. We welcome these talented emerging professionals to our industry, learn about their passions, final projects and dreams for the future.
Was there someone (or something) that inspired you to pick design as a career path?
Since I previously studied photography in high school as well as an additional 1-year course, I realised that the post-processing and the creative freedom about going crazy in Photoshop was really intriguing for me. I would not say that someone specifically inspired me to choose this path, it was mainly myself drifting naturally into this design industry. I have also really (like really) loved drawing and creating all my life, so I feel like stepping into visual design was something that came full circle in terms of my all-time favourite interests.
You completed your full time studies at the end of 2019. Can you tell us what your final year’s project focussed on?
At Yoobee we were tasked to focus on creating a big event, as a combination of our previous assignments such as branding, product design, and information design. I chose to do a mental health-focused event with the main theme being natural + artificial. This idea came to me as I have a passion for mental well-being, and I came into this project wanted to create something that I am experienced with as well as something meaningful to others.
My project is called “Mind Garden” and it is an event held to raise funds to further develop organisations who are working with the subject. The event is an exhibition with plants and artificial lights to make them look different to what they actually are, resembling an unhealthy mind. The lights themselves are representing the “brain ghosts” that unwell people experience, while the beautiful plants are representing the thoughts that gets distorted.
For the design for this project I created a typography-based poster with vibrant pastel colours, with human elements that are incorporated in the type (it sounds super absurd explaining it in writing!). However, the main element in my design is a mirror that distorts the type in a way that makes the letters look nothing like they actually are. Again – as a form of symbolism that links to the unhealthy mind of a mental health sufferers mind.
What were some of your most exciting or unexpected discoveries to come out of your project?
With this project – that I am not as terribly bored and bad with typography as I originally thought I was. The main discoveries that I got from my course in general was the actual job hunting and being lucky enough to be able to put a foot in the design industry. With those experiences I realised that employers are mainly looking for YOU. Not particularly you work. If you are a fun person to be around with a good and positive attitude – (rather than trying to be SUPER professional and proper when you are really not. I was a victim of this for the majority of my initial job searching) people will appreciate you more and you will be more successful in your applications. At least in my experience.
Anyone can do cool visuals in Photoshop and Illustrator, but not everyone can make a pleasant colleague to work with every day.
What did you love doing most?
Having the freedom of being able to do whatever I wanted with my assignments, and fully give myself the luxury of using my creativity without (nearly) any limits. I also loved exploring different areas in the industry that I never thought I would do, such as designing products and events.
What was your biggest challenge while studying and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge was probably me doubting myself and my abilities with my design. Since I put so much personality into my design, I invest myself in my work so much and I tend to get stuck at certain points. This is now (unfortunately) a part of my design process and the way I conquer this is by taking a step back, look elsewhere for inspiration, and potentially start from a blank to get other ideas out of my head. It also helps to get heaps of feedback from my peers and also to listen to my initial gut feeling.
How has your ability and confidence progressed since the beginning of your studies?
Alot! Especially since I came here to Auckland to Sweden in 2016, getting to know a new place with new people and new opportunities – I was not too sure how to approach and tackle it. Now, three years later, I now feel so much more comfortable and confident in what I do and how to approach people. I am also much more confident in myself – and I never ever thought I would be able to do that.
How do you see your work and practice developing, and what are your main aspirations?
I feel like I am always growing and developing with every project that I do. I always try to challenge myself with trying different skills, techniques, and software so I don’t catch myself doing the same things over and over. I also make sure to get feedback from different sources so I make sure that I am on track with what I am doing and so I stay relevant. I always strive to learn more, and to get to know people in the same industry. Money or my hourly rate is not what I am looking for in a career, I value the experiences and the things I learn on the way. That is another thing that I have learnt from the past year.
Which piece in your portfolio are you most proud of and why?
Tough question, all of my pieces in my portfolio are very near and dear to my heart because I personally invest myself in everything that I do. However, I am really pleased with my “Mind Garden” project and how it turned out. I mainly like it because it has a meaning that means a lot to me, and I am also stoked with the design and how I decided to work with it.
What does your dream job look like?
Again, a tough question, since on the one hand – I want to travel and work across the world, but on the other hand, I love routines and I have always seen myself working in an energetic team of people in a cool design studio.
Why did you choose to study at your design school, and what do you feel you can take away now that you’ve completed your course?
I knew I did not want to study a three year degree, so I looked for shorter courses in graphic design. The thing that mainly caught my attention was the title of the course that I saw which was “Creative Digital Design”. Creative! This was very appealing to me so I decided to look into it further, and I saw that Yoobee had really good reviews, and that they accepted international student too, which was really great and helpful.
Where to next for you? What does 2020 hold?
After my studies, I will hopefully have a full-time job in the industry with a team that allows me to grow with the company and to be my creative self. I hope I can be proud of what I do, and also work on my own personal projects alongside my professional work.
I really do not know that 2020 holds. And that feels very exciting and also a little bit terrifying.
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