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Hear straight from our graduates.

Shillington ticked all the boxes for me–a short intensive hands-on course to make an efficient career switch.

Freelance Graphic Designer for Music

Karina Aslikyan

Why did you decide to study at Shillington? What made our course stand out from the rest?

Shillington ticked all the boxes for me–a short intensive hands-on course to make an efficient career switch. At the Info Session, one of the teachers did a teaser of a brand identity brief. It got me so excited! After that, I knew I had found my perfect course.

How has your first year as a designer been? Tell us your story from graduation to today.

The first year has brought a lot of learning and challenges. At first, I wasn’t sure what I was doing–just applied for every job ad out there. In December, 3 months after graduating, I had a chat with Frankie from The Design Kids. She pointed out how much personality and fun she could see from the music and festival briefs I did at Shillington. This feedback was a real eye-opener.

“What if I applied my design career to what I was truly passionate about?” I thought. Sometimes all it takes is to allow ourselves to dream. Of course it wasn’t that easy. Coronavirus hit soon after, forcing me to be more resourceful at pursuing my dream ‘jobs.’ I came up with personal projects, volunteered for FBi Radio, Sydney’s independent radio station. I did a Designer Bootcamp to tailor my folio and personal brand to my ideal clients.

Meanwhile, I was also doing design work for other industries, like e-commerce, that flourished during the pandemic. Right now, I’m beyond excited that live music and parties are slowly coming back and all the prep work and past personal projects have helped push my career in the right direction.

What inspires you in your design work? Is there anyone whose work you’re loving in particular right now?

I try to always keep my eyes peeled for inspiration. I often find it in nature, art, cartoons and bookshops. Shillington helped train my eye, so whenever I come across a striking piece of design I take time to analyse what makes it work.

I love learning, so I’m constantly in the middle of some online course. At the moment, I’m doing a one-of-a-kind free course developed by the AFTRS students called FLIP//BOOK, which covers video editing, 3D modelling and animation.

In terms of my recent design inspirations, I can’t get enough of Chloe Scheffe’s ground-breaking editorial design typography. Bráulio Amado blows my mind with his dynamic illustrations and layouts full of tension. To me, the playfulness behind the ideas and execution is the most important part of a designer’s craft.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wanted to study Shillington, what would it be?

Go for it! Working as a designer may not be your end goal, but the course teaches you so many valuable all-round skills: creativity, play, experimentation, the skill of looking. Design is not only about aesthetics, it’s a way of thinking and solving problems. This is what the course teaches you too.

Read Karina’s full interview on the blog. You can also check out Karina’s website and follow her on Instagram to stay up to date with her work. 

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