Meet Brian Gurevich, Shillington Scholarship Winner and New York Student

Our full-time and part-time half-scholarships are now open at all 6 campuses! Every year, we’re so excited to see the creativity and innovation in the applicant submissions—showing us why you want to study at Shillington. Check out the interviews with some of our 2017 winners, Shillington Melbourne scholarship winner Arnold Omanyo and Shillington Manchester scholarship winner Uzma Padia.

Amongst the submissions we received in 2017 we were impressed with Brian’s stop-motion animation and the way he brought his idea to life.  Read on to hear about his decision to get back into graphic design, aspects of the course he enjoyed the most and his post-graduation plans.

Can you share your tips for candidates applying for a scholarship?

My best advice would be to just go for it. You really don’t have anything to lose.

The scholarship entry is really about showcasing your ability to tell a story and not necessarily about your technical design skills, so just do your best to show off your creativity.

What was your scholarship entry? Tell us about your submission and how you showed your passion for design.

For my submission I created a stop motion style video. I’ve always thought stop motion was really cool and after looking up some videos on YouTube I asked my photographer friend to help me bring the concept to life. I used simple construction paper cutouts along with text and photographed them at various positions. Once they were edited together they told the story of why I wanted to attend Shillington.

How have the skills you showed in the scholarship submission developed throughout the course?

I think just continuing to try and create work that has meaning is something I am always trying to get better at. I hope I’ve become more skilled at expressing this through typography and color but it’s definitely an ongoing process.

Now that you are approaching the end of the course, how has your experience been so far as a part-time student?

It’s definitely forced to me to manage my time better. I think the part-time structure is really great and allows people like myself to dive into design in a way that we wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.

You worked as a design intern from 2009-2010. At what point did you decide to get back into design?

I had been playing around with the idea for probably up to two years before actually pulling the trigger. I found myself gravitating back to various creative fields through other internships and decided Shillington would be a great way to step back into the design world.

Are you currently working as a designer? 

The last time I did any professional design work was back at my internship in 2009. That experience was limited and it was quite a while back, so I definitely had my doubts about heading back to school. However, it has turned out to be a really great decision, and I’ve really enjoyed my time at Shillington.

Brian's Visual Diary

How is the course helping you develop your skills as a designer?

In addition to the curriculum, our instructors really try and push us to be creative.

I think the most important part of my design development has been the critiques and constantly looking at/discussing design with classmates and teachers.

These aspects of the course have helped me develop a better eye and understand why certain things work and others don’t. It’s also really interesting to see how the other people in class approach their projects. We’ll have the same exact brief at times, but the outcomes are just so different. Being surrounded by people who have different perspectives is invaluable in developing these skills.

What are your favourite aspects of the course?

My favourite aspects of the course are the variety of projects we get to work on and the overall environment of the classroom. For me, a big part of that environment is the teachers. They’re great designers themselves and really are there to help you out. I find them very relatable in ways that I had not experienced in my other schooling.

How do you approach design briefs and what inspires your design aesthetic?

I definitely like to have a really solid clear idea of what I’m trying to express. I’ll usually do some word association and write a bunch of stuff down to get all my ideas out. After that I’ll head online and look at other work and see if I can find something that relates to my initial concept. I know some people go straight to thumbnails, but personally it helps me a lot to have some other examples as inspiration. After creating some mood boards I’ll then head to thumbnails.

There is so much great design out there. Aesthetically, a few things that I’m always drawn to are illustration, handmade elements and simplicity.

What are your favourite student briefs so far? Walk us through the process of how you approached the brief. 

My favourite student brief so far would probably be the handmade project. I was so impressed with everybody’s work and it was really a fulfilling project to work on.

Brian's handmade project

I worked on an album cover for the late musician Elliott Smith. I took inspiration directly from the title of his album Either/Or. While researching I discovered that Smith named the album after a published work written by the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard. In it, Kierkegaard outlines a theory of human existence, which revolves around two different modes of being, one aesthetic and the other ethical.

I thought an interesting way to express this idea would be by using two abstracted faces looking in opposite directions. I painted both faces, using grey tones to allude to the idea of an ethical mode and skin colored tones to allude to an aesthetic mode.

For this project my mood board was very focused, so it helped keep me on track when I started to have some trouble in the middle of the process. Overall, I was really happy with how it turned out.

Can you offer some tips to students on how they can succeed in the course and was there anything you wish you knew just starting out?

The best advice I can give is to work hard, there’s no substitute for putting in the time.

Be patient with yourself, don’t ever take any critique personally and constantly look at great design. I think if you come into the course with those things in mind you’ll succeed.

What are your plans after graduation?

I’ve been thinking a lot about all the different paths you can take in design, which brings me to another great aspect of the course. Throughout the course, you get to have a lot of discussions about the different opportunities available and hear personal experiences from your instructors.

Personally, I really enjoy the whole branding process. In addition to design, I’m also interested in brand strategy and copywriting. Upon graduating I hope to find a position at a branding studio, which encompasses these skills.

Big thanks to Brian for sharing his experience at Shillington so far!

Are you interested in applying for a half-scholarship? Find out all the details on what we are looking for in the application. Deadline for submission is Friday, 27 July 2018.

We have campuses in London, Manchester, New York, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. Find out more about our course by attending an Info Session. You can also speak to our Student Experience Team directly via phone, email or arrange a personal appointment.