Jamie Krups is a serious surfer, and wanted to find an extra career path that could work around his busy schedule. Always a fan of design and creativity, he discovered Shillington and decided to study nine months part-time in Sydney. A few months after graduating, Jamie is still surfing, but also works as a creative at Stab Magazine.
Read on to discover why design is an ideal profession for surfers, what Jamie’s gotten to work on at Stab Magazine and a detailed list of who’s inspiring him recently.
You’re a big-time surfer. Tell us about how you got into it, and some of your top achievements.
My family and I moved to the beach when I was young and our neighbours surfed. So I would just go down to the beach with them and from then on in it’s just continued and rolled into what it is today. I stopped competing properly a few years ago, so my achievements aren’t really contest based. I would say my top achievement isn’t actually an achievement but rather a continued goal of trying to create a career for myself through doing my own thing and surfing, filming and travelling with friends.
While still surfing competitively, you decided to study design part-time. Why did you want to study design? Why did you choose Shillington?
I’ve always had a strong interest in design in general. Last year I decided to try follow this interest and study graphic design. Shillington seemed like it had a really good reputation, and I was really impressed by all the student work I had seen come from there.
I wasn’t able to study full-time due to surfing commitments, so the part-time course suited me well and allowed me to study whilst continuing with surfing.
Now you’re working a bit at Stab Magazine. We loved their interview with you! What kind of stuff have you gotten to do there?
Yeah I’ve been really lucky to have had the opportunity to gain some work with Stab. Its a really open company in terms of freedom of expression and trying to find abstract concepts and solutions, all the people that work there are really cool and I’m super grateful to be able to work alongside them. I’ve done a mix of writing and design. Their creative director Shin Dalby is the mastermind behind a lot of their conceptual work and aesthetics, and he’s been an amazing guy to try and watch and learn from. Recently I got to work on the Stab Surfer Of The Year with him which was really fun.
Surfing is obviously still the main passion of your life. How does design fit into your life and career now? What else is keeping you busy these days?
Design is great because it’s so mobile. Essentially you can do your job anywhere in the world as long as you’ve got a computer and some wi-fi, which is pretty amazing.
So besides surfing I try and continue to do a bit of work for Stab on the side as well as freelance. It’s been fun doing some work for friends also. I’d like to try and start my own little thing on the side too, whether it be 3 t-shirts or a couple prints haha, just something to try work on for the love.
What was the biggest lesson you learnt during the course?
Probably time management, which is completely un-design related technically speaking hahah. I think with full-time you might just be constantly on the go, bang bang bang, and so you’re kind of forced into a certain amount of work all the time, whereas with part-time you’re only there two days a week, how you manage the rest of your time is up to you. Ant that took me a while to work out, but in the end you begin to figure out a balance and how to manage your time effectively, which I think is more valuable than a certain design technique that you could just learn on any youtube tutorial.
What was your favourite student brief? Why?
There was a few really interesting ones. The handmade one was fun because it was ultimately up to you what you created, no real brief dictations other than you have to create it yourself, although mine was pretty bad hahah. I really enjoyed the briefs that focused on branding, creating an aesthetic and an identity and then rolling it out onto different collateral.
Where do you look for creative inspiration?
I think if you just try and stay open to things and keep your eyes open inspiration is everywhere and doesn’t have to necessarily be a picture on Pinterest or a photo on instagram. Listening to things people say, seeing a poster plastered to a street corner, a logo on a shop sign, it can be anything.
I get really inspired by a lot of the “masters” in their fields too. Graphic design-wise people like Massimo Vignelli, Jan Tschicold, or Armin Hofmann. I really like the swiss-style and philosophy.
Other people like Leonard Cohen or Henry Rollins, even though they’re in completely different genres musically I feel like they, along with the graphic designers, and all the other “master” artists in their respective fields all have this crazy work ethic or general ethos that is super inspirational. And then on the other side of the spectrum seeing younger people do their own thing I think is really cool. I have a few friends who have their own little clothing label, or do their own exhibitions or make rings or paint. Just do their own little startups and things like that. And in a world that’s getting increasingly more opinionated and judgemental, I think doing your own thing regardless is pretty admirable.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Follow your interests and see where it goes.
Thanks to Jamie for sharing his Shillington story. Be sure to follow along on his Instagram for surf and design adventures.