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Meet Jing Ong, Shillington Graduate and Designer at Autumn

Meet Jing Ong, 2016 Shillington Brisbane graduate and runner-up in our latest #Shillumni competition. Now working as a freelance designer at Autumn.Studio Jing shares with us what Shillington meant to her and her experience of working in the design industry so far.  

“Shillington gave me the confidence, knowledge and skills to embark on a new direction in my career.”

What were you doing before Shillington? Why did you decide to study design?

Before Shillington I was working with children with autism, and prior to that I was an Account Executive in branding consultancy. While my previous jobs were fulfilling in their unique ways, in my heart I always knew I wanted a career in a creative field. When I was a ‘suit’, I was always popping into the studio to see what the designers were up to. Outside of the daily 9am-5pm grind, I would spend my nights and weekends illustrating, or working on creative projects. I finally reached a point where I was no longer satisfied with making things on the side, and decided to pursue design wholeheartedly.

Why did you choose Shillington?

I chose Shillington for three main reasons—the first was that I’d be able to complete the course in three months. The second was knowing I’d graduate with a portfolio showcasing my work. The third reason was the curriculum. Ultimately this was the driving force behind my decision—how the curriculum is designed to get you studio ready.

Three months of training may sound like a short time, but when you aim to get the most out of each day—the transformation is incredible! That’s what I got out of Shillington.

What was your favourite student brief? Walk us through your process!

My favourite student brief was the one where I had the opportunity to develop a range of promotional materials for a Wes Anderson Film Festival. I’ve always been a big fan of Wes Anderson’s work, having already watched a fair few of his films. As part of my research, I picked two films to re-watch (so I could pay extra attention to his signature style). I then created several moodboards for inspiration/guidance, before creating thumbnails of my ideas. Finally, I translated my designs and illustrations onto the computer, refined them, and rolled them out as a cohesive set.

Congrats on landing a role at Autumn along with fellow #ShilloBRI graduate Paul, and teacher Brenton! Tell us about your interview process. Did you feel prepared?

I took Paul and Brenton through my portfolio, discussing my process, ideas and direction for each brief. One thing I really appreciated about my experience at Shillington was that I had the opportunity to practise discussing/presenting my work. By the end of the course I definitely felt prepared for the interview process.

How is it going so far at Autumn? Tell us about your typical day.

I’m really enjoying myself at Autumn! Every day offers a new challenge, and I really don’t think there’s a ‘typical day’. I get to work with an amazing team of people whom I admire for their talent, ethos and big hearts. I’m learning so many new things, which is keeping me on my toes. I’m lucky.

What was the biggest lesson you learnt at Shillington?

Always consider the context of your design!

It was great being around like-minded people who are excited about the same things as I am, both teachers and students alike. We helped each other along, and continue to keep in touch today.

Why do you love working as a designer?

I love the process of creating something beautiful and of value, and being able to bring it to life.

Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration in everything around me—books, design blogs, the environment. I think the key is to be able to look up, and look around.

Any tips for a new Shillington student?

Work hard, have fun, and keep pushing those design boundaries!

Find out why employers value Shillington portfolios, and check out Jing’s student work on her website! Follow Jing on Instagram to see more of her beautiful illustrative work. 

If you’d like a career in a creative field, join our Australian June intake! Study graphic design 3 months full-time at Shillington in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane –> 

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