Tiffany Yee had a Fine Art undergraduate degree, but had limited technical knowledge and longed to work as a professional graphic designer. Enter: Shillington. After a recommendation from her friend with an amazing Shillington portfolio, Tiffany made a bold move to New York City to study for 3 months full-time. Armed with her stellar portfolio, Tiffany landed a design job in the fashion industry with Forever 21.
Read on to hear more about Tiffany’s recent work at Forever 21, the creative scene in Los Angeles and her advice for design students.
Why did you decide to study design? Why Shillington?
I’ve always loved design but never took more than a few one-off classes. I went to undergrad for Fine Art but had limited knowledge of the programs.
A friend recommended Shillington and I was sold after seeing her portfolio and hearing about the jobs she was landing right after the program.
I wasn’t really in a position where I could spend the time or money on a 2-3 year program so Shillington was perfect. I quit my job and went to New York!
You’ve been designing for Forever21 for nearly a year. Tell us about that interview process.
Interviewing and applying for jobs was my full-time job for a couple months after the program. While I was job hunting I took up any small design projects I could to keep practicing. My first job was at a smaller fashion ecomm site, I was there for a year before starting at Forever 21. It definitely helped build my portfolio and my confidence as a designer. After submitting my work to Forever 21, I went through a couple rounds of interviews and completed a design brief before accepting a role on their Global Creative team.
What’s your typical day like?
A typical day might involve meetings, designing landing pages or emails, creating social or video assets, designing in-store signage, researching and collecting inspiration, or going through an approval process. Every day is different and each project moves pretty quickly so it’s never dull. I work on a small team of designers so when anyone finishes up their projects, they just pick up a project from someone else.
Could you tell us about a recent project?
I’ve been working on the new Riley Rose brand and it’s been really exciting to see my work in stores. Up until this point I was mostly focused on digital projects so it’s been fun to change it up and work on tote bags, signage, mall graphics, etc.
What do you love about being a designer?
I love problem solving. The challenge of trying to balance the request with what you want to make within the time you have can be a lot of work but very rewarding when you feel like you’ve managed to pull it off. I also love that I have a job I can do all day and still want to work on my own side projects.
What’s your favourite project from your Shillington portfolio? Walk us through your process!
Looking back now, all those projects are dream briefs! But I enjoyed working on the campaign project for Mardi Gras, I think it was my first attempt at custom lettering and creating several applications that have to remain cohesive and on brand.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone starting at Shillington, what would it be?
It’s a great opportunity and you get what you put into it. Try to be open and take all the feedback you can, absorb everything you can, and the payoff can be great. Also, take care of yourself during portfolio time!
What do you love about the creative scene in Los Angeles?
I love all the creative people I get to work with in Los Angeles. I’m constantly learning something new from them.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Shillington was a great experience, it’s amazing what you can learn in three months. I feel like the briefs and deadlines are all realistic to what you might find in the workplace, the teachers are great, and it will set you up with a well-rounded portfolio. I recommend it to anyone looking to expand their skills or make the jump to a different career.
Would you love to study design and work in fashion like Tiffany? Study design 3 months full-time or 9 months part-time at Shillington in New York, London, Manchester, Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane –> shillingtoneducation.com