David Scott left a career in sales and client services to retrain as a graphic designer on the Shillington London full-time course. His lifelong love of collecting visual material inspired him to enrol and since completing the course in July he’s secured a design internship at End Clothing.
While sharing with us some of his favourite moments of being a Shillington student, David also tells us a bit more about the work he produced over the 3 months. Read on to hear about his IRL colouring book and why he chose to present his portfolio as a newspaper.
What were you doing before Shillington, what drew you toward the course?
Before Shillington I’d spent ten years working in the software industry, mainly in sales and client services. It was an area I fell into but it was never something I was really passionate about. I’ve always collected posters, artwork, flyers, magazines, packaging—that sort of thing, so I guess I’ve been into design but I’d just never properly tried to do anything myself.
Shillington seemed like a perfect solution for someone like myself with no previous experience but who wanted to get into design.
Do you have a favourite memory in particular from during your time at Shillington?
There’s so many, it’s hard to pick just one. Overall what I loved about my time at Shillington was spending every day learning about design and putting what you learn into practice, and meeting so many great people on the course—both classmates and teachers. Being around so many creative people day in day out is really inspiring.
There’s a largely digital sensibility to your work is this something you were interested in prior to Shillington or an interest you developed throughout the course?
A bit of both. I just appreciate design whether thats in print in your hand, or on a screen. During the course there was a good balance between print and digital briefs which I think gives you good options for once the course finishes to decide which area you want to pursue.
Can you tell us a bit about the IRL Colouring Book Project—do you think it’s important for design to have a bit of humour now and again?
Definitely. Most of my favourite studios and designers use humour in their work, but also have a strong tone of voice which I think is really important and a great way to inject a bit of personality into the design.
The IRL Colouring Book was designed to be a tumblr blog, leaked from the computer screen and into a book, so that rather than just being sat in front of a screen (like we all are all the time pretty much) re-blogging and liking the images, the user could physically do something by colouring the images in.
You chose to present your portfolio in a Newspaper format which really suits your work, what attracted you to this presentation format?
It didn’t appeal initially but after doing a bit of a research I fell in love with the format. I used a company called Newspaper Club who take your Indesign file and basically turn it into a newspaper. It was really exciting when the box of newspapers arrived and I was really impressed with the outcome. I had been worried that the colours might not looks as bright as I’d hoped due to the newspaper format, but they turned out really great.
You’re about to embark on a design internship at leading men’s retailer End Clothing, do you think Shillington prepared you for finding work and entering the industry?
Yes absolutely. I think the whole process from start to finish prepares you to enter the industry. Whether that’s through an agency or studio, or for going down the freelance route.
The teachers all come with different experience too so you get so much insight into the highs and lows of working in the design world.
After the course I think its vital to keep designing too. It’s easy to get sucked into job hunting full time, but to keep practicing what you’ve been taught is really important.
How did you find the environment on the full-time course, did you make any particular connections with your fellow students and teachers?
I’m really glad I did the full time course. On my course there was really great group of people, classmates and teachers, and I ended up making some good friends. You do end up living in a bit of a Shillington bubble, its very full on and it can be quite tense at times with the workload and the deadlines, but doing full time, for me, meant I could fully immerse myself in it. I’m not sure if I could have juggled a job and doing the course part time, so hats off to the part time guys.
The intensive nature of the course was definitely helped by an incredible group of classmates and teachers.
Everyone was super supportive and at the end of a busy week we’d always take the opportunity to unwind and socialise on a Friday night (except during Portfolio time of course!) I moved to London to do the course and it was a perfect way to make friends in a new city.
You studied at Shillington in London, where you already familiar with London and how did you find it as a city to study to design in?
I’ve been to London many times before but I’ve never lived here, but I think it’s a great city for designers to study in. There’s inspiration everywhere and there’s always something going on, whether thats an event, exhibition or talk. With so many design related events taking place its a great way to immerse yourself in that world during the course itself.
What advice would you give to those thinking about enrolling at Shillington?
Just do it. It’s not an easy course by any means, but you get so much out of it that I’d recommend it to anyone with an interest in design. In fact if you could do it twice I probably would.
If like David, you’re eager to turn your passion into a career we’re still enrolling for our upcoming September intake in London, Manchester, New York, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. September is our only intake for part-time each year so don’t miss out on a spot! –> www.shillingtoneducation.com