Stephanie Antill was already a university-trained designer when she enrolled at Shillington in 2014. She was bursting with creative ideas, but wasn’t 100% happy with her portfolio and felt like she always did things the long way around in the Adobe programs. The full-time course at #shillobri helped polish her software skills and build a killer portfolio to take on the design world.
Nowadays Stephanie works in-house as a Digital Designer at Lorna Jane, dreaming up ideas for the Move Nourish Believe Blog. She uses her out-of-the-box thinking to create engaging EDMs, social media imagery, free digital downloads, print materials, interactive e-publications and much more.
Tell us about your role at Lorna Jane?
Lorna Jane definitely keeps me busy! The full time role as Digital Designer of the Move Nourish Believe blog involves shooting food, creating editorial imagery through illustration, type, collage and photography as well as a range of print and project work. Lately I’ve been working on monthly campaign, which involves coming up with concepts, contributing shoot ideas and telling the story of the collection to our customers. This is a new and really exciting area to develop but when briefs are faster than you can say ‘kale smoothie’ it definitely keeps you on your toes!
How did you land the gig?
My brother found the job on Seek and I sent through a digital PDF of my work. It really showed my personality and included how I Move, Nourish, Believe everyday. I think I said for Move—impromptu dancing around the office. Maybe that’s what got their attention!
I designed my folio to look similar to the Lorna Jane look book to show them I understood the brand.
What’s it like to work at Lorna Jane? Tell us a bit about the creative culture and day-to-day.
It’s crazy, busy, fast, chatty and bursting with mood boards on every surface. You never really know what the day will bring with new projects being started every moment! The best thing is working in an office full of such driven, talented women. I am continually amazed by the talent around me! It is a great mix of your sporty sisters living and breathing Lorna Jane with a balance of super focussed, brand believing superstars.
You say you have “a thing for GIFs”. Why do you think they work so well to communicate—especially in EDMs?
Yes I ADORE gifs. I just think they add another point of interest for the viewer and a great way to build on the story you are telling. I also think motion is vital in digital design to grab the attention of the viewer and make impact in the endless scroll of our newsfeeds.
One project that really stands out in your portfolio is the clay “If in doubt, cake it out” for a Lorna Jane coffee table book. How did you dream up that idea?
I am always on the hunt for original typography.
Lorna Jane is known for their motivational quotes and after you’ve designed your first few thousand let’s just say the script ink type just doesn’t cut it anymore.
I love 3D elements and really wanted to make the type look like cake with hundred and thousands! I had played with modelling clay before and new it could be a good medium so I pitched the concept, made the letters in my living room and shot them next day. It is definitely one of my favourite pages in the book.
Illustration plays a big part in your work—print, textile and digital. How important do you think it is to put pen (or brush!) to paper?
I come from a visual art background and continue to hold value in handcrafted techniques. I think illustration can add real personality to your work and give it an original flair that can’t be added with purely digital techniques. Don’t get me wrong—I am a huge fan of crisp vector art where need be—but I like to add my personal passionate touch when I can.
We love your personal logo. Could you tell us a bit about the thought process behind it?
Thanks so much! Personal logos are the hardest. I wanted something three-dimensional to represent the layers of how I think about a project. I also wanted something adaptive, which could take on multiple patterns to represent diversity and how design can be manipulated to new forms. I am obsessed with polka dots (I’ve had to ban myself from buying any more polka dot clothes) and enjoy how they represent the printing process. Once I had these creative constraints I experimented with creating a stamp like S and refined from there.
Do you keep up with any side projects?
I always enjoy the diversity and how much you can learn from side projects and take them on where I can. Seamless was a project run a few years ago with myself and three other incredible women. We wanted to create awareness about how accessible sustainable fashion is by bringing emerging and established sustainable designers in a market/ forum environment. It ran for two years and was very successful in terms of bringing the conversation up and joining people interested in sustainable fashion.
Your theory on design is amazing. You say “effective design should be like a coffee-fuelled conversation between two friends—communicative, personal and unique”.
I love how when you first get a brief you’re a little shy and you’re unsure of where it’s really going. As the caffeine slowly kicks in and the conversation picks up a bit—the brainstorming and ideas start flowing—the understanding deepens and soon you are finishing each other’s sentences. In the end you have this really personal conversation that is a really unique and communicative.
To me, effective design should capture a message and deliver it with the same process and passion.
And tell us about the “Grand Projects” you hope to work on!
I have an undying love for textiles and animation. I’ve been planning some hand drawn psychedelic floral wallpapers for The Paper Merchants (also #shillobri grads!) which is my latest grand obsession! I would love to get further into animation and work more with paper animation for music videos or fashion promotions.
Why do you love designing in the Sunshine State? Tell us about the creative scene in Brisbane.
There is no doubt Brisbane’s design scene is smaller than other states but that’s what makes it great and intimate.
There are a lot of talented and loyal creatives in Brisbane and their passion for design makes it contagious.
It’s the type of city you could start something amazing for yourself due to the way word gets out, the support and the opportunity of growth. There is more and more going on her every weekend, you just need to put yourself out there and have a hunt around for the gold.
What fellow creatives are you crushing on at the moment?
I am really digging some of the epic digital art feels from designers like Luke Choice and Felipe Pantone. And I have a huge crush on Jessica Walsh and every thing she does. Then again I am always a fan of the many mad typographers out there like Gemma O’Brien and Co Corrina.
What would you say to someone in the industry who is sceptical of the Shillington course?
It sped up my design process more than I ever knew! I am more confident with my process and I know if I get creatively stuck there are things I can do to brainstorm design solutions. It has changed the way I face design each day.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Go forth! Design is the most exciting, adventurous, challenging and rewarding way of life there is. Enjoy the process.