Hear straight from our graduates.
Shillington was exactly what I was after. That immersive, intensive nature is just so important for setting you up for what work is really like. It teaches you how to push for a deadline, work under pressure, be efficient, to discard things, simplify, or make compromises to meet those deadlines.
Founder, Pony Gold Studio
What were you up to before Shillington?
My background is in journalism, so I was working as a magazine editor and general communications person, which wasn’t too bad a career. The only problem was that I was writing about the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in buildings, which wasn’t the most exciting world to be in.
Why did you take the plunge and decide to study design?
Over the past few years while I was working on magazines, I was also moonlighting as an illustrator. It was almost like living a double life—some of the people I worked with didn’t even know that I had this whole other life where I was selling work to people all over the world, travelling with Volcom (as a brand ambassador), waking up at 4.30am to start working on projects before sitting down at my desk for the day.
Eventually my illustration work started to gain its own momentum and take up more and more of my time, and it got to a bit of a breaking point where I needed to work in an industry that was more flexible and compatible. It was a scary decision at the time, but of course, the world didn’t end because I decided to change direction!
Initially—and this is maybe a bit shallow, but we’re talking about design, so I think it’s fair—I just liked the school’s branding! But more seriously, with half my life in a related industry like illustration, and a few years of self-taught Adobe in my pocket, I knew I wanted to do short course, not go back to university.
Also, I met with a friend-of-a-friend, who runs a design studio in Richmond, and (with no prompting from me) he mentioned that the most consistently impressive portfolios he came across were from Shillington.
How did you find the course?
It was exactly what I was after. That immersive, intensive nature is just so important for setting you up for what work is really like. It teaches you how to push for a deadline, work under pressure, be efficient, to discard things, simplify, or make compromises to meet those deadlines.
It’s a huge amount of information to take in and process, but that immersion (yes, so preoccupied with design that I was sleep-talking about advertising layouts…) is really efficient. I didn’t realise until afterwards, when my boss commented on how I work in InDesign, but that intense, everyday exposure to the Adobe suite almost teaches your hands another language. And you do have to use it all day, everyday to pick up that muscle memory so quickly.