Hear straight from our graduates.
Shillington teachers offer their support far beyond the program. They’re such role models in their skills but also their desire to create an inclusive and exciting community for designers.
Freelance Graphic Designer
What were you up to prior to Shillington?
Before Shillington, I was working for an Off-Broadway theater company and school. I originally moved to New York to pursue a career in theater production. During my two years doing so I wound up designing a lot of posters and promotional assets for the company I worked for, as well as friends in the business. Naturally, this helped me realize my full passion and potential for graphic design.
Did you have any previous design experience? What motivated you to enroll in a part-time course?
There’s a saying that goes something along the lines of “whatever you do to procrastinate should be the thing you get paid for.” Obviously, I’m oversimplifying this quote otherwise I should be paid a ridiculous amount for watching Gilmore Girls reruns but the sentiment remains! I found that I was constantly tinkering with illustrator and InDesign instead of focusing on my professional theater goals and Shillington was the gesture that allowed me to take my graphic design skills seriously. I was really excited to push myself as a designer, but I didn’t want to choose between theater and design, and thanks to the part-time program, I didn’t have to.
Did you make any meaningful connections with teachers or students while studying at Shillington?
Absolutely! Shillington teachers offer their support far beyond the program and I still reach out to them for design advice. They’re such role models in their skills but also their desire to create an inclusive and exciting community for designers. With my class, it really felt like a little community and after graduating I’m still very close with two classmates who are my sounding board whenever I get stuck on a project. We almost started a studio together, actually! Unfortunately, I moved cross country before we could make it happen and we still debate it often. Who knows, maybe one day…
If you could give one piece of advice to someone starting at Shillington, what would it be?
I would tell them that Shillington is only about 70% of what will make you hireable to companies. The other 30% is the work you do on your own time. I think it’s imperative that you go to museums, surf design blogs and try exercises for yourself. Shillington does a great job teaching the programs, design theory and giving exciting briefs, but they can’t teach you what your taste is. The most hireable designers are the ones who know the design landscape and the role they play in it.