Hear straight from our graduates.
I knew it was a big jump to quit my career and relocate, so my rationale was that if I found I didn’t enjoy it, a 3 month career-break wasn’t too long to explain on my CV. However, two weeks into the course, I was utterly in love.
Art Director, Clemenger BBDO
Why did you decide to study design? And why Shillington?
I used to love drawing when I was a kid; I was always in trouble for doodling all over my school work. But when it came to picking a career, a creative option never really crossed my mind—it had always just been a hobby. I fell into marketing, and a few years down the line starting working closely with creative agencies. Suddenly I saw an option that combined creative thinking with logical and visual solutions. I’d been writing briefs for the agencies and automatically dreaming up concepts, so I decided to find out how to change industries. I knew I needed the technical skills, but I realised I also needed a portfolio.
I did a lot of research before settling on Shillington. It won out as it was a financially viable option that meant I wouldn’t be out of full-time work too long. I knew it was a big jump to quit my career and relocate, so my rationale was that if I found I didn’t enjoy it, a 3 month career-break wasn’t too long to explain on my CV. However, two weeks into the course, I was utterly in love.
You’re currently an Art Director at Clemenger BBDO. Can you tell us about your career journey and timeline since graduating?
It’s been a bit of a crazy whirlwind if I’m honest. My ambition after Shillington had always been to become an Art Director, and while I was studying my teachers helped make sure my folio was advertising orientated. They also told me about AWARD school – an annual course purely about coming up with good ideas, and prerequisite in Australia for making the jump from designer to Creative.
I was lucky enough to get a role as a Finished Artist/Designer at an advertising agency (Clemenger BBDO) a few weeks after the course, via the Shillumni network. I spent 9 months learning finished art processes, whilst getting comfortable moving from a client-side job to the new world of advertising. The AWARD school applications opened up, and after two weeks of sleepless nights, I was able to secure a place. In the same way that Shillo equips you with a design folio, AWARD gives you an advertising folio and a new network of contacts.
Just under a year after graduating from Shillington, and at the end of the AWARD school process, I was offered a role as an Art Director at Ogilvy off the back of my new folio. I spent a few months working on some national clients and couldn’t quite believe I was being paid to have so much fun! I’ve since moved back to the agency where it all started after a position opened up in my old team, and I couldn’t be happier. Even though Art Director requires less graphic design work, I still use my Shillington skills on a daily basis.
Any advice for a potential Shillington student?
Never settle for the obvious option, always push yourself to come up with as many ideas as you can. If you’ve finished ahead of time, keep coming up with more! Don’t be afraid that some of them might be bad or stupid. The more you push yourself to find lots of different routes, the more likely you are to come up with something unexpected, or one which isn’t quite right might spark the next idea. Shillington is the best place to really push the boundaries, there are no clients or budgets – so think big!