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Hear straight from our graduates.

The final two weeks of the course unearthed an adrenaline I didn’t know existed. I ultimately emerged from the design frenzy with a portfolio I was proud to present.

VJ and Designer, Tszuj

Carla Zimbler

How did you learn about Shillington? What made our design course stand out from the rest?

I found out about Shillington through researching online. I weighed up a few different design schools, asked questions, sourced feedback and settled on the full-time, 3 month course. At the time, I had just arrived back from overseas and was looking to skill-up before the new year. My pre-existing clients were asking for motion graphics/animated type and I was eager to go back to square one and learn the basics. I realised that I had gaps in my knowledge and Shillington was the perfect opportunity to completely immerse myself in design thinking and practice and meet like-minded creatives in an intimate class setting. I realised I prefer intensive-style learning as it helps me stay focused and on track.

Did you have any previous design experience? How did the course build your skill set?

I come from a media production background with a focus on postproduction and editing. During my exchange semester in Copenhagen and experimental art studies in Iceland, I discovered a passion for animation and VFX and developed new skills in set/stage design and projection art. Combining these interests led me to directing music videos for artists/bands, producing promotional material for their releases and developing/operating live visuals as a ‘VJ’(video jockey) for their tours. Marketing and visual design play an important role in the music industry. Shillington helped me refine these skills. I learnt how to understand and respond to creative briefs/clients, be critical and adapt my aesthetic to different genres. I dipped my toe into serif typefaces for the first time and learnt basic UX design, I developed ‘tone of voice’ and got ‘punny’ for COP-A-CHOP which received a Distinction at the 2018 AGDA Design Awards.

What was your favourite student brief? Tell us about the process and the final outcome.

My favourite brief was hand-made, because it gave me the opportunity to engage with ‘analogue-style’ distortion rather than digitally manipulated text. I crouched over my bathtub with a mini-projector and DSLR camera, blowing bubbles, capturing the warped effect and impact of fluid, soap-infused typography. I used hand-made to develop promotional assets for an A/V festival called ‘A Nice Warm Bath’ I was in the process of conceptualising/curating. The brief helped me refine the visual identity of the festival which I then pitched to City of Melbourne Council in 2018. Once the grant was approved, I adapted my hand-made project into real merchandise (tote bags, stickers, bubble fluid packaging), marketing content for social platforms and festival way-finding. ‘A Nice Warm Bath’ sold-out at Melbourne Music Week in November 2018 and is expected to return in 2020 with a refreshed identity and plenty more bubbles.

My approach to each Shillington brief was always experimental—I would be in the back of the classroom under the table with a projector trying to map text across unusual surfaces like cotton wool or using animation software to extrude and manipulate graphic elements. Whilst there were times in class when I felt doubtful, frustrated and uncertain, defended critical assessment and sat blankly shrouded in brain-fog, I recognised this was all part of the creative journey—and an emotional one it was! The final two weeks of the course unearthed an adrenaline I didn’t know existed. I ultimately emerged from the design frenzy with a portfolio I was proud to present. Shillington was a rewarding challenge and I want to thank the staff for their patience and support

Follow Carla on instagram and read her full interview on the blog

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