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My best friend suggested creating a GoFundMe campaign to collect the money necessary to enroll. The campaign ended up paying for 1/3 of the fees.

Graphic & Experience Designer, KAIRO

Eman Abdallah

Why did you decide to study design? Why Shillington?

The way I was introduced to design at first kind of gave me a bad representation but while I was studying studio arts, I realized that we were incorporating most, if not all, of the design principles. Surprisingly, studying art is what made me see design in a new light and fall in love with it!

When I moved to New York, I was looking at different workshops and courses that could teach me more about graphic design. I wanted methodology (design theory, typography, design principles, etc.) as well as practical experience of how designers work in the real world (briefs, deadlines, client feedback, etc). I ended up going to a Shillington info session and realized how tailored it was for my personality; being an extrovert who mostly learns by interacting with other people, having conversations about the subject matter and loves challenges.

To fund your studies at Shillington, you started a GoFundMe campaign. Tell us more about that! Why did people donate, and any tips for other people considering launching a GoFundMe effort?

When I found out about Shillington, I realized that it was way beyond my financial means to pay for and it was kind of disheartening but I was determined to do it. My best friend suggested creating a GoFundMe campaign to collect the money necessary to enroll. The campaign ended up paying for 1/3 of the fees.

I think people felt that my story is honest and that I shared it with an open heart and that is why they donated. I also think that people believe in someone who believes in themselves and is clear about their objectives. That’s really the kind of approach I took when I created my campaign. A few tips from my experience:

  1. You literally have nothing to lose, only to gain. I think this motto is overused and abused but in my case, it was literally all I needed to hear. I knew I could fail (raise zero money and not be able to enroll) and I guess that was equal to not trying at all. My curiosity and determination to learn graphic design in New York (what I consider to be the capital of this field in the world) surpassed my fear though.
  2. Reach out to people personally. Sharing the link on your social profiles is not enough. Reach out to people you know who have a higher chance of helping you financially; friends who have a stable income, family friends, relatives, etc. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to people you don’t know to both donate as well as put the word out there; designers in your city, your favorite artists, your teachers from high school, etc.
  3. People love feeling appreciated. Think of a special way to thank the people who will donate to your campaign and watch the difference this will make! I personally promised an original design piece to each person who donates to my campaign.

Visit Eman’s website and read her full interview on the blog.

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