Hear straight from our graduates.
The teachers at Shillington are excellent. They are all young, vibrant practising designers who will go out of their way to help you.
Freelance Graphic Designer
What were you up to before Shillington?
A whole range of things. I started off studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford, where I spent a lot of time in incredible libraries researching feminism and porn (for my thesis). Then I did a stint as a politics researcher before uprooting and moving to rural Japan to work as a teacher for two years. Yet, in parallel to this academic path, I’ve also always loved art; both looking at it and doing it. My mum will proudly tell you that my reception teacher said 4-year-old me had a “wonderful eye for colour”. This love of art has stayed with me and throughout this time I’ve been sketching, going to life drawing, making cards and journaling.
Why did you decide to study design at Shillington and what made our design course stand out from the rest?
Coming back from Japan and being rejected by the Civil Service personality tests for the third year in a row (possibly because I never prioritise the “follow the procedure” option), threw me into a mild existential crisis. I had to do a bit of soul-searching and a lot of talking to people but I eventually worked out that design would allow me to use my intellect while simultaneously flexing my creative side. For me, a second degree wasn’t really an option and I was keen to get stuck into the industry. I heard about Shillington from my mum (whose friend’s neighbour’s nephew’s boyfriend or something had done it) and it seemed like the ideal training: fast-paced, thorough and immersive.
How does the remote course compare to the in-person experience?
As I’m sure a lot of the creative industry is feeling right now and as an extrovert, it’s hard to replicate the dynamism and energy of an in-person classroom online. It’s also difficult not being able to meet your classmates and having to build friendships over zoom. That being said, I feel like the world will be irrevocably changed by this pandemic and it’s looking possible that more and more design work will be done remotely. I feel like the skills of building relationships, team brainstorming and decision-making and presenting online are going to be increasingly useful. Also, the content of the course is unchanged—the lectures and the briefs remain incredibly relevant and at the forefront of the industry.
What were the most positive aspects of the online course?
The one-on-one time you get with your tutors is unparalleled. In fact, I feel like you build stronger relationships with your tutors from the amount of focused time you are able to have with them. On that note, the teachers at Shillington are excellent. They are all young, vibrant practising designers who will go out of their way to help you.
How were you able to structure your time learning from home?
Rather generically, I tried to keep to a schedule (it helped that we had morning check-in calls) because I tend towards organised chaos and I need some strict guidelines. Also, I tried to always get dressed (including trousers).
If someone was considering an online learning course option, what would be your main piece of advice?
Related to the above, stick to the deadlines. The briefs are so quick (that’s part of their advantage) so you need to be ruthless with yourself. It can be so hard when you are at home and there are distractions during the day and you are tempted to push back the submission. The discipline of sticking to deadlines is also invaluable for future clients and employers. To be fair, if you’ve ever considered going freelance, it’s excellent training. Also, give yourself a break!
What would you say to someone who is skeptical about studying at Shillington
Hey, I’ve been there. I deliberated about studying at Shillington for months—its such a financial commitment. That being said, it was absolutely the right fit for me. It took me from having no software skills, design knowledge or portfolio into a position where I can apply to design internships and junior graphic designer roles. If you are impatient to get into design and thrive in vigorous, fast-paced environments then you won’t regret it.
Check out Georgia’s website and stay up to date with her work.