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Hear straight from our graduates.

Shillington actually gave me career skills and design thinking rather than just a piece of paper.

Designer at Nine Publishing and Creative Director at Sweaty City magazine

Natasha Michels

 

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

I first saw an ad for Shillington in Frankie magazine while working a pretty dreary retail assistant job. I was sitting in this dingy work lunchroom thinking, ‘How do I get out of here?’ and the ad’s design and tone stood out. It made me think maybe design was something I could do. After seeing the ad I had a look at what else was on offer and Shillo seemed fresh, new and exciting. The course was so short and the yet grad work was so amazing. It just felt like it was for me.

Why did you decide to take the plunge and become a designer and how did the Shillington course differ from a more traditional university setting?

I was drawn to design because it felt natural in a way that law never did. Drawing and art were always an important part of my life and I eventually realised that I could build a career through developing those skills.

I managed to talk my way into becoming creative director of the campus student publication, Grapeshot, at Macquarie University and totally revamped the magazine. I had to teach myself Indesign but I really took to the work.

In contrast to uni, I loved the style of teaching at Shillington—it was kind of like working in a studio and we worked on unique briefs every night. The whole thing was a lot like the real world. To me, university was much less vocational and in studying law I felt like I was missing out on practical stuff that I’d have to learn out in the workplace.

Shillington actually gave me career skills and design thinking rather than just a piece of paper. Also, Shillington had amazing tutors who were working in the industry with really diverse and practical experience behind them. I felt like I could always talk to them and could still message them with a design question now.

How was your Shillington experience? Did you form any close bonds with your classmates in the nine months you studied with us?

I would finish my 9-5 job and look forward to going to Shillington straight after. I got to spend time with such a diverse group in the class and see their unique perspective and design style. It was a lot of fun being in a room full of budding designers and seeing how quickly we all improved. I definitely left the course with some super talented friends.

What was your favourite brief you worked on during the course? Tell us your process!

My favourite was the final brief which tasked us with changing people’s perspectives on things which sometimes have negative connotations. My response was ‘Refuge Eats’ festival, which was a gathering I dreamed up happening at Martin Place in which people from refugee backgrounds would come and participate. The event would have food trucks and stalls to encourage dialogue and understanding.

I studied international human rights law at uni, so this one I held close to my heart. In terms of process, I used my tools in design thinking which I’d picked up throughout the course to create a design that aimed to promote cultural harmony. I made everything soft and the colouring friendly and bright to try set the tone of the event. The illustrative style is like a party, with an interconnected line symbolically joining people through the celebration of food. It was a really fun and engaging brief.

What would you say to someone who is skeptical about studying at Shillington? Any tips?

I know the course might seem short but you will 100% walk away with a portfolio that you love. The course might seem a little pricey but I can assure you it is well worth the investment.

Check out Natasha’s interview on the blog and keep up to date with her projects on Instagram.

Ayesha Mansour
Freelance Designer, Aah Yes Studio

Georgia Latham
Freelance Graphic Designer

Natasha Michels
Designer at Nine Publishing and Creative Director at Sweaty City magazine

Mary Lin
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Carla Zimbler
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Wyatt Welles
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Sivim Ly
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Ben Thaler
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Ella Caseley
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Oyinkan Karunwi
Founder at Aseda Design Agency

Sylvan Hillebrand
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Elizabeth Diffey
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Joseph Lebus
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Babeth Olde Hanter
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Tally Thompson
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Dominika Stanczyk
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Lindsay Koffler
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Amee Wilson
Art Director, Clemenger BBDO

Lily Moore
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Braden Floris
Designer, GoFundMe

Ashley Ronning
Illustrator and Founder of Helio Press

Tahmena Lutfi
Digital Designer, Qantas and Jetstar Hotels

Anara Davletaliyeva
UX Designer and Developer, Appliances Online

Tiffany Yee
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Amy Sheehan
Art Director, Insider Inc.

Emma Ladlow
Designer, University of Nottingham Students' Union

Alexis Waller
Design Director, R/GA

Halah El Kholy
In-House Designer, Brew Tea Co

Jess White
Junior Graphic Designer, Just Media Design

Bobby Hendry
Designer, Brilliant Logic

Jessica Bakker
Junior Graphic Designer, Beyond Communications

Lauren Dannenberg
Designer, Mary's Group

Arnold Omanyo
UX/UI Designer, Digital on Demand

Dawn Moloney
Founder, A Making Life

Miranda Mayne
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Caroline Keefe
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Paul and Amoni Liddell
Graphic Designers, Westpac CX and Feel

Meredith Wallis
Designer, King & Partners

Ocki Magill
Founder, Letter Bug Studios

Victoire Scherer
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Anika George
Designer, AKQA

Liana Modolo
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Kelly Hansen
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Mikel McCavana
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Alexander Wu-Kim
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Jing Ong
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Kirsten McColl
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Nicole Rogers
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Pooja Dharia
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Erin Donati
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Jackson Todd
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Andy Vargas
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Moshe Bien
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Crystal Lin
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Stephen Grace
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Eleanor Rogers
Letterpress Printer, Chapel Press

Andy Tharagonnet
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Ben Peters
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Brad Holten
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Natalia Baker
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Molly Sitter
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Guy Pittard
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Bea Sambalido
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Peta Harris
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Oceane Combeau
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Anna Mullin
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Theo Witrylak
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Stephanie Antill
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Paul McKie and Myles Sharpe
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Pete Conforto
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Roo Cassels
Designer, Big Fish

Nicol Reid
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James Birks
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David Scott
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Jane Durlacher
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Rachel Lee
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Janno Saft
Founder, frank wo

Sean Raynor
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Vanessa Burgess
Graphic Designer, Tritium

Olivier Adam
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Cari Sekendur
Art Director, LMNOP Creative

Alexandra Menzies
Freelance Graphic Designer

Margherita Baldi
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Tim Jones
Brand Experience Director, venturethree

Carla Scotto
Freelance Graphic Designer

Meg Walker
Designer, Milkshake

Christina Capetola
Designer at Wayfair

Louise Hamer
Design Lead, We Are Empire

Ina Estrada
Founder, Par Vous Designs

Sam Jacobs
Senior Designer, Time Inc.

Ulrika Johnson
Designer, Fantasia Accessories

Henriette van Baren
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Charly Tudor
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Lola Irwanto
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