A week today we will start featuring the first graduates from the class of 2010 as part of our aptly named feature, Graduates 2010. There’s still a few days left to enter your work for consideration and we will be attending as many of the degree shows in search of the most exciting creatives.
First though we’re going to catch up with last year’s graduates and find out how the last twelve months were along with any advice they would give this year’s students…
Jas Bhachu Liverpool John Moores University
The past twelve months for me has had it’s ups and downs. But in general has been good. After graduating I went to New Jersey in America, where I worked as a camp councillor at a summer camp for 9 weeks. Before I left I had secured a job as a junior designer at Nonconform, a Liverpool based graphic design studio. Working in the real design world has been a very big eye opener. At university you can do what ever you want. But having to produce work for a client is sometimes frustrating, but it does have its rewards. My advice to people graduating this year, is for you to get your work shown anywhere you can blogs, books etc. Someone will see it and you never know. Also to always keep designing, you don’t want to get rusty straight out of uni! But more importantly always have fun with what your doing, otherwise what’s the point!
Daniel Britt Kingston University
The past 12 months have gone by really fast, I have been working in London as a freelance animator and illustrator, on projects for clients including the Creative Review, BBC, E4 and Nickelodeon. My advice for this years graduates is to make whatever you really want to make at university, rather than just making what you think will make you employable, as afterwards finding the time and facilities to do so will be much harder.
William Davis University of the West of England
Since graduating I’ve learned that my interests don’t necessarily lie in design, moreover I’d like to think I’m working along a certain thought process which can be applied to a variety of projects and challenges. My advice would be that when you step back from student work (as many students inevitably do with a sigh of relief upon finishing a massive body of work for their final year) don’t step back too far, as those personal projects and ideas shouldn’t stop being interesting. When you start working for other people you may realise your ideas weren’t as amateurish as you perhaps thought, everyone eventually wants to get somewhere with their own work, so stay close to your own, if only to keep yourself occupied when other peoples’ work is on your plate.
Tim George Bath Spa University
The last 12 months seem to have flown by so quickly. I’ve been constantly busy, so don’t let any talk about the recession get you down – there’s still a lot of work out there. After interning at a handful of studios (including GTF, dn&co, and Wallpaper* magazine), I ended up working for Jump Studios, an architecture + design practice in East London. One piece of advice, don’t book yourself up with too many placements in a row. That might sound odd, but when I had the chance to intern at several studios, I tried to say yes to them all. It meant I couldn’t stick around for any potential job offers as I had to move on to the next placement each time.
Gareth Horner University College Falmouth
Explorative. Exciting. Boring. Fast. Slow. Wonderful. Miserable. Nourishing. Frightening. Worrying. Deep. Ridiculous. Fascinating. Contradictive. I spent the first few months riding a fixed-gear bike in circles listening to Morrissey. I described it as art. My parents thought it was utter-bollocks. Don’t believe anything anyone tells you. Construct your own thoughts. Find your own answers. Life has no brief. You can do anything you want. Make sure it’s something you love. Peace + forever.
Rob Matthews University of Brighton
The last 12 months have gone ridiculously fast, it seems weird that a year has pasted since graduating. It’s been a busy year with a lot of changes and some interesting experiences. I’ve learnt a lot technically from interning and working in the industry. It’s definitely a different sort of leaning from education, the pace is different and there’s a lot of simple things in industry that you just don’t know unless you do them; it sounds like a weird thing to say but I think I’ve learnt a lot about communicating with people I’m working with and for. Advice I’d give to someone graduating is to work out who you really want to work for and go for it; I wouldn’t worry about finding an internship that pays. I think you get far more out of going somewhere you really admire and scraping by, than going somewhere you quite like and getting paid. I’d also say don’t settle at one studio, even if you really like it, try a few different internships; as long as you spend a good amount of time at each studio, I think you can learn a lot from experiencing a versatile range of working environments.
Louise Naughton Morgan Central Saint Martins
This past year has involved setting up freelance, starting up Hato Press with Ken Kirton and Jackson Lam, producing past work, running workshops with Jackson Lam… Exciting, Scary, Stressful, Hard work, Fun. My advice, patience.
Liz Plahn Minneapolis College of Art and Design
Since graduating last year, I have been working as Junior Designer at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, in North Adams, MA. The department consists of our Design Director, myself, and a seasonal intern. I work closely with the Performing and Visual Arts departments to create seasonal programs, exhibition graphics, education guides, as well as postcards, posters, and other media promoting events. One of the best parts of my job is working directly with artists and curators to meet any and all needs they may have for upcoming shows. These projects can range from creating way-finding signage for patrons while galleries are under construction, to wall vinyl and object labels. With the new experiences and opportunities that so often present themselves here, I luckily find myself excited to come to work everyday. My advice for students who are graduating this year would be to hustle, seek out things you love, don’t get too caught up, and be passionate about what you do. You can’t fake passion.
Chris Smith University of Brighton
On one hand, leaving college has been liberating – I have got back into drawing, which I avoided when I was a student. However, I had to get an uninspiring 9 to 5 job, so I have a lot less time than I would like to do the things I want. I’ve been lucky so far with a few illustration things coming to me, but I’ve realised how self-motivated you need to be to get anywhere. Illustration and stuff is not the most important thing in the world, if you believe things will work out okay then they probably will.
Joel Stillman California College of the Arts
I did a little freelance while still in SF, then moved to NYC where I worked with Project Projects for 7 months. Currently I’m working full time at RAANY, a museum exhibition design company. It’s all been special times, with totally different forms of family, projects, and processes. And advice… a teacher once told me to make things strange.
Ben Tousley Indiana University
I’m currently still in Bloomington for right now and I’ll be moving to New York City at the end of August. The last twelve months have been great as Bloomington’s a beautiful place to be, but I’m really looking forward to moving to the city and finally getting things started there. I’m not sure I’m really the best person for giving advice, that aside, I’d say it’s important to remember that every project can give you something to learn and grow from, no matter what it is.