After having labored in many various roles throughout a spread of industries, Claire Grocott had by no means seen herself as a artistic particular person—however she realised she liked all issues graphic design—there was a stone left unturned!
So she listened to the nagging voice, telling her to offer graphic design a go as a profession, took a deep breath and enrolled within the part-time course in our Sydney studio. We chatted together with her about her Shillington expertise, love for all issues graphic design and the way she ended up founding her very personal freelance studio working with wonderful purchasers from throughout Australia and the world.
What had been you as much as earlier than finding out at Shillington, why did you determine to make the leap and examine graphic design?
After ending a Philosophy diploma I labored in many various roles throughout a spread of industries—I used to be a PA at a company finance firm, an Account Govt at an advert company, ran somewhat wedding ceremony flower enterprise and even did a stint as an Occasion Supervisor at a pace courting firm! I’d all the time needed to review graphic design however I used to be by no means an ‘arty’ child and didn’t see myself as a artistic particular person.
I finally realised although that I simply actually love all issues graphic design-related, and if I didn’t at the very least give it a go as a profession I’d be endlessly kicking myself. So I took a deep breath, put my big-girl pants on and enrolled within the part-time course at Shillington Sydney.
What recommendation are you able to supply to somebody who needs to transition careers?
If there’s somewhat voice in your head nagging you to review design—hear! I used to be tremendous nervous about retraining, ranging from scratch as a grown-up is tremendous anxiety-inducing, however if you happen to’re enthusiastic about design and pushed to study and develop you should have zero regrets. Even when it doesn’t result in an entire new profession, you should have gained some new mad expertise!
Shortly after graduating from Shillington, you started freelancing and began your studio—Studio Kokomo! Are you able to inform us extra about that?
The plan was to attempt to discover a part-time, in-house design job after I graduated on the finish of 2019, however the pandemic had different concepts. By early 2020 there have been no jobs in sight and I used to be home-schooling two younger children—not very best situations for launching into a brand new profession.
Fortunately, I’d began selecting up small freelance jobs for pals and thru word-of-mouth whereas I used to be at Shillington, and that work continued to return in.
My shopper base has been rising steadily since then and now I run my little one-woman studio, providing branding and net design, graphic design for branded occasions and activations, illustration and basic bits-and-pieces design providers.
All with Studio Kokomo’s trademark colour-drenched feel-good vibes, in fact.
What does a typical day-in-the-life seem like for you? We’d like to see a few of your work!
That is such a cliche, however each day really is completely different. Typically I will likely be deep in analysis and idea-generation mode for a branding venture, different days I will likely be juggling a bunch of smaller tasks—fast little stationery layouts, actioning suggestions, organising manufacturing quotes. If I’m feeling caught on a artistic temporary I’ll normally allow myself to look by means of my books for a few hours, go for a phenomenal bushwalk, play with some paints or wander across the Artwork Gallery—all actions that by no means fail to get me unstuck! Then, in fact, there may be the time spent on the boring outdated admin facet of operating a small enterprise—quoting, proposals, bookkeeping. Nevertheless it’s all nice! I like the variability, I like that there are huge artistic issues to resolve and smaller technical jobs to cross off the to-do record.
Are you able to share particulars about any latest tasks? What’s probably the most thrilling alternative you’ve had since placing out by yourself?
A few latest highlights have been working with the puzzle firm Journey of One thing for instance designs for his or her beautiful embroidery kits and creating the branding and supporting graphics for Bloomville, an excellent enjoyable branded activation by Sugar Republic for Woodlea City in Melbourne, and designing a bike helmet for Cyclecraft in Bondi to tie in with the branding I did for them after I was contemporary out of Shillington. Only a actually enjoyable number of colourful jobs with nice folks, and the top merchandise have been lovely, tangible issues. I’ve additionally simply completed off a few different beautiful branding tasks however they’re but to launch—keep tuned!
What do you like about being a designer?
I’m a giant believer within the skill of design to convey little moments of pleasure into our on a regular basis lives, and I like that I’m in a position to do one thing so simple as mix color, sort, imagery and different graphic components to create one thing joyful. The thought technology and analysis processes are massively satisfying, there’s nothing like gathering and being immersed in reference supplies for hours at a time and rising from that course of with one thing solely contemporary. I additionally simply actually like working within the Adobe suite. Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign all really feel like outdated pals now and I benefit from the technical technique of utilizing all of them. Very nerdy.
What conjures up your design work? We’d love to listen to about any explicit experiences or influences in your observe!
Inspiration is in all places! I like color, texture, nostalgic prospers and imperfection, so I’m significantly drawn to issues like outdated signage, off-beat typography, lovely textured paper inventory, 60s surf tradition, Polaroid and 35mm images, and handcrafts like weaving, embroidery and collage. Interiors are an incredible place to search out sudden color mixtures. Artwork galleries are chock filled with visible inspiration— once more color palettes, approaches to utilizing supplies, and new approaches to composition. Flowers and vegetation stay inspiring to me, although they’re not the medium I design with anymore. I’ve a big (and rising) assortment of beautiful espresso desk books on design, artwork, gardens, movie, interiors and printmaking, and diving into these by no means fails to encourage me. The record goes on! Additionally…Pinterest.
What does the long run maintain for you! The place do you see your self in 12 months?
I’d like to know the reply to that! I hope I’m nonetheless engaged on enjoyable briefs with my long-term purchasers whereas increasing my shopper base. I’d like to tackle extra illustrative tasks and possibly paint my first Studio Kokomo mural. I’d similar to to proceed to develop as a designer, make real connections with purchasers and collaborators and put extra joyful design out into the world within the type of manufacturers, merchandise, occasions, prints—something designable.
Again to Shillington, did you make any lasting connections with lecturers or fellow college students throughout the course?
Sure! I made some nice pals and constructed relationships with plenty of my classmates—such an incredible bunch of people.
Shillington brings collectively teams of people that could also be from actually completely different skilled backgrounds, however everybody there may be passionate sufficient about design to be committing to the course, so that you’re sure to attach and vibe with one another.
What was probably the most shocking factor in regards to the course?
I discovered that concept technology is a factor! I all the time assumed that nice, fully-formed concepts simply landed within the heads of ‘artistic folks’ however no, there may be an precise course of that you would be able to study and observe to provide you with concepts. Who knew? The Shillington course teaches you that course of and offers you loads of alternatives to make use of it.
What would you say to somebody who’s skeptical in regards to the Shillington course?
I’ve finished so many programs—a bachelor’s diploma, TAFE certificates, and plenty of industry-specific programs, and Shillington by far geared up me with probably the most sensible technical expertise and information of any of them.
The course is so properly structured, you’ll be working within the Adobe suite from day one and constructing from there—that’s the one option to study the applications.
Is it just like the Matrix the place you possibly can lie down and study design (or kung fu) along with your eyes closed? Nope!! It’s laborious work, and the extra you place into it the extra you’ll get out. However if you happen to knuckle down, you’ll depart with a stunning portfolio and all the talents you want to have the ability to confidently name your self a Designer with a capital “D”.
Anything you wish to share? Shock us!
A few years in the past I found risograph printing and I’m obsessed. For individuals who haven’t heard of it, riso printing is a really cool Eighties printing approach that makes use of a machine that appears like a clunky outdated photocopier but it surely’s a lot greater than that. Risograph inks are so vibrant and super-saturated, and the feel of the printing is imperfect and beautiful. I form of need to maintain it a secret for myself, however I additionally form of need everybody to go and look it up and get on board.