IXI-danielaWhere do you work?

I have my own creative studio called IXI Ninth Vertical

I am also considering joining some creative studio, not sure when and where though:) It's definitely something I'd like to get involved in because I love teamwork and all the special creative magic that happens withing group work. And I m also sure big studios / agencies are able to get more interesting projects to work on or more interesting clients to work with.

 What is your role?

I'm the owner so I do just about everything :) But as I believe in the professionalism of services - that is one should always work to the best of their ability but also one should do only what he/she is best at - if a webdesign job comes in that requires more than adjusting a wordpress template I will forward it to my contractor web designer and if a job comes in that requires special photography approach I will forward it to my contractor photographer. Other than this I enjoy working on every project, my biggest strengths being branding, illustration and product photography.

When did you graduate from the course?

I graduated in 2011 but then did one more year to get dip in photo-imaging too.  It's hard to explain why but I strongly recommend it to all design graduates.

 Describe your typical day as a designer.

As a freelance designer for a few years now I have developed a very strong work ethic and discipline. I've also stick to my office hours (more-or-less) and never work in my pyjamas from my couch:) I start work usually at 8.30am and TRY finish at 6.30pm, if there are any meetings I will schedule them to anytime that suits the client and work around that. Normally I would start the day with answering emails to get the most painful thing out of the way. The rest is just design all day. Most of my work is logos, illustration and book covers. I make sure I always have a proper lunch break :) I work effectively but with that said I don't believe in designing logo, brochure, two poster and four ads in one day, I'd like to put a serious effort into all I work on, serious research, attention to detail, empathy and all the rest.

What do you love about being a designer?

I love what all designers probably love about it - creativity. To have a creative job is as lucky as you can get.  I also love that it is a profession that always fits somewhere in between - you work with corporations but its not a corporate job, you have to incorporate some sort of artistic approach into your design but its not an art job, you get to sit at you computer a lot but its not a office job either....and its definitely not boring! :)

And I love you get to work with people - you get to meet all these amazing different personalities and in order to create something worth representing them you connect to what they are trying to achieve / who

they are - amazing experience. I love it when creativity and enthusiasm come together to create something unique from nothing - that's' when magic happens through design.

What area were you working in before the course?

I worked for various think-tanks in my home country, writing research papers in the field of political science.

Why did you decide to do the course?

Well, I had a long thought about this, since for me as an international student it required a lot of work, paper work and traveling to do this.

And I found out that it was something I always inclined towards much longer before I even knew that there was such thing like graphic design. It was always my thing, I just had to discover that in me.

 What was the most valuable thing you took away from the course?

There's heaps of stuff that I use on a daily basis. I've learned to stick to the brief but also to read between the lines, I've learned that good design originates in hand-drawn sketches and proper research (so true!), I've learned to work with all the amazing CS software from scratch (I've only heard about photoshop before the course) ... and all the webdesign stuff, it has empowered me immensely and sparked all my design ambitions I wouldn't even think about before.  I've learned to work hard and to appreciate all feedback.

How did you find the TAFE environment, facilities and teaching?

I love the campus, our class room, and the teachers are the most amazing teachers I've ever met (...and I've been constantly studying for 20 years)

How long did it take you to secure a job?

no time, but didn't really go through interviews and that kind of stuff yet.

What's been the highlight of your career so far?

I'd say watching my skills improving so much. But also recently founding a permanent arts initiative called Spicebox - a project aimed at supporting emerging artists by providing them with multiple and various opportunities to show their art and helping the community

through art. I've done the design, website, events, ...and am also curating the shows. So far we had our opening Pre-show and I am really proud of what we have achieved so far. The full 2-3 week show will take place in a couple of months but I have much more than that planned! Check out the website www.newfarmspicebox.com and if you know any emerging artists send them my way for free exposure opportunities

 Any advice for someone pondering whether to take the leap into graphic design and sign up for the course?

If you're not sure just sign up for the Cert IV part of the course and you can always decide later. Cert IV will help you decide and you will have an amazing year full of creativity in all forms of media and fields even - all aimed at exploring your creative thinking you can make use of everywhere you go from here.

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