Charlotte Freeman is the #shillobri graduate behind inspirational Instagram @momentaryhappiness. Earlier this year, she was working in the dental industry, but always dreamed of becoming a graphic designer. After Shillington was recommended to her by multiple friends, she took the plunge and enroled in our full-time course. These days she’s working as a junior designer at an advertising agency and hasn’t looked back! Today we catch up with Charlotte to see how life has changed since graduating from Shillington.
We know you have an amazing Instagram account sharing your beach lifestyle and powerful messages. Tell us a bit about that!
I started my Instagram account about two years ago now and it was originally a form of creative escapism. I wasn’t really stimulated at work and always felt like I could be doing something more. I always knew I wanted to do something creative with my life and was finding myself unhappy at work and my Instagram was like another little world for me. I didn’t realise it would grow so fast!
What else were you up to before Shillington?
I had been working in the dental industry since 2008. I studied Creative Industries and Advertising at Queensland University of Technology and graduated in 2010, but I always knew it was Graphic Design I was more interested in.
It took me a long time to decide to make the move to study graphic design. I’d had a stable income for years and making the decision to stop work for three months was a big one. But it was the best decision I’ve ever made! Worth every cent.
I ran into a friend in Byron Bay and he asked me what I had been up to lately. I told him that I was thinking about studying graphic design, and he told me about a friend who had just finished at Shillington and was now a graphic designer in London. Then I received an email from the guy and he told me all about Shillington and that he would highly recommend it. I enroled that week.
Did you have any previous design experience?
I didn’t really have much design experience at all. I did one graphic design subject at university, but to be honest it didn’t cover much. I’ve always been creative and design has always been something I have been interested in.
Although I will probably never stop learning, Shillington taught me all the necessary skills to become a confident designer and get out into the work force.
What have you been up to since graduation?
My life has changed so much since Shillington. It sounds cliche, but I can honestly say I know who I am and what my goals are in life.
That’s something I wouldn’t have been able to answer this time last year. I recently got a job as a designer at a new Advertising Agency called The Raiders and I love it.
What do you love about being a designer?
I love art, creativity and doing something different everyday. I’m the kind of person that used to sit at work and think about all the things I would rather be doing.
As a designer I haven’t once thought about what I would rather be doing because I am passionate about it. It doesn’t get boring, it’s challenging and there is still so much to learn!
What was your biggest challenge during the course? Why?
Hmm, where do I start? The whole course was pretty challenging! It really tested me and what I was capable of. It was a lot more work than I had expected.
The real challenge was portfolio week though. It really flew. I had a plan, and when it didn’t actually go to plan I kind of freaked out a lot. I remember the Tuesday night of portfolio week I didn’t think I was going to finish. I had a bit of a panic attack, but I got all the work done in the end. It was worth the tears and lack of sleep.
Did you make any meaningful connections with teachers or fellow students during the course?
I got along really well with my teachers Belen and Jarrad—they are awesome! They taught me a lot and I have a lot of respect for them. I’m going back to Shillington soon to talk to the new students about portfolios. I’m excited to see them.
What would you say to someone who is sceptical about the Shillington course?
I would probably tell them that it was worth every cent and it was the best thing I’ve done. I think it’s better than university with better job prospects. In fact, I’ve already said that to lots of people!
If you could give one piece of advice to someone starting at Shillington, what would it be?
Don’t go to class unprepared. Give it your all—the three months go really quickly. If you aren’t prepared, you’ll waste it. And try not to miss any days because the amount you learn in one day is crazy.
Do you want to follow in Charlotte’s footsteps? Join us for Info Sessions in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane on Friday, 7th August.