Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Colosoul Chats with: Leeanne!

One of our amazing Colosoul members, Leeanne, has recently changed her role at Colosoul. Read about her experience so far and what she has planned for the future!

What were you doing at Colosoul before?
I started out at Colosoul as an event assistant and then worked my way to being the co-ordinator of Foxfeet, which is the fashion agency run under Colosoul to support emerging fashion designers.

What are you doing now?
 Now I am the assistant creative director of POP Creative, which is the design and marketing agency run under the Colosoul Group. I run a small team of graphic designers, mentor designers who have little to no prior experience in design and work on client projects.

How did you know you wanted to be a graphic designer? Is it something you’ve always been interested in?
I never thought about being a graphic designer, but I always knew that I would go down a creative career pathway. When I started uni at Curtin I did one year of the Design course, before transferring to Interior Architecture, which I graduated from with honours. In the Design course we were taught how to use each of the main design programs, but I couldn’t pick up on it as fast as the others and this left me unmotivated and discouraged. I only used the programs again at a very basic level throughout my 4 years of Interior Architecture and relied on my traditional hand drawing skills. It was only when I started volunteering at Colosoul that I started to teach myself how to use the programs by watching youtube videos. I took my hand drawing skills to the next level by digitalising it. I picked up on things much quicker, and I became very determined to better myself and get my skills up to industry standards. Now when I think back to my first year of uni I wonder why things did not seem as simple as they are for me now. 

What are the biggest struggles you’ve experienced so far in the graphic design industry?
The creative industry is so competitive, in saying so there are many other jobs that are just as competitive as well. When you are in a creative field however, your work is always open to a thousand opinions. You are pretty much putting yourself on display for the whole world to see. We are taught that when you are looking at an art piece there is no right or wrong. But then that certain style or execution may not appeal to everyone’s tastes either. What makes a good design? What makes it bad? These are all questions that I am still asking myself…it is quite the pickle. Its hard to appeal to everyone, and the minority that you do appeal to may not give you the result you are after. Finding work experience and a job in Perth is extremely difficult. There are more designers than there are available job positions. There are always designers who have much more experience than myself, and who are more technically skilled, as I did not study graphic design. Exposure is another big struggle. Getting your name/brand out there is very difficult and this can take years or with one hit of pure luck.

What advice do you have for people wanting to enter the industry?
 Work hard! Experiment and find your own style. Find what you are good at and stick with it, and if it’s something you are passionate about it wont even feel like work. When you get lost in what you do, forget what time it is and can’t even remember if you ate that day then you know you have fallen in love with your ‘work’.

What are your plans for the future?
I will continue to work hard until I see my brand being posted everywhere. See strangers walk by with my design on their clothes, bags or phone case. Have others talking about me and seeing my name appear in magazines. Looking far into the future I want to hopefully run my own firm under my brand, firstly in Perth and then perhaps a few over east!


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