We chat to a graphic design graduate about making it in the real world

And the work that goes into prepping for a design school exhibition.

Kicking off in December, Karl von Busse Institute of Design will open its exhibition doors. The event will showcase the works of the school’s design graduates, offering visitors a chance to be inspired and explore a world of creativity. It’s also a chance for graduates to network and present their work to the industry.

We took some time with former KvB student, Daniel Ussia, to chat about his design journey since graduating and the work that goes into preparing for an exhibition.

Tell us about your journey after graduating.

As a junior designer it was a bit frightening at first as, for most of us, it’s the first time looking for a full-time job. Not to mention putting yourself out there as an artist. As much as study prepared, guided and encouraged me, it was still a nerve-wracking process. 

What’s been the most challenging part about completing your studies and entering the industry?

Probably being confident in my own abilities and putting myself, and work, out into the world to be critiqued. You never want someone to come back to you after you’ve applied for a job and say: “sorry, but that’s not up to our standard.”

What advice would you give to others about to graduate?

Pretty much as soon as I graduated, I became a member of AGDA and have kept up to date and attended all the events they post. 

These events have introduced me to others in the industry, and like-minded students and graduates who are going through the same experiences as me. It has allowed me to ask, “what has worked for them?” and also gain a few extra skills along the way. 

How important has networking been in furthering your career?

I believe it’s essential to network, especially as a graphic designer. You never know who you’ll meet and who will actually be a designer themselves. Over the past year I’ve also done some freelance work and the majority of my [work] has come from people I went to high school with, or who I’ve worked with part-time. I think [networking is] definitely needed to get a foot in the door, after that, your work speaks for itself.

Tell us about showcasing your work for your school. 

Among other design jobs, I was lucky enough to be an in-house designer for Karl von Busse. Its upcoming design exhibition is a great chance for students to introduce themselves as professional designers to the industry, straight after graduating. 

What goes into preparing a work for exhibition, as opposed as to putting together work for a client or folio?

When you submit work for a client or for a job role, you try to tailor your work to the client’s liking or the brief. Whereas for an exhibition, it’s your show. You can really wear your heart on your sleeve and put yourself out there. There won’t be another time to be as experimental, so students should really go all out.

What can guests at a design exhibition expect?

They can expect to see something different. Like I said earlier, this is the chance for students to be really experimental. In saying that, guests can expect to see design that might not fit the norm but are refreshing and exciting.

Why do you think it’s important for young creatives to attend graduate exhibitions and design showcases?

Sydney has a growing creative culture and I really think it is up to the new generation of designers, like myself, to make sure we keep the industry thriving and fresh. Events like the KvB Design Exhibition are what keep the industry alive and keep us inspired. With such an emphasis on online networks, we have to make sure we are still maintaining that natural connection with people and our surroundings. In a creative industry, this is where we thrive, so make sure that you aren’t hiding behind your computer waiting for an email response. Get yourself out there. It will be the best thing you do for yourself and for your career. 

Tickets to Karl von Busse’s 2016 Exhibition are available now.


Lazy Loading