Shillington is the Original Graphic Design Bootcamp Graphic Design Bootcamp

Meet Yin Yin Wu, Shillington Graduate and Designer at Evie Group

Having already spent five years studying a double degree at university, Yin Yin Wu had a career realisation—she wanted to pursue graphic design. But she wasn’t keen on starting another degree.

Chatting to a graphic designer friend about her dilemma, he told her about how he studied at Shillington—going from an engineer to a graphic designer in just 3 months! Read on to hear about Yin’s Shillington journey, and how she landed two graphic design roles just months out from graduation.

Why Shillington? What made our design course stand out from the rest?

In my fifth and final year of a bachelor of International Studies and Media (PR & Advertising), I realised that graphic design was something that I wanted to pursue. One day, I was talking to one of the graphic designers that I knew and I told him that I wanted to study graphic design but thought it was too late since I was nearly done with my double degree.

I was not too keen on starting another degree after already spending 5 years at university! That is when my friend told me about how he studied at Shillington and went from being an engineer to a graphic designer in 3 months.

I did my research soon after because I thought it was too good to be true but I was really impressed that students were able to produce such good quality work in 3 months. University was also very theoretical and even though I did a degree in media, I still did not feel like I was ready for the industry. It was ultimately the duration and how Shillington’s course structure prepares you for the industry from day one that led to me choosing Shillington. Hands down, one of the best decisions that I have ever made!

Shortly after graduating from Shillington, you landed jobs at Sydney Design School and Evie Group—congrats! How did that come about?

Thank you so much! After graduating, I was eager to dive right in so I refreshed my resume and spent more time than I would like to admit trying to get my PDF portfolio down to 5MB. Honestly, not an easy task! I am really grateful that I was able to land roles at two places where I genuinely wanted to work at. I found Evie Group on LinkedIn and was interested right away in the small creative studio environment and the idea of learning from other experienced multidisciplinary designers. Sydney Design School, on the other hand, I found using Shillington’s job board which I definitely do recommend graduates to check out. The Shillington job board is great as these companies specifically seek out Shillo graduates and use that as the first point of contact. I have always loved reading magazines and watching shows related to interior design so when I saw Sydney Design School’s job ad, I jumped on the opportunity.

For a while you worked two roles—how did you manage working two jobs at the same time?

Yes! I was working in two roles for at least 9 months until I decided to leave my role at Sydney Design School to have a more active role at Evie Group. I definitely was not planning on having two roles but I am really glad that it worked out that way! It was cool how I was able to experience working in-house and at a design studio straight off the bat. I did very different design tasks at both jobs so it provided me with a really good learning experience. I was able to bring things that I learned from one place to the other, or practice the skills that I learned in a different context. For example, at Evie Group, we create a lot of Powerpoint presentation templates so I was able to utilise that skill in making templates and even ads on Powerpoint for Sydney Design School. In terms of how it worked, I split the working week up and worked 3 days at Evie Group and 2 days at Sydney Design School. Juggling both jobs was honestly less stressful than one might think, partly because my amazing bosses at both places were just so flexible but also because I knew that I was gaining valuable experience and knowledge.

Can you tell us about what you get up to in your role at Evie Group? We’d love to see some of your work!

Every day is different which is what I love about being a graphic designer. At Evie Group, we work with a range of well-known organisations such as Microsoft and AstraZeneca to small start-ups. I have been mainly doing presentation design which I have really gotten to love since it combines aspects of motion design and UX/UI with the incorporation of animation and building user-friendly templates. In addition to presentation design, I also get up to creating identities for events, assets for broadcasting such as bumper animations and data visualisation.

*These shown works are worked on as a team under the direction of Evie Group. Lorem Ipsum is used for client content privacy.

What do you love about being a designer?

What isn’t there to love? Besides the endless revisions, annoying scratch disk full of messages, the spinning rainbow of death and still not learning my lesson and naming my files final version ——the list goes on! Haha, but in all seriousness, whilst there are those head-banging moments, I love the entire process because, at the end of the day, I am bringing ideas to life! I just find it so cool that I have all these tools and knowledge at my fingertips to help people convey their messages and have an impact on their life.

What were you up to before Shillington? Why did you take the plunge and enrol?

Not much really compared to my other classmates! I was fresh out of university and not ready to step into the real world just yet. Ultimately, the seed was planted when I talked to that graphic designer I knew and I made up my mind when I saw all the amazing student work and graduate testimonials.

You graduated your Bachelor of International Studies and Media around the time you also graduated from Shillington! What did the course add to your existing skillset?

A lot of my assessments for my media degree were concept-driven and I would spend a lot of time drawing up concepts and envisioning the collateral to support them. That is what first pushed me to want to learn graphic design as I wanted to be able to create the things I had thought long and hard about.

Shillington’s course expanded on my conceptual thinking, but ultimately gave me the technical and practical skills to turn my ideas into reality.

What was your biggest challenge during the course? Why?

I think my biggest challenge was just trusting the design process. I am a pretty impatient person so when an idea didn’t magically pop into my head or the concept I was designing was just not working out, I would go into panic mode. I definitely learned over the period of the course to just go through the process of collecting inspiration, making mood boards, sketching out thumbnails, and experimenting by duplicating artboards. It is sometimes overwhelming when you get handed a brief—but just remember it is a step-by-step process. Your first version will rarely be the final product and it is through constant refining that you will find that aha moment.

Did you make any meaningful connections with teachers or fellow students during the course?

Yes! I would not have survived without the support and energy from my Shillo gang. They are what made the course so memorable and so fun. Every Wednesday, we would come dressed in theme. It started with the Mean Girl’s reference “we wear pink on Wednesdays”’ and it was a thing we kept up until the very last week.

I would say that you will definitely develop a special connection with your classmates because you all experience the crazy whirlwind of becoming a graphic designer together. We still catch up with each other here and there for food and send each other design memes and helpful Tik Tok tutorials. We also loved our teachers! Our teachers took the time to genuinely get to know us, listen to our rants, put out our fires and ultimately guide us to become the best designer we could be…thank you Nathan, Tim & Jaimee!

What was your favourite brief on the course? Tell us your process!

My favourite brief was probably the campaign brief because I got to imagine a campaign for Ecosia, an organisation I really believe in. It started with the conceptualisation stage where I identified the challenges Ecosia was facing. Ecosia is a search engine that plants trees with every 45 searches. I realised that Ecosia’s biggest challenge was a lack of awareness and the market being dominated by Google. I came up with a few concepts to respond to this challenge but ultimately decided on the “Treevial Searches” campaign. This campaign’s aim was to show people that users are able to search for basic and trivial things with the added bonus of planting trees. With the concept being set in stone, I then started designing, making sure to duplicate my artboard and experiment with different designs. Although I liked my original design, my teachers kept pushing me and I am so glad that they did because I ended up with a very refined final design. What started as a purely typographic design ended with a smart graphic element of a search icon that could also double up to represent a tree. My original design looked completely different to the final product but that is all part of the process! Keep refining until you have tried all avenues.

What inspires your design work? We’d love to hear about any particular experiences or influences on your practice?

I think the biggest source of inspiration is just going about everyday life and making sure to soak in my environment. I love finding inspiration at unexpected places whether that be seeing the menu at a restaurant I am in, finding a cool mural, exploring antique shops and so on! One time, the most beautiful beetle landed on my hand and I was just so mesmerised by its colours that I took a photo of it and later eye-dropped it (on Photoshop)! Inspiration can literally just land on you like that. I also find that doing other creative activities such as painting murals, lettering and illustrating helps me beat creative blocks and gives me new avenues to solve design problems.

Where do you see yourself in 12 months time?

I have no idea…I love keeping myself on my toes! Although, I would definitely like to get my freelance business up and running so that I can expand on my design skills even further. There are still a lot of things that I would love to try out and learn so I am really excited to undertake a few passion projects within the next year. I definitely have my sights on starting another mural project after finishing my first one not too long ago.

What would you say to someone who is skeptical about the Shillington course?

Take the plunge! You won’t regret it. It is unbelievable what you can learn in 3 months and how it drastically shifts your mentality afterward. Now when I think something is impossible to do, I just remember how life-changing those 3 months were and how hard work and a bit of time can take you a long way.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone starting at Shillington, what would it be?..

Enjoy every moment because it goes fast! Also, organise your files and name them correctly from day one, otherwise you will have a bad time later on!

Big thanks to Yin for sharing her creative journey with us! Make sure to follow her on Instagram!

Like to follow in Yin’s footsteps? Learn more about Shillington’s 3 months full-time and 9 month part-time courses Online or on-campus in New York, London, Sydney or Melbourne. 

Want to win some amazing prizes and stay in the loop with all things Shillington? Sign up to our newsletter to automatically go in the draw.