“I love that you will never know everything, things are constantly changing and you have to be a life learner. The world of colour and design is vibrant, thoughtful and challenging…”
This month, we caught up with iscd student Laura Holmes who recently graduated from the Colour Design Diploma and was fortunate enough to land a role as a colourist at Porters Paints the week before finishing!
Read more and check out Laura’s inspiring story below…
My career background is quite varied. I began as a graphic designer and moved into corporate marketing and advertising. After starting a family I chose to change my career path as advertising no longer motivated me or suited my new lifestyle. I’ve studied and loved art and design since I can remember and I wanted to redirect my path. I needed to be able to apply my creativity fully and be genuinely interested and inspired by what I did each day.
I looked into many design courses but none resonated with me or fit with my life commitments. I was recommended iscd by a friend who was enrolling in the Cert IV. After looking into it I was instantly drawn to the variety of content in the courses and the idea of where they may eventually lead me. Once I visited the institute, met the teachers and other likeminded creatives I was convinced it was the perfect step to take. I had no solid plan on where it was going to lead me but I knew it was the right environment for me to learn and redirect my path.
The iscd educators are everything you want and need them to be. They’re passionate creatives and have the skills and industry experience you need to fully learn. Rather than spoon feed you the information, they give you the tools to learn and develop in your own way and style. If you need specific help along the way they have all the advice, insights and connections you need to move forward.
Initially I was just excited to immerse myself in the design world and surround myself with creative people. The course itself opened my eyes to so many areas of colour and design. I found colour psychology and trend forecasting so fascinating, and also loved how much the assignments pushed me to think outside the box and use my creative brain. Naturally, I enjoyed the practical executions but it was the research components that often triggered ideas and solutions, all while fine tuning my eye for colour.
My main sources of inspiration come from everything. There is a never ending stream of inspiration everywhere I look. Whether it comes from nature, travels, cafes, shops or just driving down the street, I find it everywhere.
I use Instagram for the real time updates where I can really see what’s evolving and trending. I follow designers, stylists, artists, bloggers, trend forecasters and associations that inspires me on different levels; Sibella Court, Alicia Tormey, Karen Haller, Design Files, WGSN to name a few. I also like to follow galleries and design events for the latest talent and joined a couple Facebook groups where people post colour inspirations articles that inspires me too.
What I love about the world of colour is that you will never know everything, trends are constantly changing and you have to be a life long learner. The world of colour and design is vibrant, thoughtful, and challenging. You need to use your creative brain and problem solve with the end goal of making something more visually pleasing, interesting or efficient which in turn makes life better and people happier.
I was fortunate enough to be offered a colourist role at Porters Paints the week before I finished the Diploma. I’m really enjoying it and looking forward to gaining industry experience with exposure to designers and architects, and utilising the knowledge I’ve attained throughout the course.
My best tip for others is that I spent a large part of the course not entirely sure where I wanted it to take me. I knew I wanted to transition into the design industry and leverage off my background and skills. But with so many interesting directions to pursue it took me a while to figure out exactly where I wanted it to go. So I asked a lot of questions, I spoke to my teacher, people in the industry, and I researched several companies. I knew I wanted industry experience and to work for a brand I felt connected to. So my advice is to do your research and ask a lot of questions.
Now, I’m looking forward to work and seeing where this next chapter takes me. Im really eager to continue the learning process and be a part of real life projects. I now have the tools to continue developing, so I’ll pursue this in the background. There is so much to get your head around and continual learning to do.
If you are thinking about retraining, I would say ensure you have the time to dedicate yourself to the course, as it is very time consuming. But that’s what makes it good, you learn a lot. Every assignment is a problem to solve. You’ll probably think of a hundred ways you can execute it until you find the magic solution which is exciting. And, be ready to live and breath colour and design and never see things in the same way again.