In Conversation with Jess Do

Hi! My name is Jess and I’m a recent Swinburne graduate of Communication Design (Honours). I grew up in Saigon, Vietnam and moved to Australia with my family in 2009. I’m currently an intern and junior designer at The Brownbill Effect! 

What made you study Graphic Design?

I’ve always had an interest in art ever since I was a kid and I remember always getting excited to go to art classes. In high school, I studied VCE Studio Arts and Visual Communication Design as well and I found out that I really enjoyed studying graphic design.

I remember having trouble deciding whether I should study fine arts or graphic design at uni. I decided to choose design as I was told by my family and friends that it would open more doors for me when I graduate.

Even though I still love art and drawing, I’m glad that I studied graphic design as I learned a lot of new and valuable skills that I wouldn’t have otherwise if I chose a different path.

Why did you decide to do an Honours year?

I chose to study Honours as I wanted to push myself at university and my parents have worked really hard to get me and my siblings a good education; I don’t want to let them down! I also chose Honours as it gives students the opportunity to complete industry placement and also work with real clients.

In your opinion, what’s the best work you’ve done?

The best work I’ve done so far is one of my final uni projects called Melbourne Shoots Film. It’s a design experience that celebrates the film photography community in Melbourne. The concept includes a publication, website, exhibition and promotional materials.

I’m very proud of this project as I’m super passionate about film photography. I reached out to nine different film photographers and film labs in Melbourne and interviewed them. Hearing their responses on their experiences with the medium and Melbourne’s film photography community was very inspiring and motivating.

Film photography is definitely thriving today in the world of digital technology!

Name one person in the industry you’ve truly admired?

The person that I truly admire is Sally Brownbill. I count myself really lucky as Sally reached out to me during a time that I was desperately looking for a job. Sally has so much experience in the industry and I’ve learned a lot from her. Working alongside Sally and at The Brownbill Effect has truly made me feel more confident about who I am and what I’m capable of as a designer.

What do you think are three essential things someone starting out in Graphic Design as a graduate should know.

1. Be confident with who you are and what you have to offer! It’s not as easy as it sounds as I’m still trying to be 100% confident myself but always try to have that mindset and opportunities will come your way.

2. Grow your network and surround yourself with people who will support you! Keep in touch with your uni friends, mentors and coworkers; people who you know will help you grow in your career.

3. Expanding from number 2, of course, get in touch with Sally! Sally will definitely be there to support you by providing industry insights, helping you with your folio and connecting you with other creatives. 

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