Friday, 17 April 2009

Introducing... Liz Wilson

This week's edition of Introducing... features a very special person whom we all adore here at CVHQ. Following on from yesterday's post, CLOG is extremely proud to present an inspirational interview (or more like success story!) with Liz Wilson.

Inserted between the interview are images from Liz's design folio. In addition to her blog, Liz has just launched her website today! It's very pretty and is a great showcase of Liz's work, so do have a peek.

Happy Friday everyone!

Duvel beer packaging, inspired by the technique of carrying wheat picked from the field home tied up and slung over ones shoulder.

How did you hear about speed dating, and what made you take part in it? What was the experience like?
I found out about Making Out: Speed Dating through the National Design Centre website one night while procrastinating doing uni work. I was looking for anything that would inspire me and I found the A Month About Making program, which led me to find the Making Out: Speed Dating event. I thought it sounded like a great opportunity to meet industry people and to get a bit of advice about finishing my degree.

It was the best thing I could have done at that point in my final year, for the reasons of networking – meeting lots of new people in the industry, becoming inspired and getting some advice on how to get myself out there in the industry before I had finished my degree. Even though I only had five minutes with each industry professional, everyone had at the least one really valuable piece of advice to give me, all of which I still haven’t forgotten. For a student it is really hard to get to talk to people like those Craft Victoria had lined up to be involved, and everyone was so encouraging and enthusiastic to talk to me which I found so inspiring.

Chloe Quigley from Ortolan/Michi Girl was the first person I talked to and her advice to me was ‘make sure your first job is a really inspiring, fantastic place to work’. Chloe also told me to ‘make sure each design you create has an aspect of your personality in it’, this piece of advice helped me finish my final semester being proud of each design knowing despite the briefs guidelines it was filled with my style. I also met Penny Modra from ThreeThousand and she said ‘just get out there and meet the designers’ she let me know about some events which would be a good start, one being Lamington Drive which was opening for the first time that upcoming Thursday night. I went along with my friend Jo and we were so inspired we signed up to volunteer. Melanie Katsalidis from Pieces of Eight gave me some really great tips on approaching industry people and getting myself out there… and that’s just the beginning, everyone had great things to say.

Since then, you've achieved so much in such a short period of time. It's amazing! What have been the fun bits, and likewise, have there been any frustrating times during this period?
The fun bits have been meeting so many inspiring people! Through working at Craft Victoria and volunteering at Lamington Drive I have not only met the amazing artists, makers and illustrators involved but also have got to know all the talented people behind both of these organisations. I have visited and been taken to places I would have otherwise never known or heard of. I have been pushed out of my comfort zone at times, which has been an invaluable learning and growing experience. I love getting into situations and thinking ‘how did I get here?’ I regularly get to the point where I feel like I am going to burst with inspiration being around all of this design. And most of all it’s been so much fun being welcomed into such a lovely group of people. It’s all fun, everything about it!

The only really frustrating thing is time management, not having enough time to get to do everything I want to. I feel like I have just stumbled in on this huge community full of amazing people doing amazing things, and I want to be involved with it all, but there are only 24 hours in a day and you have to make sure to fit in sleeping time too.

The Weavery Project, a concept studio space which holds 12 spaces available each year for graduate designers of all disciplines.

You'll be starting at Ortolan very soon, a design studio that we know many would kill to work for! Could you please tell us about your role?
As their Junior Graphic Designer my role is to take in as much as I can from Chloe, Sim and Kat. To learn from them and assist with projects they are working on. I am very excited about some upcoming jobs that I assume will involve mainly Art Direction initially and then some post production design, I have never really done anything like that so it will be another great experience to be involved in. The girls are working on the Ortolan website as we speak so soon you can have a look at what they have been up to.

What motivates you?
Being around so many talented people, being exposed to new and exciting places, being busy keeps me motivated but also spending some time to relax. Inspiring galleries and magazines, also blog surfing (if that’s what you call it) but clicking from blog to blog I tend to get lost in it and have to pull myself out which leaves me buzzing with the need to be creative. Weather really effects my motivation... I love really warm sunny days just as much as I love the dark stormy ones.

Tadao Ando Exhibition catalogue. Each page features a ghost-like insect that represents Ando's respect for the habitats he builds on.

What was your first job?
When I was much younger and when she was alive, we would visited my Granny in Penola, SA, usually around Christmas or Easter time, I used to spend some days with her in her gift shop and through boredom and maybe a bit of admiration I’d get bit creative and make Christmas decorations and sculptures out of things I found in the garden outside. I sold them for 20 cents each and at the end of the day I would feel like I had hit a gold mine, the next thought was always, off to the lolly shop! The first job I needed to be over 14 and have a resume for was for a Pizza kitchen, I could only handle that much oil for a few weeks.

What's the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
Life advice: It doesn’t matter what you end up doing, just as long as you’re happy and enjoying life.

Design advice: Make each design you create have an aspect of your personality in it. Design to your own style and don’t try to be like anyone else or be forced into a style that’s not you.

Inside view of the Tadao Ando catalogue.

And finally, do you have any advice for anyone hoping to achieve as much as you have.
Just get out there. Network. Volunteer. Take up every opportunity and make sure to believe in yourself. Find somewhere you would like to work or be involved in and then start working out the steps of how to get there. Before you know it, even if you don’t get where you planned to end up, something else just as good or better will come up and that’s where it all begins.

Some great places to start being involved in are Craft Victoria, Lamington Drive, AGDA, NGV, any of the other amazing little Melbourne design communities you can find.

Lovely Memories, homage to my grandmother Nesta Wilson.

Inside view of Lovely Memories

Inside view of Villa Alba Museum catalogue.

Inside view of Villa Alba Museum catalogue.


Richard Wilson said...

Folks - The links to Liz's website and blog are not correct - small errors.

Liz's webmaster.

Craft Victoria said...