From Intern to Design Pro
OOTS paint texture

From Intern to Design Pro

Meet Tilly Murphy, the newest member of our design team, who kickstarted her creative career as an intern at OOTS.

OOTS has always been deeply committed to nurturing emerging young creatives in the Hunter region. From the moment Tilly set foot in the studio, her go-getter attitude and eagerness to learn set her apart, making her an invaluable asset to the team. Beyond her design prowess, her quirky personality and infectious sense of humour quickly won our hearts over. Once her internship concluded, it was a no-brainer to bring her onboard as a full-time designer.

This month, Tilly graduated from her Bachelor of Visual Communications degree with distinction honours (go Tilly!). We sat down with her to gain some insight into her journey thus far. Join us as she candidly shares her experiences, challenges, and triumphs during her transition from the walls of UON’s lecture halls to the dynamic world of agency life.

What inspired you to pursue a career in graphic design?

Before knowing what graphic design was, I used to want to be the person who made the artworks for album covers and band posters etc. Then I found out that’s what graphic designers do – and so much more!

What areas of graphic design do you feel most passionate about?

I love graphic design trends and keeping current. I’m most passionate about weird and quirky styles of design. For example, I love “anti-design” and distorted typography, I think these trends are super playful. I’m all about using bright colours and having fun with design!

Tell us about your experience as an Intern at oots.

I loved being an intern at OOTS! Working on real jobs with designers who really know their stuff was the best learning experience. It gave me great insight into how a graphic designer operates and gave me so much confidence in my own skills!

You studied abroad for your last semester of uni, tell us a bit about this. What were your key takeaways about this experience?

I went to Germany for a semester! I was living in Stuttgart, studying at Stuttgart Media University. The best part was all the travelling I got to do and the really good friends I made! The university was great too, the assignments were very hands on (I made wine from scratch, designed it’s packaging and bottle shape!) and just generally it was cool to see how different everything was compared to uni in Australia.

Having been in the workforce for 6 months now, what skills or tools at uni have you found particularly useful?

I think learning how to articulate the reasoning behind my designs has been something of value now that I’m working. I also learnt first-hand how to work and communicate with clients after completing a semester doing studio work within the uni, which helped ease me into the workforce.

What have you found the most challenging?

Changing my sleep schedule so that I can wake up in time for work! As far as projects go, I find staying on top of brand knowledge a big part of my work. Each client is so different! I also find working to time allocations tricky as this was not something I got a lot of practice with at uni.

What are some of the skills or areas of knowledge you feel you still want to improve upon in your graphic design journey?

I’d like to get better at Adobe Illustrator. I find that to be the Adobe program I use most but there’s still heaps of shortcuts and tricks I need to learn! I’d also like to learn how to animate, I think that could be a super useful skill to have. There’s plenty of skills I still need to learn, but I notice myself getting better at being a graphic designer every day (it helps when you have co-workers who are always willing to help out and answer my billions of questions!).

Can you share some of the biggest differences you’ve noticed between working on design projects in a university setting versus working on real-world projects in the industry?

Design projects at uni are generally way more forgiving, and aren’t as specific as the projects that I get now. But as far as how I approach both projects, I generally try and look at them in the same way. Both still require research, brainstorming, a second opinion and to be taken seriously but to also have fun with them!

How do you stay updated on industry trends, tools, and techniques to keep your skills relevant?

I’m a huge Pinterest fan, I find most of my design inspiration there. Social media generally is great for inspiration and little video tutorials that I find really helpful. When I get time, I like to read, because sometimes it’s good read about something and not just look at pretty pictures! I want to get more into design podcasts too but I’d need some good recommendations!

Ask and you shall receive! We reached out to our design team and asked them to share their top picks for design podcasts. Here are their recommendations:

Design Your Life
Creativity Unpacked
The Black T-Shirt Crew
Creative Pep Talk
The Futur with Chris Do
Logo Geek
99% Invisible

Find out more about other team members here!


OOTS paint texture