A Grad Project Odyssey

Banner reads: A Graduate Project Odyssey

So, Term 5 is on, and it’s time for us nearly-graduated-students to modify the course of our lives to make a kickass graduate project, showcasing what great designers we are, with all of our abilities, in an elegant mashup of 2-months worth of work, which will likely take more than 200 hundred hours to develop…


This is exactly how it is: One day you’re waking up to go to the VFS Welcome event and the next thing you know, you’re halfway through your Graduate Project — What is going on here?! It sounds like a joke. But it’s not. It’s reality, and it punches you in the face with the realization of how far you have gone, and how badly you want to prove it.

Way to go champ! Now, you’re on your own. There is nothing more exciting than this. The opportunity to show off all of your learned skills. In my case, having the available help of Mark Busse, a Master in the industry, plus the amazing Digital Design instructors, while also getting valuable input from Jeff Hamada and Carter Gilchristwhat could go wrong?

…EVERYTHING. Because, whether you want it or not, it is a gigantic responsibility. It is you in a race against time with a challenging project, which is perhaps the hardest to manage. I do realize, however, that this is a once-in-a-life-time experience, so I will work non-stop and try to get the best out of all my resources. This is the last step towards a greater beginning.

Every Graduate Project is incredibly different and unique, but in my case, it is all about celebrating the creative process, through challenges that refresh the user’s mind from the corporate dailies, and that will allow the user to experiment while sharing and collaborating with a friendly global community, following the tagline:
Banner reads: Inspiration is in the Making

Want to know more about it? Want me to reveal to you all the secrets about the Grad Project process? Check out my blog! 

And you still have time to join one of my Project Challenges and be showcased in it, if you are interested — just give me a shout on Twitter!

And because reading my long post deserves a reward (thank you very much), I designed The Photoshop Key Trainer, a free, useful and easy-to-make brochure for learning the most common and basic Photoshop CS5 Keyboard Shortcuts, which might come in handy to any designer working with PSD. Let’s be honest, nothing makes you look more pro and efficient than knowing by heart the shortcut keys for the software you use.

Let me know which software you would like for the next time.

photoshop shortcuts brochure

Launch Pad: Digital Design Talks with Carter Gilchrist and Novita Prasetia

When starting a business, most of the owners will have a small client base already in place, but what makes your business successful and allows you to continue and grow is totally a different story. The theme of this term’s Digital Design Talks is Launch Pad. Our speakers will take you through their journeys as first-time business owners in the design world. As interesting as the business side of design can be, don’t forget that your design still has to be appealing and interesting.

As for our speakers, we have invited Digital Design alumnus Carter Gilchrist, and current Digital Design student Novita Prasetia, to present their amazing stories to us.

Carter Gilchrist has over 13 years of web experience and has worked on a diverse portfolio of projects. In 2009, he co-founded Unbounce with 5 other colleagues, and is currently the Director of Product and User Experience.

As a full-stack developer and designer, he is responsible for everything from the UX design strategy, through to UI design and development, as well as back-end implementation.

Previous to Unbounce, he lead the front-end web product development for reframeit.com, a revolutionary browser extension, and was a Co-Founder of Fire450 Internet Product Development. Prior to that, Carter worked with the User Experience product team at Bodog Entertainment.

Outside of Unbounce, Carter plays in a number of bands, and helps run an independent record label, Unit Structure Sound Recordings.

 Novita (aka Vivi) is a current student in Digital Design at Vancouver Film School. When she was in high school she was not sure which path exactly to choose for her future, but she knew that she wanted to be in a creative environment. After a while, she chose Film Production and got her Bachelor’s with Honors in Film and TV from Limkokwing University of Technology in Malaysia.

After about a year of working in the film industry, she realized that she has a strong passion for Interactive Design, and so she went to VFS.

While she was waiting for the program to start, she started thinking about her first step in the business world. She saw an opportunity in generating income using her other passion, which is Crafting, and got help from her parents to open her first Crafting store: Knit Knot Crafthouse. She was fortunate enough that the business took off after a month, and she launched the website. She converted her garage into a store and now, after about 7 months, the store is doing very well.

She is enjoying her time being a Digital Design student and learning about different approaches to problem solving. She hopes to get a job as an Interactive Designer upon graduation.

Digital Design Talks is happening this Wednesday, September 12th at 4:30pm in the Main Theatre of VFS at 420 Homer Street. The talk is open to public, so please feel free to come and enjoy listening to the story of these two brilliant speakers.