Belen Ramos, lecturer, Shillington College

It’s never too late to do what you love ...

Although many of us may not be consciously aware of it, a large portion of the world around us has been carefully considered and designed to make our lives easier, safer and more beautiful. That street sign up ahead is red for a reason, the typefaces splashed across the pages of your newspaper have been discussed at length and the packaging of every item at the supermarket has been pondered. It’s the wonderful club of creatives we know as designers who have mulled over these decisions and tweaked the details to craft the world around us. This week we caught up with Shillington College graphic design lecturer Belen Ramos to find out more about the profession.

When and how did you first get into design?
I got into design at school. I used to love art class, but I was terrible at drawing and painting so my teacher taught me a bit of Photoshop. He showed me all these amazing artists that used other more digital techniques to create their work, and I loved it. When I finished school, he told me to look into graphic design – and that was it!

What do you love about design?
I love that it’s constantly evolving and that it’s allowed me to work in so many different places. What’s great about design is there are so many opportunities out there and they don’t necessarily involve working in a design studio. It’s opened up a lot of doors for me.

What do you think are the essentials of good design?
Thought process, attention to detail, passion and dedication.

What inspires your work?
I think anything can be inspirational. Walking down the street, listening to music, watching a good movie, reading a book or going to an exhibition.

Before teaching at Shillington College you were a designer in Argentina; can you please tell us about a few of the projects you worked on?
I started my career working at Bridger Conway, a big design agency in Buenos Aires, so I got to work for a lot of big brands on some really fun projects. One of my favourites was working on campaigns for music festivals, which meant I got to see some free gigs. I also ran my own studio for a while, where I got to brand a juice bar in Brazil, design a city guide and do a logo for my mum.

What do you miss about Argentina?
A good barbeque with friends and wine.

Who are some local Brisbane designers or agencies you think are doing great work?
Josephmark and Breeder are doing amazing work and I love Frank + Mimi’s handpainted signs.

Can you recommend any design blogs we should check out?
Two of my favourite blogs are It’s Nice That from the UK and Miss Moss from South Africa.

What are the biggest challenges in your role as a graphic design lecturer?
I think the biggest one for me was overcoming my fear of public speaking. Luckily, the course is very practical and lectures are always more of a discussion at Shillington College.

And what are the greatest rewards?
My greatest reward is graduation. It always blows me away to see how much students can evolve in only three months. It’s gratifying to see someone proudly showing off his or her portfolio.

You spend your workdays teaching students, but what’s a lesson you’ve learnt from your students?
Their passion and dedication, and the fact that it’s never too late to do what you love.

Relax …
 at home.
Catch up … The End, West End.
Indulge … Plenty, West End.
Be inspired … GOMA, South Bank.


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