Alumni Spotlight: Georgia Johnstone

We caught up with BFA - Graphic Design Alumni Georgia Johnstone to talk about her time at Whitecliffe and life after graduating.

Introduce yourself - who you are, what you studied and what are you currently doing?
Hi, I'm Georgia Johnstone and I recently completed my Bachelor of Fine Arts Majoring in Graphic Design. I was fortunate enough to be offered a full-time position with Soda Digital upon completing my internship with them during my final semester at Whitecliffe. I have been full-time with Soda Digital since November 2021 where I am a graphic designer and content creator. I absolutely love my job and couldn't think of a better place to work!

Why did you choose to study design at Whitecliffe?
I was initially studying a Bachelor of Management Studies in Waikato where I quickly discovered that although I have an interest in marketing, it was more so the creative aspect that appealed to me. I applied for Whitecliffe's Certificate in Digital Media programme and once my application was successful, I made the move up to Auckland! I absolutely loved the Certificate in Digital Media programme and not only was it an incredible introduction to Whitecliffe, I met the most amazing people through the programme as well and am lucky to say that I am still close friends with those people to date! One of the lecturers, Peeti Lamwilai, was a huge part of why myself and so many of the other students fell in love with Whitecliffe - he really helped us find our feet and made us realise that Whitecliffe had so much more to offer past the certificate, which is when I made the decision to continue my studies and move on to the Bachelor of Fine Arts Majoring in Graphic Design degree once graduating from Certificate.


What are some of the biggest highlights from your time at Whitecliffe?
Hands down the biggest highlight from my time at Whitecliffe was the relationships that I made. Usually people look back at their High School days and think that it was the best time of their life, but for me, it was 100% my 3 and a half years at Whitecliffe. I have made lifelong friends and am lucky enough to have come out with multiple connections that I know I am able to contact whenever I may need.

What does your creative process look like?
Although I am creative, I am also a very logical thinker, and I like to plan anything and everything I do in stages. Generally I will begin any creative journey by preparing and trying to generate as many ideas as possible. This includes lots of research, lots of brainstorming and lots of coffee. I try to let my mind wander as much as possible, as I find that's where my best ideas come from. I tend to enjoy projects more if they're surrounding something that I'm genuinely interested in, so I always try to draw on knowledge and past experiences. Following this, I tend to let the idea sit for a few days to make sure that it's something I genuinely want to take on and bring to life! If I'm still as motivated and intrigued about the ideas as I was on day one, then it's time to start the creative project and put in the hard work!


Is there one bit of advice you can offer designers trying to kick-start their career?
Be confident in yourself and your abilities. There are so many times that I missed out on amazing opportunities because I didn't back myself and I let my anxieties get in the way. Go the extra mile, it will seriously pay off and it's what separates you from everyone else!

To view more of Georgia's work click here

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