Whitecliffe Educated: The Student Experience

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Whitecliffe Educated: The Student Experience

Scarlett Lily Libeau Harradine-Stevenson is presently in her third year of studies at Whitecliffe on the Bachelor of Fine Arts programme, majoring in Graphic Design. We interviewed Scarlett Lily about her life, experience while studying at Whitecliffe and what the future holds for her.

Life before Whitecliffe: I attended ACG Senior College for high school. During my time there, I studied through the Cambridge system. I was super into graphic design and fine arts painting. I kept my grades up and ended up having enough points to qualify to get into university a year early. I left at the end of Year 12 and was accepted early to start my studies at Whitecliffe. I was excited about this as I wanted to be able to continue to challenge myself and to grow both as an artist and designer.

Reason for selecting Whitecliffe: I chose to come to Whitecliffe because I felt that I would be pushed to my creative limits. While studying at ACG, I was used to learning in a very small class and an immense work load. At Whitecliffe, I have a good amount of one-on-one time with my tutors and I knew that coming here would make the difference for my studies and career path.

Finding her passion: I grew up in West Auckland; everyone in my family are in the Creative Industries and I think that’s what sparked my interest, but I didn’t realize it until I went to high school. Before then, I was a committed competitive figure skater earning myself multiple national titles. Once I found my passion as a creative, I never looked back. The vast amount of options that being a graphic designer brings to the table excited me. I love the idea of being a jack-of-all-trades and being a part of an industry that is always evolving, progressing and needing so many different components. It is just my thing!

On studying Graphic Design at Whitecliffe: So far, I have thoroughly enjoyed Whitecliffe, the small classes and sense of community. I enjoy and love the diversity of students. At the moment, I am working on two primary classes that consist of coding and re-designing an old (poorly designed) book. Both classes have been a huge challenge for me, but like I said – Whitecliffe always pushes you. I completed my Year 3 internship at NZ fashion label Stolen Girlfriends Club this year, which was such a cool opportunity. I approached them wanting any kind of work that I could get – and they thankfully offered me an internship as their Graphic Designer/Junior Creative. I learned a range of skills and not just to do with design, but with how business worked.

Advice to someone considering studying Graphic Design: My advice to someone thinking about starting a degree in graphic design would be to just do it! It’s a degree that teaches you great and valuable skills that you can apply to so many different areas in the Creative Industries. It is a challenging degree, but worth it. Being able to put yourself out there, take advantage of opportunities that arise and keep pushing for all of the experience that pushes you in the right direction are all really important to get a foot in the Creative Industries door.

Inspiration and motivation: My parents inspire me the most. They co-own Powersurge Metalworks. They have worked so hard my entire life to give me the education that I have had and to give me all the opportunities that they never had. Watching them work so hard and get their own business up and running at such a high level in the industry is just the coolest thing. It reminds me every day that hard work ALWAYS pays off.

Her busy studio practice: Whilst not at Whitecliffe, I am ALWAYS busy!! I never stop. I’m a firm believer in making things happen for yourself – in the fact that things don’t come to you, you must go and find them yourself. Because of this, I have pushed myself to work with some of my biggest inspirations. In my first year of studying at Whitecliffe, I collaborated with Goodness products and Fashion Quarterly to design and produce their New Zealand Fashion Week front row tote bags. Last year, I worked with photographer, creative director and owner of Culture Machine (Sydney) Yasmin Sujeta, designing two online editorials. I worked with photographer Adam Bryce on an upcoming project, as his photo assistant for two of the shoot days and the designer of the t-shirts and photobook publication for his exhibition that will be held in Auckland and in New York. I also recently landed a job at Red Bull NZ as their new Graphic Designer under my own business/company, Scarlett Lily Design. Within this job, I liaise with the marketing department managers and create various design work for all areas of the company. This has been one of my biggest achievements yet, as it is an incredible job and in the industry. This is all very exciting for me and I am so happy to have been able to achieve so many things this year already and its only April!!

Future aspirations: Once I complete my degree at Whitecliffe, my girlfriend Holly and I will be moving to London to continue our career paths. We want to live and work in Europe for a while, as there are a vast amount of opportunities there to take advantage of.

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