Ray Wong started his creative career as a web developer. Self taught, for a time Wong worked at a small web design agency, where he was very much left to his own devices and unable to fully understand or explain his creative choices. In order to gain understanding and new skills, Wong enrolled at Shillington – and it was here that he fell in love with graphic design. 

Having graduated in December last year, graphic designer Wong now works at Oink Creative in London. Here he talks about life at Shillington and offers advice to design students hoping to get the most out of their time in the classroom. For the full interview, head over to the Shillington blog

What attracted you to Shillington? And why the jump from web to graphic design?

I was lucky to pick up a few skills on my own whilst working at a small web design agency prior to Shillington. But there were no designers above me, so I had to become sufficient at creating visuals, and I wasn’t confident in being able to explain design choices, let alone understand them properly. I knew I wanted to boost my skills and to expand my creative capabilities, which is when I found out about Shillington.

This was a fully immersive, get-you-out-of-your-comfort-zone sort of thing. And when I finally started the course, everything was so hands-on; it was brilliant. It wasn’t until a few weeks in that I realised that how much I loved graphic design in general, and wanted to be able to do much more. I still love web design, but I’ve now also discovered a passion for print design and editorial, packaging, branding and strategy. Shillington dipped my toes into absolutely everything, and I knew I wanted a continuation of that once I’d finished the course.

One of Wong’s student projects at Shillington – to design a book cover for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Do you think Shillington fully prepared you for working in a real design agency?

The work that we do at Oink is incredibly varied, so no two days are exactly the same. I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to work on branding pitches, as well as creating conceptual visuals for movie posters, vinyl sleeves, and a little bit of everything in between. Being able to think on my feet, adapt to every brief, and ultimately be open to learning and trying new things has been essential.

What was your overall experience of Shillington?

Shillington was actually quite transformative for me, which is something that I hadn’t initially expected at all. I think so many of the best experiences I had at Shillington were due to the people involved; the teachers who went above and beyond typical responsibilities, their passion and enthusiastic drive which then bled over to the students.  

Read Ray Wong’s full interview over on the Shillington blog