Adobe skills can take you farther than you think. With skills in Creative Cloud, students and recent graduates are finding that they can land jobs outside of the traditional creative field. Lily Wilson, a current graphic design student at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Scotland is the perfect example. Lily earned her Adobe Certified Associate Photoshop certification in 2016 but has been able to expand her career options beyond graphic design. Learn more about Lily’s experience below.
Certiport: Lily, thank you so much for making the time to talk with us.
Lily: Of course! I’m so grateful for the opportunities that the Adobe Certified Associate program has given me.
Certiport: How did you first get involved in the ACA program?
Lily: I got involved with certification in high school, Hornsea School and Language College. The school was offering classes for those interested in learning and improving their skills in Adobe Photoshop. I was super interested because I wanted to become better at Photoshop, since I used it regularly during art classes and felt that I could improve my skills. I knew there was more in the program that I couldn’t do, and I wanted to learn.
Certiport: I’m sure you’re an expert by now, especially since you’re certified and studying graphic design exclusively.
Lily: I don’t know about expert, but I love what I get to do. I’m in my penultimate year at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design. I will be graduating with a four-year degree in graphic design soon.
Certiport: Congratulations! You’re so close to the finish line with your degree. What are some of your favorite projects you’ve worked on in school?
Lily: So many come to mind, but I have a few favorites. My ‘Patterns in Nature’ project was a unique assignment where I was asked to create a publication inspired by the Scottish biologist and mathematician D’arcy Thompson. I chose to incorporate the spiral design to mirror the spirals found in nature.
Another favorite project was my “GLYPH” magazine spread, including a cover, contents, and five page spread for a magazine based on typography.
One of my most creative projects was my ‘Night of the Living Dead’ poster. My professor assigned us to design a poster for a randomly assigned movie.
I’ve had projects in so many different areas, so it’s been great to stretch myself as an artist and designer. Even though my certification is in Photoshop, I use the Creative Cloud suite basically every day. I especially use Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign for projects like those that I mentioned. Achieving my Photoshop certification has given me the skills that I need to learn and use other applications that heavily aid in my design work.
Certiport: That’s amazing! You’ve come so far since earning your first ACA certification. Do you feel like getting your Photoshop certification also helped you decide on graphic design as a career path?
Lily: Absolutely! I achieved my certification in Photoshop when I was trying to decide what I wanted to study at university. Knowing that I wanted to do something in the field of art and design, I was leaning towards studying graphic design. However, I wasn’t truly sure. Through my certification and taking part in the ACA World Championship, I got to experience the world of professional graphic design first hand and up close. I instantly knew that this was something that I was very interested in doing as a future career. This experience enabled me to confidently choose graphic design as my choice of study. I am still loving it too! It’s great to learn and evolve as a designer.
Certiport: I love that! Gaining additional knowledge brought you clarify and vision for your future. Now that you’ll be graduating soon, are you still planning to pursue graphic design?
Lily: When I graduate I would like to become a professional graphic designer, however I am unsure whether this will come in the form of a company job or as a freelancer. I would love to try both if the opportunity ever arises!
Certiport: We have no doubt that you’ll succeed in either sphere. You mentioned earlier that that ACA World Championship helped you experience the professional graphic design environment. Tell us more about your experience there.
Lily: When I think back to taking part in the competition, without sounding dramatic, it really was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had! Overall, I just loved the whole positive and creative atmosphere that surrounded me from the moment I arrived. I loved being around so many incredibly talented young individuals who all shared my passion for design. It was incredible to see how others interpreted the design brief in their own unique ways. It was extremely inspiring. And Disney World was pretty great too…
Certiport: It never hurts to add Disney World as the cherry on top. Now, other than studying, what else has been keeping you busy since you competed back in 2016?
Lily: I’ve been busy with work as well! A month after the ACA World Championship, a holiday/leisure park back in my hometown of East Yorkshire reached out to me about designing their next ad for the local paper. I readily accepted, and I’m still working for them today. My role has evolved, and I’ve gained so much experience. I’m currently worked as the social media manager, specifically focusing on the company’s Facebook page. I create graphics for the page whenever it’s required and respond to customers.
It’s been an amazing experience because I still get to create and design but also get to broaden my skills and resume at the same time!
Certiport: That’s fantastic! You are learning about the marketing side of things as well as design. What do you do when you’re taking a break from work and school?
Lily: In my spare time I am usually doing something creative like playing the piano or experimenting in Photoshop. Recently I restored and recolored some old family photographs in Photoshop as a Christmas present for my mum. I absolutely loved that project, and it certainly kept me busy for quite a while.
Certiport: How awesome that you can use your Photoshop skills to preserve some family history. I’m sure your family loved that project. How did she react?
Lily: She loved it! My mum and I do a lot of family ancestry research together, so I think that she found the present quite meaningful. It was honestly such a fun process that I would love to do some more for her!
Certiport: What an awesome memory! Okay, we have one final question for you: What advice would you give to other students?
Lily: Some valuable advice I have learned from my university experience is to not get too worried about what others might think of your design work. It doesn’t matter if someone doesn’t feel the same way as you do, if it is something you are proud of and know you put your heart into it, then nothing else matters!
Ready to propel your future in graphic design? Learn more about ACA certification at www.certiport.com/ACA.