Pursuing Design Excellence in South Africa

Lorinda Moma said, "Every great design begins with an even better story,” and we couldn’t agree more. In fact, to truly appreciate good design, you need to know the story of where it started.

In today’s post, we’ll be sharing the story of 2015 ACA World Championship silver medalist, Tiffany Onderstall, of South Africa. Tiffany is now in the middle of a successful career as an interior designer and marketing assistant, working for a prestigious Italian kitchen design company, Valcucine. But that’s not the whole story.

Read on to find out how Tiffany is using her Adobe Certified Associate certification to tackle the world of interior design.

Certiport: Tiffany, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with us.

Tiffany: It is my pleasure. I feel like the ACA World Championship was so long ago, but it also feels like it was just yesterday.

Certiport: We’ve been following you on social media for the last few years, but why don’t you tell our readers a little more about yourself.

Tiffany: Absolutely. I was born and raised in South Africa. I received my bachelor’s in interior design from Inscape Education Group back in 2017. While I was in college, I was introduced to the Adobe Certified Associate certification program, and I worked hard to become Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign certified. I love working as an interior designer, but I’m also passionate about other forms of art. I am constantly working on commissioned art, particularly portraits. I do an abundant number of mediums, such as oil painting and copper plate etchings. I also love jazz drumming and music. I love filling my free time fine tuning my funk drumming skills as a fan of the Cape Town jazz community.

Certiport: That’s so amazing! You’re in touch with all different forms of art. Do you get to use a lot of creativity in your current job?

Tiffany: I do. Working in interior design means I must be creative with functional restraints. My aim is to optimize and improve the spaces that individuals are in daily. I believe that aesthetics and functionality are two peas in a pod. Both are continuously evolving and need to be considered on every design project. In my current role, I get to balance form and function in design, technical drawing, while also managing sites, handling advertising, and presentation and social media graphic design. It’s almost like I’m doing two jobs at once.

Certiport: Well said. Great design is where art meets function, and that balance comes in interior design as well as graphic design. Are you hoping to stay involved in interior design long term?

Tiffany: My long-term career aspirations are a bit different. My goal is to branch out and use my graphic design skills and software knowledge as a main responsibility. My Adobe certification has helped me branch out to do graphic design for the company too, and that has given me fantastic experience that I wouldn’t have had with just my degree.

Certiport: Add in your experience at the ACA World Championship, and I’m sure you’ll have no problem entering the graphic design world full-time.

Tiffany: I hope you’re right. My ACA certification and my experience at the 2015 ACA World Championship have added great value to my CV as a designer. Plus, the experience of being able to associate with so many incredible designers from around the world was amazing.

Certiport: Definitely unforgettable for us. What would you say to other students looking for a career in design? What has been influential in your success?

Tiffany: I would say that it is great to have skills in different design fields and always strive to learn new ones. My job is now a mix of graphic design and interior design, and I wouldn’t be able to do all that without my Adobe skills. In addition to skills though, it’s so crucial to have a positive mindset, believing anything is possible if you keep doing your absolute best until you achieve your goals.

Interested in earning your own Adobe certification, or helping your students get certified to succeed? Learn more about ACA here.