Diploma of Illustration student, Caitlin Poduska is gradually developing her own unique style after a busy first year.“It’s slightly contemporary but I’m still experimenting.The teachers here really help you through the process.”
After finishing Year 12, the 19-year-old from Lilydale knew she wanted to work in illustration.
“The diploma seemed like a really good course. It covered a lot of areas and seemed like the right fit for me.”
During her first year at Melbourne Polytechnic, Caitlin learned how to use different media such as acrylic, oil paint and mixed media, and worked across a number of specialty areas like editorial, advertising, promotional and book illustration. Caitlin says she loved the illustration classes where students are given real-life briefs with deadlines.
“The teachers try and make it as real as possible for you, so that it’s the same as what you experience in the industry. It’s very hands-on and at times it can be really intense. The good thing is when you come out of the course you know you’re going to have a folio you can show prospective clients, and it will be quality.”
The course has also given her a better handle on the wide range of career options open to her. “Everyone thinks about book illustration when they start out, but now I’m doing the course I realise the options are much broader than that. You can do anything from editorial and storyboarding to product design and advertising.”
As well as gaining practical experience in the classroom, Caitlin has been doing work experience at a design studio. “It’s been good because you get a lot of advice from the people there. You do have to work extremely hard in creative industries, but the more people you meet the more opportunities you get.”
Caitlin has become a fan of former Melbourne Polytechnic illustration students like Bec Wheeler. “Her stuff is really good. It’s good to have role models. People like her have been where we’re at now.” Since starting the course, she has also developed an appreciation for people like Gonzo artist Ralph Steadman. “He uses pen and ink. Some of the stuff he does is a bit crazy.”
With another year to go on her course, Caitlin is unsure about the next step, but it might be further study for a Bachelor of Illustration at the Fairfield campus. “Or I might go out there and try and get a foot in the door, maybe do some freelance work or set up a studio with some of the other students. It’s good to be around people who are doing the same thing.”
Diploma of Illustration