Mike Estes was a small town kid raised in rural Alberta who was fascinated with creating things from his imagination. So it was only natural, that as a young adult he would leave that small town for Toronto, Ontario to pursue a career in fashion design. That creative career started at the Toronto Film School, where he excelled, winning award after award and was named the 2018 Fashion Design Diploma program valedictorian.
What brought you to Toronto Film School?
I work very well in fast-paced programs and on my own, I found the Toronto Film School had what I was looking for, especially having teachers working in the industry. Also because it was a School specifically for the film industry I was looking forward to collaborating with other programs and making friends and connections in the industry.
Why did you choose to study Fashion Design?
I chose the fashion design program because it was the closest thing to learning how to make costumes by learning the essentials of garment construction. This allowed me to expand further into my career I was looking for.
Before starting at Toronto Film School was there anything that was holding you back from pursuing your passion? If so how did you overcome that fear?
There was nothing holding me back from my career before I attended the school, I wasn’t sure the path I wanted yet, it wasn’t until Halloween that I realized I had natural talents when it came to costume design and construction. I saved money, quit my job, and enrolled in the program.
What is the biggest change you have seen in yourself over the course of your time at Toronto Film School?
The biggest change was making clothing from scratch, from pattern drafting to the final details. I was truly impressed with myself and everything I had learned. I knew absolutely nothing.
What kept you motivated in your studies?
I am always focused when I am passionate about something, I work hard to accomplish anything I want in life, this program was no different.
What are your plans after graduation both immediate and long-term?
My plans are to start my apprenticeship in the film industry under a local costume designer. In the finite, I hope to be running my own company and working full time in the industry working on big blockbuster pictures
What made Toronto Film School and your experience here special?
The teachers and the opportunities to work with other program campuses, I was able to design and construct numerous costumes already for student projects that I am very grateful for.
If you offered one piece of advice to an incoming student, what would that be?
My advice would to not give up, work hard, concentrate, try and get some sleep, but most importantly have fun. If you want this they can accomplish anything.