From her childhood passion for drawing, painting and writing, to her university studies in Visual Arts, English and Sociology – Jessica Angelevski’s creative calling has been a lifelong one.
It wasn’t until discovering Toronto Film School, however, that this year’s Class of 2021 Davisville Campus valedictorian found a career path upon which she could merge all her talents and interests into one vocation: graphic design.
“(With graphic design), I love that I can…utilize my creativity and artistic background, along with my knowledge of societal behaviour and communication skills, towards communicating visually and creative problem solving,” said Angelevski, a graduate of TFS’s Graphic Design & Interactive Media program.
During her time in the 12-month diploma program, Angelevski not only served as a student tutor but also joined the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD) as a student member.
Since graduating, she’s begun working as an in-house graphic designer and is now a provisional member of RGD and a Design Associate member of the Society for Experiential Graphic Design (SEGD), where she continues to learn and grow her design practice.
Angelevski recently sat down to reflect on her time at Toronto Film School, her passion for graphic design, and her plans for the future. Here’s what she had to say:
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am 25 years old and lived in Markham all my life until this past February. I now live in downtown Toronto with my boyfriend, Kyle, and our kitten, Phoebe. I have always been a creative person and find myself drawn to anything that allows me to express that creativity. With that, I am greatly passionate about art and design and the ability to use these to communicate many different things in different ways. Another passion of mine is fitness and being active. I competed as a powerlifter for six years at the national level and held the provincial and national deadlift record for my age division and weight class. Now, I focus on a more fluid fitness schedule where I like to hike and train casually.
What brought you to Toronto Film School? Where were you in life when you decided to continue your studies with us?
At the end of my undergraduate degree where I studied Fine Art, Sociology and English, I began looking into marketing myself as an artist and decided to take a marketing course. Through the course, I learned more about graphic design and completely fell in love. Once I graduated, I looked into different graphic design programs and landed on Toronto Film School. I was drawn in as it was hands-on, offered a wide range of courses and was only one year long.
What made you decide to pursue your passion for graphic design?
I love that I can combine my passion for art and my interests in sociology and English into one career path. I can utilize my creativity and artistic background along with my knowledge of societal behaviour and my communication skills towards communicating visually and creative problem-solving.
What is the most important thing you’re taking away from your studies at TFS?
I’ve learned that it’s important to be resourceful, open to connecting with people, able to ask questions, take initiative, and be methodological. Through these aspects, I was able to grow greater relationships with my instructors by showing them how devoted I was to learning, and in turn, increasing the quality of my skills and my work. Additionally, these allowed me to network through sparking conversations and asking questions that led to another opportunity. I’ve learned that it is very beneficial for designers, especially emerging designers, to join professional associations like the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD) and the Society for Experiential Graphic Designers (SEGD), as they offer countless resources, networking opportunities and so much more.
What are your plans after graduation both immediate and long term?
A month after I graduated, I landed a full-time position as an in-house graphic designer and joined the RGD as a provisional member. I wanted to submerge myself into the industry as best I could and continue to learn more about the world of graphic design. Since then, I’ve also joined the SEGD as a design associate member and am taking courses to be able to specialize in Environmental Graphic Design (EGD). I hope to be able to work as an EGD in the coming years and give back to the associations as a board member.
If you offered one piece of advice to an incoming student, what would that be?
Take all opportunities that are available to make the most out of your time at TFS; ask stressing questions, spark conversation, help peers, and inquire more into something that interests you. The program is only one year long, so you might as well make the most of it and have fun exploring and experimenting with your passion for graphic design. This is the best opportunity for playing and pushing creative boundaries, as you might not have the same freedom where you end up working. Take advantage of that and being able to reach out to creative professionals (aka your instructors), as they’re an open book of years of graphic design knowledge that you have at your disposal if you’re willing to ask.