One of the best things about studying Digital Media is that the course covers a lot of different areas, including photography, web and graphic design, and project management. This has allowed me to broaden the areas that I’m most passionate about, and it’s also given me the chance to improve my skills in a practical way, ultimately preparing me for working life within the industry.
I chose to study at the University of Portsmouth because I always wanted to go into art or design. However, what really inspired me to pursue this as a potential career was when I started to notice the growing success of some artists that I really admired, for example BossLogic, who creates photo manipulations inspired by comic book characters as well as other icons within popular culture. Coming from a background in IT and primarily coding, I assumed that these opportunities were simply out of my reach, but once I saw how many of these people started to make a living from what they liked to do best, this gave me the confidence and self-belief to want to do the same.
Coming to University was challenging as it meant travelling overseas from my home country of Portugal to the United Kingdom to start a new adventure. This was made a lot easier by being in a city that’s filled with people from so many different cultures across the world, despite it being a little overwhelming to begin with. Getting used to the English weather was also difficult, but not as hard as leaving my family and friends behind. With the support of my girlfriend who travelled to Uni with me, I always reminded myself that I had left my country with a purpose and that it would be worth the sacrifice of missing loved ones in the future.
Willson Tavares' Motion Graphic.
Visit Digital Media 2021 Showcase to explore more of his work!
The project I’m most proud of though was the work I did for my Digital Photography module in my second year. This was because, as part of the module, we were given the opportunity to work for a client and make some product photography based on a brief. I was lucky enough to work for a lamp manufacturer known as Anglepoise, where we were required to photograph their products in a creative and peculiar way. This project really encouraged me to go outside of my comfort zone as I’d never done anything like it before, but it ended up being the most exciting project I’d worked on so far. I was one of the selected students of this client photography project which resulted in my photography work being displayed in the 2019 Graduate Show.
I also took a year out between my second and third year to work on placement as a Junior UX/UI Designer with a company called Innovation Group. Doing a placement year was honestly one of the best decisions I made because it enabled me to gain experience in the industry whilst improving my design and communication skills at the same time. When it was over, I went back to University feeling more confident in my work and in expressing my ideas.
Throughout my time at Uni, I believe that I’ve really improved my communication and leadership skills. Before, I was a little reluctant to take leadership in group projects, but since starting University, I feel very comfortable with managing teams and taking a very proactive approach in making sure that each project is delivered on time. In terms of technical skills, I also now know how to use a wide range of software and have a good understanding of each of them.
One of the things I’m most grateful for and would strongly recommend to anyone looking to find any relevant experience is the Creative Careers office. They offer detailed guidance on a wide range of topics including CVs and cover letters, but they will also help you prepare for interviews too. They were so supportive throughout the entire process and provided lots of advice at every stage.
In terms of my next steps, I’m looking to pursue a career in UX/UI Design or an area related to Digital Design. I’m currently looking to work in a junior position or graduate scheme, but regardless of the role, I wish to be doing something I love, which lets me express my creativity in the best way possible.