TAFE SA student Veronica Davila took a leap of faith when she left her career in the health industry to pursue a long-held interest in design.
Twelve months on and with a couple of fresh awards on her mantelpiece, she knows her decision to study graphic design at TAFE SA has been the right one.
A former occupational therapist, Veronica says she is drawn to the creativity and problem solving of graphic design.
“It’s not just creating art to be pretty, the work needs to meet a brief and it has a purpose,” she says.
At the recent Adelaide Advertising and Design Club (AADC) Awards, Veronica received two awards in the ‘student craft’ category.
The work included chocolate packaging, initially created for a classroom assignment, and a Refugee Week poster designed for the Australian Migrant Resource Centre’s Youth Poster Exhibition.
Veronica volunteered at the AADC’s inaugural Annual Talks event on the day of the awards and says she was excited just to be invited and have the opportunity to make industry connections.
“I was having the best day ever and then I went to the awards night and won two awards – it was mind-blowing,” she says.
“It was even more special to me because I had changed careers.
“The awards now sit right next to my TV so seeing them can continue to motivate me everyday to keep working hard and pushing forward with my dreams.”
Veronica has also been named as a finalist in the Australian Graphic Design Association’s national awards, alongside classmates James Baird and Michelle Vega Ramirez, for her Refugee Week poster.
The digital illustration features a bird cage with broken bars at the top and Australian plants growing around it, which Veronica says represents refugees breaking out of hardship and trauma to seek freedom in Australia.
She is understandably excited about the national awards which will be announced later this month.
“Being recognised in this industry at a state level is so exciting, let alone being a finalist at a national level,” she says.
“It helps me feel less imposter syndrome and reminds me that I made the right choice in making this career change.”
Veronica is also looking forward to putting her talent on show at TAFE SA’s Graphic Design Graduate Exhibition which will be held at the Mercury Cinema on Thursday, 8 December.