This summer I interned at Spacing magazine in Toronto. Spacing focuses on educating readers about their communities, discussing politics and urban issues and most importantly bringing people together to build a better future for Toronto & many Canadian cities. I’ve had the pleasure to work with the team at Spacing and illustrate some very unique stories coming to our city and one’s alike.
Although my experience at Spacing was but a few months, I feel as though I have gained a lot of relevant and crucial skills, as well as building upon some of my stronger abilities such as time management. Throughout my educational years, I have been extremely diligent with managing my time and proficient with deadlines. This skill I have developed over time was immediately tested as my first assignment for Spacing was on a very tight deadline, no more than a week for both rough & final. In this experience I had felt the immediacy of editorial work, and when faced with a short deadline I was able to be efficient and successful in completion. Often I work at a slower pace if the time is allotted, but through this process I managed to design a way in which I work that can better suit editorial. Most of the illustrations I created specifically during this internship stressed a more graphic approach as well as subtle textures & a variety of shape exploration.
A more challenging skill I focused more of my time and effort in to improving were my communication skills. Considering my internship was remote (working in my home studio), all of the communication between me and my employers were over email and phone, which for most people is the preferred choice. For me, I have always been better suited for in-person interaction. This challenged my ability to put my intentions & design decisions into words, and in return helping me speak clearly about my work & my overall vision. This also helped me feel more comfortable to ask for clarification on specific pieces, resulting in a better end product.
Another extremely useful skill I’ve learn’t would be negotiation. It’s crucial in my industry that people are able to speak openly when negotiating terms of one’s work, usage & fees etc. Something I learnt in my business course, and yet hadn’t put into practice until now. For most, its a nerve-wracking thing, discussing money that is. But for myself, It felt like I was able to put value on what I was creating, validating everything that I had created.
After reviewing the skills that I have learnt during my internship, I would have to say that all of them are transferable to my future in illustration, regardless of which path I may take. They aren’t job specific but rather life specific, they can help improve all elements of your lively hood, especially connecting with others.
Something that stood out for me the most would have been my ability to adapt my work to suit editorial needs but still staying true to myself and my overall aesthetic. Before even applying for an internship, I didn’t have a clear sense of where my work was going, or even a path I wanted to take. Therefore I was very flexible in investigating magazine and editorial work. I dove in to trying new digital techniques without even questioning it, and through my exploration I have gained a new branch of my work.
Thank you Matthew Blackett & Julie Fish for this wonderful opportunity to work with you and your magazines unique vision,