Everyone has a story. Humans of UniSA is a deep dive into the lives of our fellow students to unravel the threads of their personal history, quiet ambitions, and their hopes, worries, and joys. Take a fleeting glance into the vivid lives we pass by each day in the hallways and classrooms of UniSA.
I grew up in Mildura around a very sports focussed town, which I didn’t really align with very well. I really didn’t think I was going to be going to uni. I was in that headspace of ‘do I just get a trade or a general job?’ I think I was maybe going to do accounting in Melbourne because that was the only thing I got an offer for because my ATAR was just so bad from Year 12. Yeah, Year 12 was just such a waste of time for me; I just didn’t focus at all. I ended up thinking I was coming to Adelaide to learn construction. Then I got an offer for a Diploma of Business and I was like—I really don’t want to do construction, so I’m definitely going to do this—and that was at the college for UniSA.
So, I did that in 2016 and in one of our last projects, we had to do a research project. I researched 3D printing and that led me to transfer into product design. So that’s how I worked my way here to communication design.
I was really glad that I did Verse Magazine [as the graphic designer in 2019] and I’m really thankful to Jackson for what he’s taught me, and I’m also excited to see what you do, of course. What was the question again? Yeah, it was a pretty constant thing last year, and it already feels like it’s been so long since I’ve been doing Verse Mag work. Not working for Verse Mag this year is actually a really weird feeling but also a good feeling because I can still observe it. I still have third year to watch how it’s going and read through the magazines and go to all of the events that you guys are going to run.
I was trying to allocate the holidays as a self-teaching stage but then pretty quickly that finished because there were more people asking for work and I’m a bit of a ‘yes man’ so I can’t really say no to it. But it’s been good—it’s been a good balance of relaxing and working on stuff that I want to do.
Next year—I honestly have no idea. I’m still in that safety mode of my degree. It’s just like a cloud where I don’t really think that far ahead and I’m just keen to go back to uni. For a while, I wanted to move over to Melbourne, but the more I’m in Adelaide, the more I just want to stay because it seems to suit me really well. I’m not sure if I want to freelance or even if I could freelance and that would be enough work. I think I would like to work in a studio for at least a good few years because it just seems like there’s so much more to learn and I would learn a lot faster being surrounded by people. I think just working at home I get kind of lost a bit, and there’s so many times where I get up and literally walk around the house for, like, ten minutes trying to like brainstorm but I don’t know if I could do that in a studio. So there’s positives and negatives to both. I think I would like to work in the industry for a few years and then maybe come back and do further stud. I think eventually I might like to do teaching, but I think I definitely want to be in the industry to start off with.
I started learning guitar when I was eleven years old and before that I was in my school choir. I had a high-pitched voice before it broke, but I actually really hated choir and wanted to quit, but they wouldn’t let me. So I cried and because I was crying they let me quit. Fast forward to sixteen years old, I started my first band. I’ve always been very much into metal, hardcore and emo music. So it was metal music in a town that hates metal. Our band was called Estates. Going into it, I thought we were just jamming, and then the person who was writing the songs left and I had to start writing songs. That was interesting. We did recordings and used to give out demo discs at our shows. We actually went in Battle of the Bands and made it all the way to Melbourne and came second. After that, I didn’t really play music for ages.
The last few years I’ve been trying to get back into it, but not so much metal, more indie-rock kind of sounds because I’m kind of keen to be on a stage where it’s not so loud. Metal music is, like, so fucking loud and I never wore earplugs. At the moment I’m just trying to write songs and get a sound that works with our vocalist. It’s not like a serious thing; it’s just a really fun creative outlet that’s different from design.
What’s a secret about Oliver? Oh God! I don’t know, what’s a secret about Emma? Um, what do I hate? I hate pumpkin; I hate coriander. I mean they’re things that a fair few people dislike—yeah, coriander. It’s like spicy soap. Everyone else in my family dislikes it too. Should I try another secret? My desk is never actually this
Interview and Photography by Emma Horner