Graduate Success

Jon Kay

Freelance illustrator, graphic designer, motion graphics artist

“After gaining a bunch of science qualifications (Bachelor in Science, Post-graduate Diploma in Science and Masters in Science), and working as a freelance illustrator via sites such as The Big Idea, I decided it was time to gain some artistic qualifications.  ACG Yoobee was the obvious choice due to the range of courses on offer, and the subjects that the individual courses covered – there was plenty of scope to not only develop the skills I already had, but also to toss a whole pile of new ones into my cart as well.  Plus there was the fact that we’d be using the Adobe software suite.  I was introduced to Illustrator and Photoshop during my thesis year, and then kept using them for comics, illustrations and other design work afterwards.  I jumped at the chance to learn how to use them even more effectively at ACG Yoobee.

“My time at ACG Yoobee was fun and challenging. I met people, saw things and did things I wouldn’t have done anywhere else.  I don’t think I’ve enjoyed any stint in an educational institution more than the one at ACG Yoobee.  I’ve been able to use my illustration and cartooning skills, pop-culture knowledge, storytelling abilities and even my science nerdish-ness in both my graphic design and filmmaking courses.  What’s more, I’ve been able to share them with people who actually get all the crazy stuff I’m into.  During my time at ACG Yoobee, I expanded my artistic talents into areas I never imagined I would, or could.  My final project for Digital Filmmaking was a fully-animated motion graphics film about dinosaurs! On top of all that, my time management, writing, public speaking and software skills have improved tenfold.  And in terms of using Adobe software creatively, laying things out, doing research, writing, generating ideas and just generally being motivated and artistic, ACG Yoobee has been invaluable.

“While I was studying I did a bit of paid and unpaid freelance work.  I collaborated with my friend on his social satire/superhero series Botur’s Fight Squad, did sets of illustrations for NZ comedy group UpsideDownShark’s web-series Bedtime Stories, and did vector props and set dressing for the mobile game 4x4 Adventures.  I also served as the ‘graphic design guy’ for Ukulele group Four Dollars Thirty, making them a logo, webpage headers and backgrounds, avatar pictures, gig posters, business cards and a busking sign.

“Now that I’ve graduated I’m still doing the freelance thing, working as an illustrator/graphic designer/motion graphics artist. That means more Fight Squad, more Four Dollars Thirty, along with other a bunch of other work, such as creating illustrations for an English literacy textbook for Auckland International College and creating an updated icon and character design for a Korean language app.

“My current project involves making vector and hand-drawn artwork for the in-development board game Global Citizen, which is a game based around current and historical cultural/governmental systems, and includes famous faces such as J.F.K and Margaret Thatcher.  I’ve created the artwork for some of the game’s asset cards, and am currently working on the box artwork. Once these and other designs are complete, my client will use them as ‘proof of concept’ in a Kickstarter campaign, so we can actually make the game a reality!

“Being a freelancer is one of the best things about my job! I can work my own hours, organise my schedule around the other things I need to do in my day (rather than the other way round) and ‘commute’ to work in about five seconds! I also have ample time to work on my own personal projects, such as my comic strip Cosmos (which follows the adventures of a group of geeky Cosmosians as they go to work, attend comic conventions, do jury duty, watch bad movies and mutate into Japanese movie monsters) and my recently-completed sci-fi parody novel ‘Island of the Bargain-Basement Dinosaurs’.  The next stage of that particular project is doing the illustrations and getting it published!”


Jon Studied