Afterlife w/ Laura Sorvala

In todays afterlife session we had the pleasure of hearing from Laura Sorvala, who just like our previous quest, is also a prior graduate from our course. Laura now works as a freelance illustrator focusing on scribing for events.

Laura started of by explaining what it is that she does, as compared to previous afterlife guested who all work in the graphic design world, she does something very different. Laura creates sketch notes or graphic recordings for certain events. This helps those present to better understand and intake the information. Scribing can also help with memory retention so are good for places where a lot of information is being talked about, for instance conferences and idea talks. I had never heard of this type of work before so I thought it was really interesting. Through afterlife I am learning about different jobs within the industry, its pretty inspiring to see. It makes me hopeful for my future too.

Laura then wanted to give some advice and speak about her journey from university to work. Laura actually started out on our graphic design course and said she experimented a lot while she was here. She said that it was really beneficial to her and it helped her to grow and improve with trial and error. However, when leaving university she didn’t really have a portfolio to show employers. She said that even though experimenting in university was fun and beneficial to her growth it also didn’t help much when getting a job. To get into the industry Laura did a lot of work placements which at that time weren’t paid. She did however gain that practical experience that she needed for her portfolio and this did help her to get her first job. Her first job was at a graphic design company and she said that even though it was a good job she just wasn’t happy. Laura wanted something different, something that could make a positive change in peoples lives so she quit her job. While looking around Laura found a club called the Social Design Club which was voluntary and helped with local issues. For instance at the time almost all the arcade shops in Cardiff were empty as people weren’t visiting, so they made a branding campaign to drum up business for Cardiff high-street and the surrounding shops. Through working with the Social Design Club Laura spoke to a lot of people and gained a lot of contacts with other people in the industry. This then led her to her job now.

Laura says that making those connections with people was so important in finding this job. It also is imperative to keeping it as she says all her commissions are from word of mouth rather than a company finding her website. She says that she is so much happier in her job now that she works to benefit people and situations positivity. She said that you should consider in the futre where you want to work and who for because what you want to do with your creativity should matter to you. Laura also goes on to say that freelance is perfect for her as she has never liked heisrachy, it also gives her the chance to work with clients she wants to. Laura says that it may be stressful at times but it is totally worth it to her and you should try and find a work place that suits you.

I found Laura’s talk really interesting. I was excited to hear about a freelance perspective when it comes to the design world. I have considered it so it was good to hear from someone who enjoys it. Some advice I am going to take away is to one make sure I have a good portfolio before I leave university. She mentioned it is great to experiment but make sure you have an actual portfolio for when you leave. It will put me in a better sted for finding a job when I leave. Like the previous guests to afterlife, Laura mentioned that work placements were great for practical experience. I know I definitely will apply for some before I leave university as it will help me gain experience and grow. Something else that Laura mentioned a few times was that talking to people can really benefit you. It allows you to make connections with others in the industry and you never know what opportunities may come up in the future. Lastly, Laura spoke quite passionately about being happy in your job which can be so important to your overall happiness. She suggested really thinking about where and who you might want to work for. I will definitely consider this in the future when looking for jobs myself. Overall, I found this to be very beneficial and I am looking forward to the next afterlife talk.


Sources Used:

(accessed 26th February 2020)

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