I live in Coffs Harbour, approximately halfway between Brisbane and Sydney in NSW Australia. Coffs, to me, is beautiful. I have the ocean about 5 minutes away, and rainforest about 10. One of my favourite things to do is go down to the local Jetty, take a stroll along the board walk, keep an eye out for turtles, sting rays and dolphins, and soak up the sunshine. 

My education

I was always a bit of an over thinker, and analyser, and was always fascinated by human behaviour (the "why do we what we do" question), and so I enrolled in psychology. I completed my bachelor of psychology with honours at SCU in Coffs Harbour. 

In order to work as a psychologist in Australia you have to either complete a masters degree over 2 years, or an internship over 2 years. . And so I applied for the Masters of Clinical Psychology at UNE, and was accepted in to the course, finishing in 2011. 

My work beginnings - psychology

I started working in private practice about 5 years ago. Initially I worked for an already established private practice, and then I also started working at headspace (a government organisation for young people aged 12-25 where they can access doctors, psychologists, youth workers etc for free). At the end of last year (2016) I opened up my own private practice. It is just me, in my own little office (although at the moment my mum works right next door!). I am a fully qualified clinical psychologist.

I really like psychology. I like talking to people and I enjoy being able to hear their story. I continually feel humbled by being allowed to know these very personal stories and very honest details about peoples lives. However I have always been quite a creative person, and I had known for a long time that I was really missing that hands on creativity. I knew psychology alone was just not enough.

Graphic Design Coffs Harbour - Designed By Jess
Graphic Design Coffs Harbour - Designed By Jess

My creative history

When I was a kid I used to make little signs just for fun- carefully and slowly handcrafting the lettering, and practicing different ways to get it looking just right. Even in my books in high school I wanted them all the look perfect and neat, and I wanted my handwriting to be just so (or I would rip the whole page out and start again!). I used to draw a lot, mostly doing patterns and flowers. And since getting older I have actually drawn and designed my own tattoos!

When looking for this creative thing that was missing from my working life, I wrote a list of all the things I like. It included photography, lettering, drawing and illustration, writing, design, imagery and stationary. It took me a while- but finally I realised this list was graphic design! 

My current trajectory

Having studied a Diploma in Graphic Design with CACT I have learned that Graphic Design, and photography, is really my thing. It fits me to a tee and I couldn't be happier. 

I have now also decided to study consumer psychology so I can really get a whole picture of design and how it is perceived. Some of my favourite readings so far are: Journal of Consumer Psychology, Nudge (by Cass Sunstein); Decoded (by Phil Barden), Predictably Irrational (by Dan Ariely), Thinking Fast and Slow (by Daniel Kahneman) and Brandwashed (by Martin Lindstrom). As well as a whole heap of design books too!

As well as crafting and designing websites, logos and assets, I have also decided to help share my knowledge. I know not everyone can get access to expensive psychology journals (like the Journal of Consumer Psychology or the Journal of Consumer Behaviour) and not everyone can understand those journals (or are interested enough to try) - so I decided to try and share the articles I find most interesting, in a way that makes it accessible to any reader. I also want to share my knowledge of design, how to's, lessons learned along the way, as well as articles on self care and productivity. A true blend of psychology and design!

Thank you for you interest in me :) I hope you find something here you like! Please feel free to get in touch - I answer ever email personally and always enjoy hearing from you. Thanks :)


Where to next? Read my blog for tips and ideas :)