Nov 2020

Shae’s placement: Sharing her virtual degree show experience and her time at Design and Code

Words by Shae Myles

Shae Myles

I started my placement with DAC at the beginning of October after being awarded the first Design and Code Virtual Space Award following the Gray’s School of Art Virtual Degree Show 2020.

From putting my skills from the Virtual Degree Show to the test by working on another virtual exhibition, to helping the design team draft up character studies, I’ve been encouraged to challenge myself, while doing what I am most passionate about – being creative!

After the inevitable post-graduation slump, my time at DAC has provided me with a lot of inspiration and motivation. It’s also given me the chance to see that my dream of working creatively and professionally can be a reality.

The surge of online exhibitions as a result of the pandemic has been so great to see. They’ve opened up new opportunities for creatives to showcase their work to a much bigger audience, and have brought a range of unique possibilities to the table.

While most degree shows and exhibitions that I’ve come across in recent months simply take the form of a reel of images similar to a portfolio style website, DAC have interpreted this completely differently. For both the Gray’s Virtual Degree Show, and an upcoming local project they have opted for a much more immersive outcome. Having the chance to be a part of both of these has been a great experience, especially considering this might be the way that the art world operates for the foreseeable future.

Shae’s space at Gray’s Virtual Degree Show 2020

Shae’s space at Gray’s Virtual Degree Show 2020

Despite not having a design background, the Contemporary Art Practice course at Gray’s is really open to all styles and ways of working, so I had been encouraged to work in an experimental graphic style pretty much from the get go.

Barbara illustration

My practice primarily takes the form of film-making and photography, and with this, design elements come naturally. You have to consider key elements of design like typography, animation, colour palettes and aesthetics.

This is an area that I’m really passionate about, even though I don’t have specific professional training. These elements of my work have been put into practice during my time at DAC, through a variety of different tasks like mock-ups for logos, and illustrative work.

The most exciting element of my placement so far, has been having the opportunity to begin planning a special project for DAC. I love filming and creating characters, so when the team pretty much handed me the reins in terms of generating a concept, I knew I wanted to make use of this passion! I am looking to pursue a career in art direction, and I feel that this project will really help amplify that.

bringing sparkles to the world around us

Working on a project like this which is on a much bigger scale and with the help of such a great team will not only be incredibly valuable to add to my portfolio, but will be far more rewarding! For updates and sneak previews, keep an eye on the DAC socials!

Check out my work at or follow me on Instagram.

Got a project to discuss?

We’d love to hear about it and see how we can help.

Let's chat

Stay in the loop