From imagination to achievement, Holmesglen's Panhavuth Kret is turning his designs into successes following a series of competition wins.
The graphic design student was recently awarded first place in the Medela Symposium Design Competition, which invited students to break the negative stigma attached with breastfeeding.
The win is further recognition for Panhavuth after another of his designs – a logo – was chosen for the Channel 31 series, What's Wrong With U?
"My goal is if any opportunity comes up to always say 'yes' to it," Panhavuth says of his proactive approach to his work.
Having come to Holmesglen from Cambodia, Panhavuth arrived in Melbourne one month before starting his course. The move marked the first time he had been out of his home country.
"Since coming here my perspective has changed," Panhavuth observes. "When I was young, I knew I was good at drawings. Back then, though, it was almost unheard of making a living as an artist, but I started to see that there were graphic design jobs and you could use those skills."
These skills have now contributed to his popular designs. Panhavuth cites the Holmesglen classroom as providing the grounding, while recognising his leisure time as the period to build on the teachings. "When I go home, it's up to me to expand on what I learned in the classroom," he says.
The design for the Medela run competition was the result of careful research and preparation. "I just brainstormed during the term break. We had to find a new way to convey the breastfeeding method. After doing research, I designed a lot of thumbnails and thought how I could make it. That's when digital drawing came into it."
While the recent award is fitting regard for the enthusiasm and hard work shown, it's the little accomplishments along the way that have helped Panhavuth. His winning logo design for What's Wrong With U? was his first award since moving to Australia.
"It was confidence boosting for me. I realised everything doesn't start with a computer. It starts with paper and a pencil."
Panhavuth also participated in the recent KW Doggett Fine Paper 2017 calendar workshop.
Fittingly, credit has followed Panhavuth's passion; however, he already carries the perspective to move forward in the industry. It's not necessarily about always succeeding but rather keeping a positive attitude about your work.
"I tell myself that a lot of design work is subject to comment. If your design is not selected it doesn't mean it sucks, it means they preferred something else in their own way. That's a refreshing thing. You should always be positive about your work because you tried really hard doing it."
*Main photo kindly provided by Medela.