Aussie Musos Offer Their Best Advice For Balancing Uni & Your Creative Pursuits

Name: Bella Venutti


Studied: Film

Bella Venutti

“I think something great to put into practice to make the balance of creative pursuits and tertiary study really enjoyable is taking note of how the two can intersect or complement each other. For example, there have been many instances in which texts/media/ideas I have been introduced to at Swinburne have proved to be great inspiration for songwriting.”

Name: Ben Botting

Band: Howlite

Studied: Product Design Engineering, Graphic Design and Advertising

ben botting

“I’ve always [been able] to balance creative pursuits and studying, and more often than not they have worked hand in hand! I’ve studied product design engineering at Swinburne, [as well as graphic design and advertising elsewhere]. While these have coincided with a creative end goal, and may seem easy as they could be considered as “my creative pursuits”, I still played in bands or developed design work for bands outside of studying. Studying actually helped to motivate me to pursue my external creative pursuits more actively, and in a more focused way.

“As I studied various disciplines or aspects of design in a structured way, it opened up a greater understanding of my creative side and my need to be involved in less structured forms of creativity AKA music! It helped to develop my abilities and understanding of my strengths and weaknesses within all creative fields, and allowed me to appreciate those that are less structured and more free. I gained more confidence and focus and as a result was able to create music, and help others create designs around their music!”

Name: Ed Borromeo

Band: Tempus Sun

Studied: Music Performance

ed borromeo

“Do not overthink it! This is the number 1 rule that tires you out and deflates your motivation towards the two aspects you’re trying to balance.

“When you’ve just moved house, you have 17 assignments, two gigs on the weekend and Mum’s hassling you about lunch at your Auntie’s (who’s a shocking cook) the only thing you can think about is how much you have to do within study and/or getting ready for a gig or rehearsals etc. Don’t entertain these thoughts, don’t stew on them over and over, as it will exhaust and de-motivate you from attacking study and/or music when you do get the chance. Accept that you’re busy and don’t let your thoughts beat you down or tire you out.

“Music is a great outlet from study. Study and everyday life can create hardships that can inspire great music. The two undertakings feed off and benefit each other, so make time for both, as they naturally help you… ‘balance’.”

Name: Maria Louise Boyadgis

Occupation: Music Photographer (Four Minutes To Midnight)

Studied: Photography

maria 2 supplied

“The main key of study and working creatively at the same time is to learn how to prioritise. Make sure you are always on top of your work because when you never know when that important gig might be offered to you. If you believe in something have both feet firmly on the ground and be ready to challenge anything and everything – don’t ever hold back cause some opportunities never come back and always remember to have confidence in yourself. Because if you don’t do it, someone, else will!!! Never doubt yourself. As someone in the industry once told me, ‘You can have everything you want, just not at the same time.'”

Name: Troy Rainbow

Band: Fierce Mild

Studied: Economics & Music Composition

troy rainbow 2

“Even if your study field seems completely unrelated to creativity, everything in life is connected. The themes you are looking at in any other area will inevitably inform your work. I did this by tying philosophical thought into my writing.

“If you’re studying physics, try applying the mathematics to your writing. If you’re studying Ornithology, use your recordings of bird calls in the production of your music. Just always look for ways to connect everything you do. It’s actually less work and the ultimate result will be your art that actually represents all of you.”

Uni can help both you and your music to grow like they’ve never grown before, so put your plans into action — check out a university that’s creative and different, meet their academics and ask pointy questions to make sure you’ve picked the right place.

Here’s where you can start — Swinburne’s Advice Nights on 11th September in Wantirna and 13th September in Hawthorn.

Rock (and study) on!

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