Always be learning

Published On: April 28, 2017 |
Diane Presler

Meet Diane Presler. Visual Designer and BAVC Media Instructor, she brings passion, spirit, and her expert knowledge to courses ranging from InDesign to HTML, and our newest offering Sketch.  

What does teaching mean for your practice? Over the years, how have you navigated your place in the design world?

Teaching is how I have navigated my place in the design world. Teaching helped me survive the constant change in the design world. I have embraced change by making my job to study it. And the social aspects of teaching empower me every day. I learn from my students every day. I just try to create a warm comfortable learning environment in my design and coding workshops, and see what happens. Many times the teaching comes from the students. I do study constantly and know a lot…but somehow just bringing a group of people together into a live class allows something spontaneous and unplanned to occur. I never say I know it all. I try to say open to new learning.

What makes Sketch an important new tool in the design field?

It’s popularity comes from its easy learning curve. It is very focused on web and app design, and has far fewer features than Illustrator. Ironically, having less is more. You have all the features you need for web design, and can work very rapidly creating wireframes and high-fidelity visual design layouts. Sketch also makes it super easy to export assets and copy CSS and SVG code from my Sketch designs. Lastly, Sketch is so popular, it is easy to find assets you can download and use from the huge Sketch community.

Here’s my favorite place to find Sketch assets, such as UI Kits, icons, and templates for web and app design.

Now I’m saving Illustrator for more complex drawing projects, such as logos, infographics and illustrations

What advice would you give someone who is thinking about making career change and transitioning into design?

Create a community for yourself. Connect with the people you meet at BAVC Media. Reach across the aisle and make a friend. Try to find peers that complement your skillset, rather than mirror yourself. Find cousins, not sisters. If you are a developer, you should find a designer and a UX person to hang out with you to balance your perspective. Go to meet-ups, and stay long enough to dance, laugh and go to a karaoke bar afterwards.

You have to apply what you are learning. Start working on projects to demonstrate the new skills you are gaining. Your made-up projects become portfolio pieces that lead to real employment and real projects.


Meet Michelle Chang. Michelle Chang recently earned an Experiential Web Design Certificate at BAVC Media. Before joining BAVC Media, she participated in Hackathons, a design program in Scandinavia, and had re-designed websites, but with her motto of “always be learning,” she jumped into her studies.

Is there something you are currently working on, or are excited about starting that you can tell us about?

I am working on refining my portfolio by fleshing out pieces I have previously worked on and restructuring it based on the feedback I’ve received from my BAVC Media training. I am also excited to pick up new side-projects, whether it be small branding tasks, redesigns, or whatever comes my way.

What advice has influenced you?

Two pieces: Always be learning and less is more.

What are you most proud of?

I am fortunate enough to have undergone quite a variety of challenging life experiences and I am proud that I have been resilient in keeping my resolve to continue working towards a life I can define on my own terms.

How has the Sketch class influenced your process?

I was already slightly familiar with Sketch before taking the class, but Diane did introduce us to several functionalities that I had not known about that would easily improve the efficiency with which I execute designs in the future. We learned about handy plugins and how to best organize our elements, which is something I need improvement in. The class also helped reinforce the fact that tools are constantly evolving.


Enroll now for our next Sketch course!