It’s ten years since Anthony Sukkar’s HSC. “It’s like a dream now, but it was a hectic year,” he remembers. “My result wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great. I didn’t really know what I was going to do; I just knew I wanted to do something creative.”
Finding a pathway
It was hard to see a path to a creative career. “My family, my friends, uncles and aunties – nobody in my family or extended family was in a creative field, so I was sort of flying blind,” he says. “I saw UTS had a Bachelor of Design degree, majoring in animation, which interested me. I figured, ‘I enjoy drama and I enjoy film – this might be for me.’”
When he inquired at UTS, Anthony got a solid tip. “They suggested starting with a Diploma of Design from UTS College. I wouldn’t have known about UTS College if they hadn’t told me. I was fresh out of high school. I mean, just a year before, I was asking permission to go to the bathroom. Now I’m supposed to know how to sort out my entire life.”
Ready for uni after a jam-packed year
UTS College, the pathway to UTS, turned out to be just what Anthony needed. “It was a jam-packed year,” he says, “but man, you learn a lot. At the end I was ready to jump straight into my degree. You get extra credit points as well. So, I had one less subject every semester, which lightened the load at UTS. On top of that, I’d learnt a bunch of programs, which students fresh from high school had to learn from scratch.”
Anthony says his diploma prepared him in other ways too. “I was pretty disorganised in high school, but by the time I finished my diploma I knew how to make sure things were delivered on time. That helped me beyond uni, with getting a job and becoming a competent employee.”
Experiences during his degree helped to build his confidence. “One thing that stands out for me is our end-of-year shows. It was a highlight seeing people interested in what you’ve created. I really appreciated that.”
Finding his way
Immediately after completing his degree, Anthony took a break to travel. “My background is Lebanese, and I went there for a holiday. It was amazing. I didn’t feel like a foreigner. I already knew the culture and the language, even though I don’t speak it fluently. I will go back one day,” he says.
It took about three months to secure a job once back in Sydney. “I still wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted,” he says. “I started skilling up in After Effects, which is motion graphics. I took a weekend and just worked on it. I made a bunch of pieces, then started looking for graphic producer roles.” After a three-month search, he got a call from a company that was interested in his work.
Still learning every day
Since then, Anthony has worked as a motion graphics designer with clients like Channel 10 and Football Australia. He’s now a graphic artist at Channel 9. “It’s awesome. I flick on the telly and see my graphics right behind Peter Overton. It’s exciting to be in such a massive, professional operation and I’m learning every day.”
Nothing you learn goes to waste
Anthony says he has no regrets. “All my experiences got me to where I am, and nothing you learn goes to waste,” he says. He encourages current school leavers to consider creative fields. “More and more people are on their phones today, looking at videos,” he says. “There’s demand for creative designers who can deliver content for digital media. So don’t stress too much about the future. Take it one step at a time. The important thing is to move forward.”