Navigating creative career paths

Last week’s Career Bites session was a dynamic exploration of creative careers featuring Westlake alumna Chanelle Butters and her husband, Anthony Butters. Both shared inspiring journeys of pursuing their digital design and filmmaking passions, respectively.

Chanelle Butters: from magazine design to UX expert

Chanelle’s career trajectory has been marked by a deep dive into digital design, encompassing graphic design, motion design, and currently, UX design at Datacom. Her enthusiasm for the creative process shone through as she described her affinity for “storytelling and beautiful designs.”

Chanelle’s career started as a magazine designer, but she took a detour from full-time work due to feeling creatively unfulfilled. This break led her to discover her passion for art directing. Reflecting on her varied experiences, she emphasised how each ‘side quest’ contributed valuable skills she now integrates into her current role. Chanelle decided to study at Media Design School to learn from industry professionals actively working in the field, enriching her expertise further.

Anthony Butters: A journey through filmmaking and beyond

Anthony Butters captivated students with his journey in the film industry, starting with a short 16-week filmmaking course. He credited his early success to his willingness to take on any role on set, beginning as a camera assistant during the filming of Spartacus. His exposure to various aspects of filmmaking on set proved pivotal, fostering a comprehensive understanding of the industry.

Despite early success in feature filmmaking, Anthony recognised sustainability challenges in that field.

“I was either unemployed or working 14-hour days,” he explained.

This realisation prompted him to explore acting, leading to significant US connections and opportunities to produce music videos and commercials. His recent ventures include screenwriting, producing commercials and being the marketing director for educational videos, showcasing his versatility and adaptability in the creative industry.

Key takeaways

Both Chanelle and Anthony underscored the importance of embracing diverse experiences and seizing opportunities in the pursuit of a creative career. Their stories highlight how flexibility, continuous learning, and networking are crucial for success in dynamic fields like digital design and filmmaking.