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Professional Personas — Nicola Hamilton. Independent Art Director, Graphic Designer, and Educator. (How’d We Get Here? Podcast. Season 2, Ep1.)


In this episode, I speak to Nicola Hamilton, who is an Independent Art Director, Graphic Designer, Educator, and current President of the Registered Graphic Designers @rgdhub RGD (Toronto) about her perspectives on managing multiple professional personas. Nicola and I reflect on season 1 of the podcast, pivoting between multiple personas as a student, educator, and designer and share our thoughts and experiences about fear vs confidence, establishing a design identity, fostering inclusivity and equity in the classroom, and much more. We also touch on what we’ve learned about our students through their stories and what we will take with us as we head into our first fully online semester during the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Nicola discusses how she pivots between mental modes and personas within multiple professional roles.
  • Managing multiple projects and switching personas for design projects.
  • How design student personas are modelled after internal influences rather than personal influence.
  • Establishing personal design aesthetic.
  • Applying backwards design for more authentic projects and personalized portfolios.
  • The power or inclusive design and identity for project-based learning.
  • Empowering student identity in the classroom.
  • Giving student autonomy over learning to develop authentic design portfolios.
  • Allowing students to modularize their own design personas through their work.
  • Reflections of season 1.
  • Moving towards online learning during a pandemic with student wellness and professional motivations in mind.
  • How inclusivity and equity plays a role in student success.
  • How student–teacher and student–student connections might help overcome imposter syndrome and fear within a new environment.
  • Fear vs confidence.
  • The importance of valuing learning over grades for developing design confidence.
  • How mentorship models might nurture personal and professional growth.
  • *Sorry, I didn’t delete the newspaper reference and I still don’t know what being born on a lunar eclipse during a planet parade means but it’s probably awesome 😛


Connect with Nicola on:

Instagram at @nickydearest

Website: nicolahamilton.ca

The Scaries: thescariesproject.com


Follow me on Instagram and Twitter at @edtechXD

*Leave a review/rating onApple Podcastsif you enjoy this podcast and find the information helpful.

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