Internship Provides Opportunity to Create

Internship Provides Opportunity to Create

Emerging graphic designer and soon-to-be graduate Kirstin McLachlan sought out an internship at just the right place. A tenacious student designer, Kirstin invested time looking for a suitable placement that would combine her love of art, with her ambition to gain real-world graphic design skills. After a lengthy search, all roads led to Creative Waikato – it was a perfect fit. Read on to hear about Kirstin’s internship experience, creative briefs, and her satisfaction when seeing her designs ‘driving around the Waikato’.

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Kirstin McLachlan, lover of art and animals, I am currently in my third year of studying BMA Graphic Design at Wintec.

Can you tell us about the internship paper you are doing at Media Arts?
For the internship paper, I was required to go out and find a suitable placement for me to gain relevant experience. I found myself emailing various different design studios and advertising agencies with either no reply or a friendly ‘no’, but I wasn’t really sure what I was looking for. I emailed Creative Waikato asking if they might know of any graphic design internship opportunities in Hamilton and they ended up taking me on for themselves. So my internship experience as their in-house graphic designer.

Tell me about the goals of your internship at Creative Waikato?
Some of my goals were: To improve my time management, learn about working in a professional environment, apply my graphic design skills to real-life projects and gain experience working to a client brief.

During your internship you completed some design work for Creative Waikato, what was the most rewarding design challenge?
Creative Waikato gave me a few design projects, but the most personally rewarding project was the car branding.  They challenged me to create a design that would be cohesive with their existing branding, communicate who they are and to ‘not look corporate’ for their vehicle.

How did you resolve that challenge?
I tried out a few different design styles, I went to them with 3 draft ideas and luckily they chose my favourite idea, the doodles. They liked the idea of a not so typical ‘Kiwiana’ look you see a lot these days, and they liked how the expressive cute doodles portrayed the arts. I looked around their office for ideas and I was really inspired by Paul’s Creative Waikato map illustration that’s on their wall, I also googled a lot for reference material. If you look closely you can see a Moa, mountains,  kowhai trees, a tui, a hot air balloon, the list goes on. I even snuck in a cow udder and a cheeky gumboot.

It’s a thrill for Kirstin McLachlan to see her design on Creative Waikato’s vehicle.

What results did this piece achieve?
While creating this design I gained knowledge of working to a brief, but I also learnt how to express my creative style within the constraints. I learnt how to work closely with a signwriter which is something I had not done before. The idea of my designs driving around the Waikato was a little bit daunting at first but now that I can see it applied, it’s pretty cool.

Thanks to Kirstin McLachlan for sharing her learning experience with us and thanks to Creative Waikato for providing a challenging and productive creative internship for one of our students.

You can find out more about the course credit you gain when you undertake an internship at Wintec on our website.

Public Relations & Perseverance with Caitlynn Wendt

Public Relations & Perseverance with Caitlynn Wendt

Despite falling short of success in secondary school, Caitlynn Wendt is close to completing a Bachelor of Media Arts (Communication) degree – and she has no intention of stopping there. A published poet and PR major, Caitlynn plans to take on a post-graduate honours programme in 2018, marking her fifth consecutive year as a Wintec student. When asked how she maintains such a highly motivated mindset in adulthood, the hard-working wordsmith credits one key factor: timing. 

After struggling with personal trials in high school, Caitlynn’s enrollment at Wintec stemmed from newfound drive, which has continued to thrive over time. She recently gave us an insight into her eye-opening Media Arts journey, which has seen her partake in the groundbreaking Design Hub pilot and have her work professionally published.  

What’s inspired you to pursue a degree in communication? Did you know you’d go down this path before starting your Introduction to Study course? 

I’ve always had a strong passion for writing. Initially, I wanted to pursue journalism as a career, but I soon found that public relations and advertising attracted me more. I think either way you go in communications, there’s plenty of writing. So I got what I wished for – a future in writing.

Have you been set on pursuing PR since beginning the BMA or did you decide part-way through? What attracts you to PR as a career? 

When I first started at Wintec I wanted to pursue journalism as a career. It wasn’t until the second year of my degree that I realised my passion was in PR and advertising. PR and advertising attracted me because of its creativity and diversity. In journalism, you investigate and write a story. In PR and advertising, you investigate and find creative ways to engage a specific audience – the fun part is figuring out how.

In journalism, you investigate and write a story. In PR and advertising, you investigate and find creative ways to engage a specific audience – the fun part is figuring out how.  

You did not enjoy secondary school but you have gone from strength to strength in your tertiary education. Do you think this has made you a lot more determined to succeed academically and professionally now, as an adult?

When I was in high school, I was dealing with a lot of things. It was a difficult stage in my life and I think the timing just wasn’t right. When I decided to enrol at Wintec, I had realised that I could achieve my dreams. I was ready to chase them and determined to succeed. This time, the timing was right.

You became a published poet late last year when your piece ‘False Love’ featured in Issue 1 of Wintec honours project Emergent – do you believe studying for a communication degree has played a significant part in influencing your creativity and self-expression as a writer, or has this always come naturally to you? Has poetry long been a passion of yours?

Absolutely, I’ve always had a passion for writing and I’ve always practised that passion, but never pursued it until my degree. Through my degree, I’ve had opportunities to strengthen and share my writing on an academic and professional level. My creativity and writing have improved immensely and Wintec gave me an opportunity to share my work. This has encouraged my writing and made me realise that it’s worth sharing.

Combining your Introduction to Study course, the Certificate in Media Arts, and soon a Bachelor of Media Arts degree, you’ve essentially been studying at Wintec for four years – how have you maintained your drive and motivation? 

I always thought I wasn’t good enough because I’ve had people tell me that I would never be successful. Ever since I realise that wasn’t true, I’ve lived with the idea of failure not being an option. Every time things got difficult, personally and academically, I reminded myself that failure wasn’t an option. I’ve made it this far because I realised this was a journey I had to do on my own. I told myself every day that failure wasn’t an option. I sacrificed my personal life to succeed, and I praised myself with every accomplishment to encourage the next one.

I told myself every day that failure wasn’t an option. I sacrificed my personal life to succeed, and I praised myself with every accomplishment to encourage the next one. 

Tell me about your experience being a part of the pilot Wintec Design Hub. What did your individual role entail?

The Wintec Design Hub was an amazing experience, both academically and personally. I’ve grown so much through the Design Hub. It has given me the confidence to approach industry professionals, and the passion to believe in myself.

I’ve grown so much through the Design Hub. It has given me the confidence to approach industry professionals, and the passion to believe in myself. 

As a Media Arts student, I helped my team with research and interviews, and understanding audiences when creating personas. There were a lot of creative thinking exercised in the Design Hub, and I think my experience in media arts suited those activities.  The Design Hub began with the goal of becoming part of the Global Network in the long run – it just happened a lot sooner than expected. I’m absolutely thrilled the Design Hub has now received an invitation to become New Zealand’s first Design Factory. The staff and students worked so hard and deserve this. Being accepted into the Global Network opens so many doors to the future for Wintec. It has been a truly rewarding experience to be a part of, and I encourage students from across Wintec to enrol.

With just one semester to go until you’re officially qualified, do you feel you’re almost ready to leave the student nest? Does your excitement outweigh your nerves at this point?

I still feel like I have a lot more to learn, even after four years, and I strongly believe in continually expanding my knowledge. I think there’s still one chapter left in my Wintec journey, and I plan to continue this chapter through to Media Arts Honours.  I am extremely excited to begin my communications career. I wouldn’t say that I’m nervous. I think the last four years have prepared me in every way possible. The excitement outweighs everything. I can’t wait.

I think the last four years have prepared me in every way possible. The excitement outweighs everything. I can’t wait.

What’s been the best or most rewarding aspect of life as a Media Arts student? 

I like the hands-on, practical approach. In Media Arts, you get a real experience that prepares you for the professional world. One of the best things about Wintec is knowing we’re fully supported all the way, and that makes anything possible. The most rewarding thing about media arts is that they celebrate everything – no work goes unnoticed. Whether it’s Communications, Visual Arts, Graphic Design or Music, every semester they remind you that you have something to be proud of.

No work goes unnoticed. Whether it’s Communications, Visual Arts, Graphic Design or Music, every semester they remind you that you have something to be proud of. 

Thinking long-term, where do you see (or want to see) your degree taking you in the industry? 

I enjoy getting to know people as much as I enjoy writing, and I enjoy being a part of a team. Ideally, I’d like to work within a project team or in a leadership role within the community. I am also quite interested in not-for-profit organisations and the government. My end goal is to be a part of a change and ideally lead that change. I’m open-minded and anything is possible.

Do you have a piece of advice to offer our prospective BMA Communication students? 

Don’t give up – ever. The first stage of the degree can feel like it’s too much, but it’s completely worth it. The reward always outweighs the sacrifice. Keep pressing on, you’re far greater than you ever thought.

Thank you Caitlynn, for sharing your Media Arts journey with us. Find more information about Wintec’s Bachelor of Media Arts (Communication) here. 

Internship Opportunity for Etana Zaguri

Internship Opportunity for Etana Zaguri
After finishing her secondary school studies at Morrisville College, Etana Zaguri raced off to learn the craft of graphic design in the studios of Media Arts, Wintec. 
In her third year of study, Etana successfully applied for an intern position at AREA Design. During her internship, she’s been an integral part of this year’s Spark Festival design process. This diverse and inspiring learning experience has made a lasting impression on Etana’s creative practice and professional outlook toward the graphic design industry.

Where are you from originally? Did you study design in secondary school?
I’m from Morrinsville. I took all arts in High School and wanted to do art but then by the third year I didn’t do an art portfolio because I was just over it. It wasn’t what I wanted to do.
Graphics wasn’t available in my school; it was more architecturally focused.

How did you find out about Media Arts?
One of my friends was doing painting and sculpture at Media Arts, and I would always ask her about it and how it was going. She said that I would love it.

What has been the most significant part of your time here at Media Arts?

I think that teachers make a big impact!

Can you describe a typical graphic design lesson?
We will often sit down at the front of the classroom, and our teacher will give us a tutorial. We would then go back to our computers in pairs or by ourselves and to work through the task, or skills we had learnt from the tutorial.

Alan Deare and Etana Zaguri working at AREA Design HQ.

How did you get this internship with AREA design?
In the January holidays, my tutor Luke emailed me about an internship opportunity that had come up. If we wanted to do it, we were to let Luke know to then come in to do an interview. Yeah, I came in to do an interview, and then after meeting with Alan, he decided to give me a chance.

What did you first do in your internship role?
I did research.

Was it different from studying?
It was similar; I looked at visual, then type and layouts.

What skills have you developed during your internship?
Indesign, I know a lot more about that program. A few new photoshop skills like layers, to extend backgrounds and CMYK quad-tones.

The AREA Design studio where Etana completed her internship.

How have you found juggling the Internship and your study at Media Arts?

It’s been good, at the start I came in a couple of times while I was doing my assignments. But I nearly completed the whole thing in the Semester break.

Would you recommend other students to take up an internship opportunity?
Yeah, definitely! You get the knowledge of what happens in the real world, whereas when you are given a brief at tech, you have a lot more options compared to the reality.

A massive thanks go out to Etana for her contribution to the Spark Festival design. See it for yourself on our Spark Festival website.

Thanks to AREA design for imparting your wisdom onto our students and allowing them to gain significant insight into the graphic design industry. 

We pride ourselves on being connected with the creative industry in the Waikato region, find out more about our internship opportunities here.


Tonga Robertson – Student Profile

Tonga Robertson – Student Profile

Soon-to-be interior design graduate and mother-of-three Tonga Robertson leads a busy life, but she knows exactly what she wants to achieve, and believes her family plays a big part in motivating her to strive for success.

I caught up with Tonga in her home to chat about what’s driven her to pursue a career in the Media Arts industry, and the exciting projects she’s been working on as an intern. Tonga shares a few pearls of wisdom about keeping both eyes on the prize, as a student and mother with a dream to collaborate and create.

What inspired you to pursue a career in interior design?

I wanted to do something creative, but I’m also a real people person – I love working with people. A few years back I initially thought I’d get into something like midwifery or nursing, but I kind of knew I always wanted to do something creative on the side. Interior design has that good combination of working with people – clients, tradies, and others in the industry – as well as having that creative outlet. I wanted to do something creative, but I’m also a real people person – I love working with people

For those who know little about the industry, what exactly does interior design involve?

Traditionally, a lot of people thought that interior designers would just go in and make someone’s house really pretty – which makes me cringe because we do way more than that!

An interior designer will work alongside say a client or a builder, or maybe an architect or engineer, and an architect will do a drawing for a new house, for instance. As an interior designer, I will design the interior space of it all – what the kitchen will look like, what sort of benches will go in the kitchen, what the cupboards will look like – I will also design the flooring, the furniture and where things are placed inside the house. You can also get into other aspects of styling, joinery, textile and commercial design. It’s such a varied job, and that makes it really fun, because you can find something that might be your niche and you can do that and make money. I think that’s why I love interior design so much; it’s such a varied field. It’s an awesome career.

I think that’s why I love interior design so much – it’s such a varied field.

When you graduate and enter the industry do you see yourself working for a company or on your own as a freelancer?

Once I finish studying full-time, for me the dream is to be my own boss and start up my own interior design company. In saying that, I still feel like I’ve got so much more to learn – so my ideal outcome once I’ve finished studying is to work for somebody part-time, and still be able to build up my own design business on the side. I’m getting so many opportunities at the moment that it’s really promising.


Can you tell me about the projects you’re currently interning for?

At the moment, I’m working for a local builder here in Hamilton, and his business has exploded. The current job I’m working for with him is a new build out in Greenhill. The house is about 300 sq. m, it’s a relatively big house. I’m designing this cabin-log house inspired home, and the client has some really interesting quirks. He has a statue he’s made of his deceased wife, which he’s asked me to design a stand for,

and it’s located in a special area in the house. That’s really cool, you don’t often get to build a shrine for somebody.

I’m working on another project for a client in Whatawhata. They’ve got a garage that was converted into a flat and they’re wanting to turn it into a B&B. It’s a full interior fit-out – new kitchen, new bathroom, new flooring and walls – and then for the main house for the same client, we’re looking at putting in a new kitchen, new bathroom, new floors and slightly changing the floor-plan so we can put in doors that open up to a deck.

Also, the builder I’m working with has a container house project, which is really cool because I’m into sustainable living. I also love the idea of living in a small space because it really challenges you to live with just what you need, and it helps you get rid of the excess that we can often consume in this time. So, I’m working on a container house project where I guess the challenge is trying to fit what you need into such a small, narrow space. That’s really fun, I’m really loving that at the moment.


What has it been like studying full-time with a young family?

Studying full-time with a young family is a lot of work. I’m really grateful that I’ve got an amazing husband who’s very supportive. Often on crazy end of the semester, I’d pick up the kids, drop them off, my husband would feed them and bathe them and I’d be going straight back to school to keep working on assignments. The great thing is that I know what I want to do and I haven’t got time to muck around. I’ve got a family that relies on me, so it ends up becoming my motivation, and it gives me the perseverance to get it done.

If you could give a piece of advice to someone who’s in a similar position to yours, with a young family and a creative ambition, what would that be?

I think it’s essential to understand what it is that you want because that gives you so much more motivation and conviction to go out and get it. When you’re in-between it’s tough to focus on something and get it done, especially when pressure and deadlines come at you. I think you should find something that you’re passionate about, find something that you’re gonna love, and do it. There’s always going to be sacrifices, but just understand that the dream – if it is a dream – is worth chasing.

I think it’s vital to understand what it is that you want because that gives you so much more motivation and conviction to go out and get it.

The studying time is only a short season, and there is an end to it. The end opens up a wide range of possibilities. To me, that’s the dream – finishing this course and looking at my options. Keeping that dream in your mind while you’re going through the assignments, the deadlines, the expectations, and the pressure – keep reminding yourself of that dream, and that will hopefully push you toward the finish line.

A big thank you to Tonga, for sharing her time and thoughts. Find more information about Wintec’s Diploma in Interior Design here.

From Psychology to Journalism with Ruby Nyika

From Psychology to Journalism with Ruby Nyika
Having finished her Science degree majoring in Psychology in Wellington, Ruby wondered, what’s next? She yearned for a job with more creativity.  After moving back to her hometown of Hamilton she searched for a course that would allow her to pursue her writing passion. Ruby enrolled in Wintecs’ Diploma in Journalism, a full-time 1-year course at Media Arts and began training as a writer and journalist from day one. As part of the intern programme at Media Arts Ruby has worked at Hamilton News and is currently placed at the Waikato Times
Read on to learn more about Ruby’s story. She discusses her experience at Media Arts and life as a student in her hometown, along with some career advice to those seeking a new direction. 
Can you describe your educational background, what are your previous qualifications? 
 Straight after high school at Hamilton Girls’ High, I moved to Wellington where I completed a Bachelor of Science majoring in Psychology with a minor in English Literature at Victoria University. I had intended to study post-graduate Psychology too.
Can you tell us about what you are studying at the moment, what attracted you to this course?
 I’m studying the National Diploma of Journalism with Wintec, which is a one-year course full of practical and relevant experience. 
Before that, I was pretty chuffed to score a dull but (relatively) well-paid job at a bank. But despite being surrounded by a bunch of cool colleagues I ended up utterly miserable there. It was a bit of a dead-end job and I wanted a career. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but knew that I wanted it to involve writing because it’s what I love to do. I started fantasizing about a career in journalism and the more I thought about it, the more impossible it became not to do just go ahead and do it. My family lives in Hamilton so I just googled Hamilton courses, applied and taa-da!


After living in Wellington for four years, you have moved back to Hamilton to live, has this been a good move? Can you tell us why?
 It has been an incredible move and I’m back in my hometown which is awesome. I’ve moved back in with my Mum so I’m very lucky there.  Quitting my job and studying journalism is probably one of the best decisions I’ve made. Even though I’m studying, I already feel like a journalist and I feel like I’m finally doing something that gets me excited week to week. The course is so practical, dynamic and you get to meet a lot of interesting people!  It’s been an exciting taste of what a career in journalism would be like. It’s such a cliché but seriously – life is too short. Do something that pushes your buttons. 

It’s such a cliché but seriously – life is too short. Do something that pushes your buttons.

You are midway through your diploma, can you describe Media Art’s approach to teaching and learning? How has it worked for you and your learning style? 
 I love, love, love Media Art’s teaching style. At Uni, it was a lot of theoretical stuff, a lot of essay writing and exams. Here, I already feel like what I’m studying to be, I already feel like a journalist.  It’s very practical and everything is designed to introduce you to the career that you want. The teachers are genuinely determined to help you be the best you can be and they help you with your individual goals, rather than just ticking off general course requirements. And our entire class is so supportive of one another, we all just want to see each other do well.
Also – it doesn’t feel like we’re just being taught to be standard journalists. We’re being taught to be top-notch, five-star, ace journalists. It has been challenging…but worthwhile things need to be challenging!  To be honest- I would say I’ve been challenged more in these last four months than in my entire three-year university degree. 
Can you tell us your most enjoyable experience on the course so far?
 Hmmm that’s a hard one. I really enjoyed profiling this inspiring volunteer as one of our course assignments. She was just such a quality human being and it felt like a privilege to write about someone like that. It was also a standout because it taught me that literally everyone has a story and my job needs to be to dig up the ones worth telling.
Ruby interviews artist Nell about her exhibition for the upcoming Spark Festival
Is it true that your grandfather collects clippings of all your published articles?
 Yes. I hadn’t got my hands on any copies of my published stories at one stage, although Gramps had mentioned that he had seen them in the paper. He was in the hospital a few weeks ago and I was in his room picking up clothes for him when I stumbled across this noticeboard in there covered in a bunch of clippings of my articles! It was a warm fuzzy moment.
Can you describe how it feels to have your work published given that you are still learning your craft? Does this help you develop your skills faster, does is keep you more engaged? 
It gives you such a high to see your own stories on a news site or in the paper.  It’s also very encouraging and it’s way easier to stay engaged when I know there’s a chance that my course work could make it to a bigger platform. It does mean there’s some extra pressure on the quality and standard of reporting which of course, can’t be a bad thing. Working to an actual publishable standard half the year in (although credit where it’s due, we’re lucky to have supportive editors at Wintec that talk us through any screw ups) emboldens me. It gives me confidence that I’m chasing a career that I could do well in if I put in the hard yards.  

Also – it doesn’t feel like we’re just being taught to be standard journalists. We’re being taught to be top-notch, five-star, ace journalists.

Where do you hope to be 2-3 years from now?
Studying psychology has left me with some interest in health so I’d love to score a job specialising in health reporting. I’d also love to be a feature writer. Long term I hope to be an “in-demand” freelance feature writer with jobs coming out of my ears!
Finally, can you describe the culture at Media Arts using five keywords:

Stimulating, challenging, supportive, dynamic, inspiring

Big thanks to Ruby Nyika for meeting with us and giving us such honest and inspiring responses. Follow Ruby on Twitter and read her stories on our Media Arts student newspaper The Waikato Independent.
If you are like Ruby and already have a degree and you’re wondering what’s next, view our one-year graduate diploma options here.

Mark Peter – Student Profile

Mark Peter – Student Profile

Mark Peter has been a Media Art student for four years. In that time he’s developed skills in design, motion graphics, painting and sculpture to name a few.

Mark was a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia and spent five months in China attending Chengdu University as part of Wintecs’ tertiary exchange programme. Mark says his experience in China regularly influences his creative practice – he’s inspired by Chinese culture, architecture and the city’s prolific construction.

His work combines a set of ideas that explore shape, line and distortion using a variety of standard, readily available materials. Mark is submitting his final body of work for his Media Arts Degree and ending on a high note with his exhibition, “A Rhombus Is My Favourite Crooked Square,” showing at SkinRoom Gallery. (Open 20-22 June)


You received the Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia to attend Chengdu University in China last year, can you tell us what you did there and the length of the student exchange?
I was in China for five months, and there were six of us. We were students of Chengdu University in their Design and Art centre. There were Chinese language classes that we also attended. The hardest thing for me was keeping up with the busy schedule at the school, and there was a class every day. We worked alongside Chinese students, who focused on a lot of digital art, illustration, product and print based design.

How did you find the tutors at Chengdu University, was the language barrier a challenge?
The teachers did help us, they took us on field trips and took us to see local artists. One teacher was an award winning local artist, well known in the province, it was pretty cool to be taught by her. We took Chinese language classes so that helped with the language barrier.

Where did you stay when you were attending Chengdu University?
We got lucky, and we stayed in these teachers apartments that were in a 30 story building. It was neat to experience living in an entirely different way. The architecture and housing are completely different to New Zealand’s.


Your trip to Chengdu University in China marked a turning point in the way you have been making art, can you describe how that came about?
I was messing around with what little materials I had, paper and cheap acrylics. I started playing around with mark making using one continuous line, and the Chengdu University tutors liked it.
The work in this show (A Rhombus Is My Favourite Crooked Square) is the first body of work that has been inspired by my surroundings. When I was visiting China, I was alarmed with the continuous construction happening over there. Everywhere we went there was construction, building, loud hammering and development. I liked that I was drawing inspiration from my environment and not by using an artist model.

It started with this idea of objects and distorting the perspective, is it square or is it not square?

From the works on paper I began experimenting with objects and changing the perspective, is it square or is it not square? If I can distort this in the painting, then I can modify the frame as well. I had a set of ideas that continuously had me exploring different ways of working and using different materials. How much can I warp this to turn this into a new shape? During the process, none of my canvases matched up, but I embraced the organic process of making which has ended up with some surprising outcomes where some delicate curves in the canvas have formed.

What is the most memorable experience you have taken away from your student exchange trip to China?
It’s always difficult to pinpoint the ‘yay’ moment; I think the most challenging thing was the travel, you have to plan your day thoroughly beforehand to get from one space to another, this is something I learnt the hard way! At the end of our study, we had a week to explore, and I planned a trip to fly to another city by myself to visit a friend I had met in Chengdu. Yeah, you’ve got to be early, I missed both my flights there and back, it was a learning curve. But luckily at this point, I had enough Chinese vocabulary to order food and find my way around. The surprising thing to me was that a lot of Chinese locals new basic English they helped me out a lot.

Would you recommend other students to embark on a student exchange to Chengdu University?

Totally, everyone should do it! It gets you out of your comfort zone. I loved it, it was cool – but prepare for loud jackhammers through the night. During my first week back from China in Hamilton, everything seemed so small and quiet.

You submitted your last project for your Media Arts Degree, can you tell us what’s next? Have you come to the end of this Rhombus idea?
No never, never. New clay works are in the mix, the clay, terracotta work in this show sold instantly, so I am going to develop more work of this nature. I would love to consider myself as part of the creative boost that is happening in Hamilton right now. Things are happening and changing here, and it’s exciting to be a part of that.

A Rhombus Is My Favourite Crooked Square by Mark Peter
Open 20 June until 22 June
Skinroom Gallery
Level 1, 123 Commerce Street, Frankton, Hamilton

Big thanks to Mark for meeting with us to discuss his creative practice and experience at Chengdu University, China. We wish you all the best Mark, and we look forward to seeing what you create next!

Find out more about the Chengdu University student exchange experience with Wintec here.

Inspired by Marks creative journey? Read more about studying at Media Arts Wintec here.

10 Lessons on Creative Integrity from Areez Katki

10 Lessons on Creative Integrity from Areez Katki
Areez Katki is a Persian-born, independent textile practitioner based in Auckland, New Zealand. He specialises in creating pieces of knitwear & apparel that are locally crafted by hand. Each body of work is carefully researched and the materials he uses are considered, ethically sourced and are limited editions. Areez considers himself as an object maker and craftsperson, having worked with his hands since the age of 9. Areez has developed a creative practice that places emphasis on maintaining integrity of originality, developing ideas from a range of sources and working symbiotically with other makers.
We were excited to have him join our #MediaArtsWintec fashion class for a guest lecture as part of Ramp Gallery’s public programme.  Areez has work in the current exhibition ‘Beauty is in the Street’.  You can check out more details of this work or get details of upcoming artist talks at Ramp Gallery.
Here are 10 things we learnt from Areez’s talk:
1.    There is no rule book, it’s all about intuition and compromise.
2.    Research is important. Derive inspiration from the things around you, from sculpture, buildings, history, trees, a cane chair.
3.    Fossick through shops, family history, through wardrobes.
4.    Travel, explore and document, there is so much inspiration to be found outside of one’s comfort zone.
5.    Embrace playfulness in your creative process, ideas, colour, line can develop into something meaningful.
6.    Collaborate. “Collaboration can work in your favour when you are a young practitioner.”
7.    Draw. It can often be playful and ideas can form out of blank spaces of your mind. “I often embrace this meditative state and ideas flow from this continued practice.”
8.    History is a place to draw inspiration from.
9.    Stop competing and help each other. Embrace symbiotic relationships with other creatives. Be helpful, offer advice and nurture one another.
10.  Look for inspiration outside the internet. Contextualise, document your research, record your experiences and acknowledge your sources. Make work that has meaning.
Thanks again to Areez Katki for sharing his words of wisdom. Follow him on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with his amazing work! See more of his collections on his website. 
Keep up to date with the Ramp Gallery programme here.

Six Typesetting Tips for Aspiring Graphic Designers.

Six Typesetting Tips for Aspiring Graphic Designers.

Our year two Media Arts students have been studying typesetting and publication design with graphic design tutor Jordan Foster. Jordan is a graduate from The school of Media Arts and we are  fortunate to have him return as a tutor with four years industry experience under his belt. The thing he loves most about teaching is seeing the students take pride in their work. Read on to learn more about typesetting from Jordan and see some examples of his students superb work.

The written language is a fundamental method of communicating. We use the written language to share new ideas through essays and papers, to tell stories of fictional characters living in haunted hotels and to convey various philosophies and theologies to a wide audience. In fact the printing press itself played a huge role in the cultural shift of our society from a tool-using culture to one that is being lead by technology.  Nevertheless the written word is about conveying information. Typography being the forms of the latin alphabet is the process of making this information, more visible.

So what is typesetting?

Typesetting is the process of selecting and arranging type for a particular document. In our case that document is a novel. As I write this it sounds incredibly simple, but be aware that type-setting is a laborious process that requires exceptional attention to detail, something all designers should be striving to acquire.

So how do we set type effectively?

Being a technical process there are some key ‘rules’ or tips that we can follow to ensure that our typesetting isn’t sub-par.

1. No Widows or Orphans.
Perhaps the worst terminology used in our industry but nevertheless one of the most important things to avoid. A widow or orphan is a very short line, usually 1 – 3 words at the end of a paragraph or column. (even worse if it’s on a new page). Whether the word is short or long avoid these guys at all costs. They create uneven space and interrupt the reader.

2. No 2-letter hyphens.
Hyphens can be your friend, they allow for better spacing within a block of text, however a hyphen that has been created with 2 or less characters at the start or end create odd shapes and thus distract from the overall reading of the copy.

3. Leading.
Leading is the space between lines and although people suggest minimum amounts I think the best way to assess wether your leading is good is to read the content. I akin leading to rhythm, the looser it is the slower it is to read, the tighter your leading the faster, find a balance and set a good pace for the reader.

4. Line length.
If your lines are too short or long then the information becomes hard to read. A good rule of thumb is anything shorter than 5 and it becomes too hard to read as your eyes need to shift constantly, anything over 15 and it becomes to hard to read because your eyes get lost in the next line. Again find a balance.

Like everything else in Type you need to find a balance.

5. Punctuation formatting.
This is my personal pet peeve. Use curly quotes for quote marks or apostrophes, not prime marks (straight ones used to indicate inches or feet). Use option+colon for ellipses, not 3 periods, Use En-dashes for duration where you can substitute “to” and “through”. Em-dashes are for a credit line or for a break in thought in a sentence. These three marks are not interchangeable and are akin to using the wrong pronouns for people, these things need to make sense. Although a small detail the use of the correct ones is a mark of professionalism.

6. Tracking.
Tracking is the space between characters as a whole within a word. If your tracking is too loose you end up with too much space and the text becomes laborious to read. If your tracking is too tight then the type becomes too hard to read as the characters begin to merge into each other. Like everything else in Type you need to find a balance.


These are just a few of the key guidelines to setting body copy in an attractive way. If you remember one thing it’s that the less obvious your type is, the more successful your typesetting is and the more enjoyable the experience for the reader.

A massive thanks to Jordan for taking us through his tips on getting Type right and thanks to the students who have contributed their work.

Want to produce your own professional quality books like these? Find out more about studying Graphic Design at The school of Media Arts here.