Cultural heritage: Māori
Iwi: Ngāti Awa, Te Arawa, Ngāi Tūhoe, Ngāi Tahu
Interests/hobbies: Culture, history, nature, storytelling, playing video games (of course)
What were you doing before you started studying at Media Design School?
I came to MDS in 2019, almost immediately after graduating high school in Australia, finishing at the top of my class in Industrial Graphics. I dedicated the Christmas holidays of 2018 to carefully consider where to go from high school. MDS stood out to me as the obvious way to go as an ambitious creative.
What do you enjoy most about studying at MDS?
What I enjoy most about MDS is the sense of interconnectedness I have found among the students, of all ages, interests, and backgrounds. MDS offers students many opportunities to find like-minded people for you to build friendships with.
What advice do you have for students wanting to study to MDS?
MDS is a highly collaborative space where students exchange ideas constantly. My advice would be to build your skills in effective communication and team working, regardless of your chosen course. Also, don’t be afraid to explore your creative abilities to the fullest. While MDS will give you the tools to create and teach you how to use them, it is up to you to do the creating.
Who has been a positive influence on you, both personally and in your studies?
I am a naturally reserved person, like many students here at MDS. I would credit the more outgoing friends I have found in MDS for their patience and encouragement in helping me get out of my shell. I would say that they’ve had the most positive influence on me in both my studies and enjoyment of life in general. I hope to be that person for others.
What were some of the initial challenges that you faced when you entered your study?
Navigation, funnily enough, was an initial challenge of mine. Not navigation of the campus so much, rather, navigation of the city as I have been a small-town boy up until this point. I would recommend learning how to get to and from campus and where the best and cheapest places to eat are, as quickly as possible. Travel time will play into the development of your time management skills here at MDS.
What support has helped you during your time at MDS so far?
Returning from Australia after 4 years all but alienated me from my Māori culture. I have come to appreciate the support that MDS has shown me in reconnecting myself with others like me. In my time at MDS, I have also been exposed to pathways forward into the industry as a Māori creative.
What do you hope to do once you finish your studies?
When I finish my studies, I hope to become an Environment Artist in the video game industry. I hope to help create fantastical worlds which inspire people to love and appreciate different environments, as well as the world they live in too.