South Auckland preferably.
My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)
I'm a freelance illustrator who started out as a traditional animator (not 3D). That basically means I create artwork for clients usually for books or video. I have a variety of styles and skills. I have strong foundation skills in figure drawing and digital painting with a strong focus on Māori culture appealing to a younger audience. I've worked on numerous books as well as television shows. I've also designed for apps and games and I can also edit video.
My track record of experience and success - or the track record of experience and success of the creative or artist that I will partner with
My first job out of art school was working as an animator and character designer on an award-winning TV show where I worked for four years. I gained a scholarship to attend film school in this time and then worked at Māori TV for two years as an animator. I was around 24 when I had a break from animation. I gained my Degree in Creative Arts at MIT majoring in Creative Writing while getting my first taste of illustrating books. After gaining my degree I worked for four years as an in-house illustrator for a digital production house where I designed interactive book apps. Since then I have been working full-time from home as an illustrator for different clients occasionally doing animation as well.
Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes
My first time teaching I was about 24 teaching academic drawing to tertiary students. I taught life drawing helping them to understand things like form, proportions, and anatomy. The students' ages ranged from 17–40+. I also ran a workshop for kids creating comics. Their ages ranged from 5–14. While working at the digital production house I facilitated at many schools around New Zealand helping kids to create their own illustrated stories which we then turned into interactive apps. My last time working with kids which was also a highlight of my career has to be going to the Marshall Islands to run Digital Art workshops in schools. I helped them write and illustrate some of their own stories from their culture. I've also just started running a drawing workshop out of my garage every fortnight for kids that are wanting to get better at drawing and design.
Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice
I have found every time I've worked with kids to be fun, inspiring and extremely refreshing after working from home every day. I've always wanted to teach and share what I've learnt over the years to show kids that you can do it too. It can be a career! Especially in areas like South Auckland where I live, where there aren't many opportunities to scratch that creative itch I relish any opportunity to pass on and share my love for creating art with anyone that's got a passion for it. I just feel like it is a huge part of my purpose in life.