My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)
My specialist focus is colour and design. I have an Arts degree from Otago University (psychology major). Early on in my career I was an iconic New Zealand brand marketer for large corporates such as BNZ and Yellow Pages. I have always been creative. It has assisted me to be an effective problem solver and perceptive thinker. Having retrained as a single parent, I transitioned into an international corporate contract role specialising in paint and colour marketing for the largest coating provider in New Zealand at the time. I have owned and run a small design consultancy for over 18 years specialising in colour and style. Since then I have assisted hundreds of families with their homes.
During the recession I developed a colour workshop programme. For the past ten years I have contracted to a leading New Zealand paint company assisting a broad spectrum of children instore with decisions about their bedrooms. In the process children learn more about colour and design. Whilst colour is often dismissed as a “art related phenomenon“, it is actually simply physics. Colour is a reflection of light. Different wavelengths of light reflection affect different people in different ways. Similarly space is a very personal and cultural concept. As an artist I paint, draw, write and create craft objects. I have done throughout my life. I have some fabulous creative concepts to assist underprivileged children develop both their creative skills and numeric skills utilising colour and design. I understand to be able to develop both creative and STEM skills has been statistically analysed as wining factors towards nurturing innovators who will ultimately create jobs and economic wealth. I am available on contract, happy to work in a team and will consider every opportunity.
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
- Over 18 years contracted to major paint companies in New Zealand specialising in colour and colour technology to assist families achieve desired creative outcomes in their homes.
- Multiple high end projects with four bedrooms or more.
- Over ten years contracted as a colour specialist to assist children and families with their creative goals regarding colour and design of their homes, educational projects and community developments.
- Over 18 years as a small consultancy for professional colour design and style services.
- Highly specialised training and experience in paint and coatings technology.
Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes
As a single parent my experience was to ensure that my daughter matured as a healthy, successful individual. She is now completing her masters and currently holds a BcomLLB. For the past ten years I have assisted children develop their creative skills and knowledge in colour and design whilst contracted to one of New Zealand’s largest paint companies. The large format environment is busy.
As a specialist consultant children have become my largest audience. They are keen to absorb information, trial new ideas and listen to effective ways to find solutions. Children seek information regarding colour for creative school projects, as well as bedroom colour and design. In addition I often assist teachers who are responsible for school theatre projects or outdoor murals reach their desired outcomes. Two of the most notable projects are for a two-year-old who indicated which colours he would like for his room, and a private project I have completed for a child who lost her mother to cancer at a young age.
Consultation is a creative process which leads the child through a series of questions and experimentation at their own speed allowing them to feel validated and successful with the outcome. Often this has to meet parental scrutiny so it is a diplomatic role in reaching a workable solution.
Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice
As part of my current role I observe many children who need positive reinforcement and greater confidence in their abilities to succeed, with increasing levels of anxiety, digital addiction and health-related problems. During Covid-19 lockdown in Auckland I spent time nurturing the creativity of children locally through the French artform of collage (from waste items) and drawing. I would very much like to be able to assist children gain confidence through positive reinforcement, positive learning experiences and reduce their levels of anxiety about their future in a rapidly changing and somewhat challenging “new world”. I believe this can only be achieved by teaching combined creative and STEM skills which they can master in order to increase their overall wellbeing.
I believe happy children are well children. By increasing their ability to think laterally, as well as master STEM curriculum, I believe they will feel more confident about their ability to develop creative solutions to be successful in the future. Whilst I am not a trained teacher, I lead children through spatial, creative and analytical processes to achieve desired outcomes. I have over 18-years’ experience working one-on-one with families and children from a broad range of cultural and age groups.
Colour and design projects teach children how to utilise science, mathematics, analysis and creativity. Even just paint is science and technology in itself. I am fascinated by colour and its use in nature. Scientists are only just starting to comprehend how some species are viewed by their mates and predators in different light conditions eg. black light or (UV). Evolutionary shifts are taking place rapidly, and certain species are having to adapt promptly to survive. In some cases the prevalence of species are altering in appearance. As an artist I have been painting about this topic and collating photos from around the world regarding climate change effects on species. Rather than viewing children verbalise incredibly sad tales of loss of species, human lives and general destruction of global balance, I would like to assist children to grow skills to innovate, lead and seek solutions to the apparent chaos.
As a very experienced designer and colour specialist, I am aware that certain frequencies of colour are uplifting versus others which nurture and comfort. Whilst some people are colour-blind or have limited colour perception, there are ranges of colour which most people can view. Colour creates distinction and cultural identity. It also reflects mood and social change. Creative expression and solution can be encouraged within the scientific and mathematical comprehension constructs with simple creative design projects.