Hot New Things — Tamsyn Black, Ara

3 years ago by

Welcome to Hot New Things 2019 – an opportunity to profile a selection of the top design graduates coming out of our tertiary institutions. This week, we speak with Tamsyn Blackfrom Ara, Institute of Canterbury.

Tamsyn Black
Bachelor of Design – Visual Communication
Ara, Institute of Canterbury

You completed your full time studies at the end of 2018. Can you tell us what your final year’s project was about and what you focussed on?

For my final project I created a game called “Chinwag – A game of Conversations” with the purpose of connecting people and assisting them in building closer friendships with each other. When starting out I realised how important friendship is to our mental and physical well-being. Many people struggle with feeling disconnected and I wanted to create a tool that helps people in this area. Chinwag creates opportunity for conversation, breaks social barriers and acts as an icebreaker.

How has what you’ve recently been working on influenced your design process, and what momentum does it bring to your practice?

I strayed away from conventional outcomes for my final project and found this helped me to push the barriers of what I could produce with my idea. This year I was also a part of the Ara Student magazine – Waha Kōrero and designed 5 magazines over the year which really honed in my technique skills and design eye.

What were some of your most exciting discoveries?

Throughout this final year of study I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone and it was exciting seeing how far I can come from start to finish in a project! That’s why Chinwag has been my favourite piece of work to create so far. It is cool using my skills for good causes and seeing the results of that!

And also some of the challenges along the way?

Starting off the year with an open brief had it’s challenges because the options were endless on what topic to choose! I found myself tossing between so many different themes at one point but definitely loved the freedom the course allowed me and enjoyed working on a topic I am passionate about.

What did you love doing most?

The areas that I am particularly fond of in design are typography, illustration, publication design and branding. My favourite part of my work is collaborating with people and using my creative thinking skills to add value to business and organisations, it’s rewarding seeing the final work out in the world!

Where do you go to find inspiration (websites, resources, designers, etc)?

Wandering around Art galleries and going to design events sparks motivation in me, it’s cool to see what other designers are up to. I am also a bit of a book and magazine hoarder so I love flicking through my collection for some inspo!

Why did you choose to study at your design school, and what do you feel you can take away now that you’ve completed your course?

I chose to study at Ara because I loved the idea of studying in my home town, Christchurch. I was surrounded with so much support from my family and friends as I embarked on this exciting but challenging new adventure of design school! I also enjoy the small class sizes and have made some amazing friends along the way.

Where to next for you? What does 2019 hold?

As a graduate I’m looking forward to continuing to develop my passion, skills and seeking opportunities as they arise. It would be a dream to end up working in a studio space surrounded by other creatives. I still have many things to learn but I am excited to start this new journey of my life!

tamsynblackcreative |


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