Field Art: Cameron MacDonald 

1 year ago by

In this series, we shine a spotlight on the incredible artists contributing to our 2020 Field Guide.

Today we hear from Cameron MacDonald 


Can you tell us a little bit about who you are, what your background is, and what led you to design?
I reside in Wellington NZ but am originally from Palmerston North. I am a Maori on my Father’s side and whakapapa back to Rangitaane Waipounamu. I was interested in design from a young age as my big brother Jared was studying graphic design when I was growing up. I studied illustration in my undergraduate studies and have just completed a masters in UX design


How did the opportunity to collaborate with IDIA / ĀPŌPŌ come about? I heard about IDIA through one of my tutors and a friend who worked from the ĀPŌPŌ space. The work they were doing seemed varied and interesting and I expressed interest when we chose our internship partners through the University.

What do you enjoy most about design?
I enjoy that it has given me a means to learn more about my own culture.

We are so grateful to have you contribute to DA’s Field Guide – Could you give us some behind the scenes into your process for the field guide artwork. What aesthetic or conceptual decisions did you make?
Trying to distil the interview content into an image was quite challenging and I ended up creating a piece that represented my take on the challenges of indigenous design. I wanted to create something that felt uncomfortable to represent the tensions around dealing with indigenous subject matter. The three heads represent the multiple perspectives that different people can have during the design process and the wisps represent the important korero that must happen for us to better understand what we are designing.

What insight can you give us to your design process?
I drew the whole thing in photoshop. I had quite a tight turnaround but made sure to check in with the team as much as I could during the process.

What project are you most proud of?
I am most proud of a branding project I did with IDIA. I had the opportunity to collaboratively work on creating the branding for an unreleased app which provided an opportunity to apply some indigenous design ideas in a fairly contemporary context.

What does your dream project/job/collaboration look like?
Hopefully I can be in a position where my work will be varied. I really enjoy working in different media

Given the Field Guide series is putting a lens on our post COVID practice… what do you hope for the future of design in Aotearoa?
I hope that in future there is a greater focus on collaboration in design, especially in indigenous design space.

What areas of your work or personal development are you hoping to explore further?
I did my undergraduate degree in illustration but have spent the last year focusing on graphic and web design. I would really like to dedicate more time to drawing and painting.

Finally, where can we see more of your work?

I have a website:


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