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Te Wai Fong

Digital apprentice

Digital Apprentice - Te Wai Fong

Te Wai Fong followed her passion for art, combining it with technology skills in 3D animation and design

by Te Wai Fong with Cassie Hart

From an early age I loved art, especially drawing, and hoped that I could make it into a career. My parents really encouraged me to follow my passion, and in 2019 I started studying at Yoobee Colleges with the level four certificate in Creative Media. I really loved the animation side of things so I kept on studying and learning with Yoobee Colleges before I completed a Bachelor degree in Visual Communication at the Ara Institute.

I like to draw on my cultural background for inspiration in both my personal projects as well as my day job. Ariki Creative provides the perfect opportunity to express myself, as they have a cultural background as well. Māori (Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Porou) and Chinese cultures are both known for their creativity, so it feels like a natural extension to be doing this work, expressing myself and my culture in my art and career.

Working in design

I currently work at Ariki Creative. It gives me the opportunity to work on different kinds of projects, and it’s exciting to work with such a great team who help me learn more about design and animation.

Patience and resilience have been really important, because people can either love or hate your work. Learning how not to take that criticism personally was so important, and the ability to do that grows over time, just like your skills do. The only barriers in this kind of work are the ones you put up for yourself. I really think my greatest skill is to listen. I have always believed that listening is the key to learning.

My parents always encouraged me to just give things a go and be proactive so I know that the more effort I put in, the more I’m going to get out of my career.

Tei Wai’s path to becoming a digital apprentice

  • Creative Media Certificate (Level 4), Yoobee Colleges
  • Diploma in Film and Animation (Level 5), Yoobee Colleges
  • Diploma in 3D Animation (Level 6), Yoobee Colleges
  • Diploma in Digital Design (level 6), Yoobee Colleges
  • Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication Design), Ara Institute 
  • Digital apprentice, Ariki Creative

A version of this profile also appears in our upcoming issue of Careers with STEM: Indigenous. Sign up to our newsletter to receive updates on its launch date.

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