Freelance Scenic Artist
Bachelor of Design in Spatial Design
She enjoys the variety of her work, says spatial design alumna Zammia Weatherall who now works on TV commercials and films, including the recent Thor: Ragnarok.
“As a freelance scenic artist I produce props, models and sets for the film industry. Every project is so different, new and exciting. The job itself is extremely hands-on and requires a huge amount of problem solving, as a lot of the time the things we produce are fictional and don’t come with a ‘how to manual’. I’m constantly learning new techniques and ways to use materials, for example how to make concrete look like wood or stone.
“One of my career highlights so far has been working on Thor: Ragnarok. Soon after I graduated, a fellow AUT spatial design graduate contacted me about a job offer to work on the next Marvel/Disney film in the Gold Coast. Living in a new place and working in a real fairy-tale environment was both challenging and really rewarding. That was a very exciting opportunity straight out of university!”
Challenging conventional thinking
What she loves about spatial design is that it can improve the way we live, Zammia says.
“Spatial design is a drive for better design and a different way of thinking about how we design environments. That’s exactly what I want to be doing. It’s why I decided to enrol in the Bachelor of Design in Spatial Design.”
It’s a decision she hasn’t regretted.
“The community and the support from both the tutors and students at AUT was a highlight for me. It provided me with a safe platform to experiment, ask questions and challenge the ways in which we ‘normally’ inhabit our environment and how we understand our relationship with space. It meant that I could push my own boundaries, and sometimes the university’s too.
“In the first semester we were given some crazy briefs and were challenged to think differently to how we had been taught. I felt comfortably pushed to the edge of my comfort zone, and towards the end of the first semester I felt that the sky had become the limit.”
Advice for other students
Don’t hold back, Zammia advises other students.
“My advice would be to really get into it and challenge things. Don’t be afraid to ask weird questions – they need to be asked.”
You can’t underestimate the importance of networking, she adds.
“Make sure you get out, network and attend industry events. Talk to design practices and the people who produce work that you enjoy. Have a coffee with them and pick their brains. Even if you’re shy, attending these things and showing your face is the best thing you can do to get your career started.”