For Anaru Tamatoa, coming home to New Zealand after seven years overseas meant a fresh start from the corporate world that he had always known.
Fashion had always played a vital part in his life, but he just never knew how to get started, until he learnt that Whitecliffe had a Manukau campus offering arts, design, fashion and IT courses.
“I was interested in doing the Certificate in Fashion Technology, but the course didn’t start until next year. So, when I spoke to the admissions team at Whitecliffe, they suggested I start with the Certificate in Arts and Design – it’s something that I’ve always been interested in.”
Anaru had no preconceived ideas about studying in Manukau. So, when he saw how small the class sizes were, he was thrilled. “it’s great as we get more one-on-one time with the tutors. You’re able to get feedback almost immediately. The tutors take time to sit with us.”
The class so far has dabbled in all kinds of creative practices – from drawing, painting and photography, but for Anaru – building collages has been an inspiring process.
“It’s really good to be guided by tutors that are able to help me create something that I would never have thought of creating.”
The Manukau-based student has always been interested in designing menswear, but feels he’s no longer thinking inside the box, now taking a vested interest into gender-fluid fashion.
“For me, I grew up in a society where ‘straight’ norms have been pressed upon me by my family. But knowing who I am and my identity, it’s not about being put into that particular box, but about expanding the box and making that box not valid anymore.
“That’s the reason I love doing this course. It allows me to tap into all these different ways of thinking about creativity. When I dive into that, it’s just a beautiful sea of amazing things that I know will eventually help me to create.”
You can find Whitecliffe Manukau at 3 Osterley Way, Manukau. Now offering certificate programmes in Arts and Design, Digital Media, Fashion Technology, Pattern Making and IT Essentials. Applications are now open for 2020.