For the last seventeen years Paul has been employed at Weta Workshop Design Studio, where he has worked as an Art Director and Senior Concept Artist on film, television and game projects.
In addition to concept design, Paul is co-creator of Weta Workshop's Giant Killer Robots and is co-supervisor of Weta Workshop School.
Outside of Weta Workshop Paul is involved with a number of on-going creative projects.
2019–present: Co-founder of Arkus Games
2016–2017: launched New Zealand's leading entertainment industry convention, the Industry of Imagination, serving as creative director
2010–2016: created White Cloud Worlds, a science fiction and fantasy art-book trilogy from New Zealand
Sarah is a ten-year veteran of the NZ games industry and is the current Studio Art Director at PikPok, New Zealand’s oldest established game studio.
She began her career at PikPok as a texture artist, developing her skill set over time to include all major areas of game art design and production. Later, she took on the Lead Artist role for several games, including Robot Unicorn Attack 2, Flick Kick Football Legends and Doomsday Clicker, before moving to her current position which places her at the forefront of establishing and directing the visual design of all of PikPok's titles. Sarah has contributed to a product portfolio that has enjoyed over 380 million unique downloads across a myriad of gaming platforms.
2021 is Dr Tim Kitchen’s 30th year of working as an educator. Following 23 years teaching Primary, Secondary & Higher Education, Tim has been Adobe’s Senior Education Specialist for Asia Pacific for the past 8 years. He regularly liaises with schools & universities focusing on enhancing creativity in education. He also manages the Adobe Education leadership and active use programs throughout Australasia and helps lead the Adobe Education Exchange which now has over 900,000 members.
A passionate advocate for creativity in education, and a well-recognised education thought leader in Australia, Tim is a regular presenter for a wide range of national and international education events.
Tanya Marriott is the programme leader for Concept Design at the Wellington School of Design at Massey University. She is a character designer who works in a variety of media including interactive storytelling, playful interaction and character-centric communication.
Tanya is an internationally recognised character designer, an Director Emeritus of international consortia the National Institute of American Doll Artists, and an alumni of the Pictoplasma character academy. Tanya has worked for Weta Workshop on the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Bowes Productions, Aardman Animation, The World of Wearable Art, and within the United Kingdom Toy industry as a Toy designer.
Hamish is a Concept Artist based in Wellington. In 2013, Hamish graduated from Massey Wellington with a Bachelor of Design with Honours, with a major in Computer Animation, but also a heavy focus on Illustration.
Following this, Hamish spent 3 years at Mechanic Animation working as a CG Artist, primarily on Marvel Animation TV series, wearing many hats in the process.
These experiences helped him to acquire his next role at A44 Games, working as a Concept Artist on titles such as Ashen, the studio's first major release.
Hamish now works freelance on international productions, whilst fostering and contributing to projects closer to home.
Claire has studied in the field of Visual Communication Design and received her Masters of Design from Massey University in 2013. She is part of the White Cloud Worlds collective and has exhibited in Germany, USA and around New Zealand.
Claire has worked for Weta Digital on several feature films, including Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn and Avengers Assemble, where she worked in the digital cloth department. As an Art Director at Mechanic Animation, Claire managed the creation of 3D sets and assets for Marvel Television on shows such as Avengers Assemble, Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel’s Spider-Man and Marvel Rising.
She has also taught and coordinated papers in graphic design, illustration and animation at Massey University. Her freelance portfolio includes pieces created for Lift Education, Learning Media, Massey University and Saatchi and Saatchi - a project which won the team a bronze placing in the 2011 Best Awards.
Sonya Withers is a New Zealand born Pacific creative with whakapapa back to Scotland and Sama’i, Falelatai, Sāmoa. As a graduate of the College of Creative Arts, Sonya has a major in Textile Design with postgraduate qualifications in Visual and Material Culture, and a Masters in Design. Her work revolves around Pacific visual and material culture, indigenous spaces and manifesting indigenous design from a South Pacific lens.
Sonya has featured work under Miromoda (Indigenous Māori Fashion Apparel Board) through New Zealand Fashion Week, is a Creative New Zealand Tautai internship recipient and worked on Pacific community centred projects with Te Papa Tongarewa abroad (Hawai’i) and locally with Auckland War Memorial Museum (Pacific Community Access Project). Sonya is motivated by the support of her community and is committed to surfacing how design and creativity can serve the past and present of Te Moana-nui-a-kiwa.
Sonya is a lecturer at the College of Creative Arts, Wellington School of Design and teaches between Textile Studio and Critical and Contextual Studies.
Astrid Visser is a multimedia artist, designer and former high school Art, Design and Digital Technology teacher. She has a professional learning company Common Knowledge NZ Ltd where she runs workshops supporting high school teachers with digital creative tools. Astrid now works for the Wellington School of Design as the Design Kaihāpai, and travels around the country visiting Art and Technology departments in New Zealand secondary schools, giving talks about Design and creative career pathways. Astrid will be judging the Top School Award and Highly Commended Schools participation awards. She will be looking out for interesting interpretations of the brief, and schools making the most of the materials, technologies and processes available to them in their schools.