Olivia Aukafolau

Graphic Designer
Auckland, NZ
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My name is Olivia Aukafolau. I am a 23 year old graphic designer from Auckland, New Zealand. I currently work as a freelance graphic designer and have worked in a variety of environments from an awarding winning branding studio, in-house roles, small start-up and charity. I have a keen interest in design thinking, branding, digital, print, and solving problems through design. In􀃖uenced by ethical and sustainable practices, I try to make a conscious e􀃠ort to implement this into my design process.

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Work Experience
UFL Group
Graphic Designer + Website Curator/Developer
Mar 2018 – Aug 2019
The Lovely Registry
Website Manager
Aug 2017 – Present
Milk Branding Agency
Mar 2018 – Aug 2019
Epsom Girls Grammar School
Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Premier Pro, After Effects, Research, Writing, Social Media
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Featured work
You should select me because

I would be the BEST candidate for WGI because I am open minded, optimistic and ready to develop and grow from the experience.My skill set and perspective go hand in hand. I am someone who brings a lot of empathy and understanding to anything I do. One of my greatest skills is my patience and eagerness to learn. I think these kinds of qualities are perfect for an opportunity like this.I have experienced design in multiple different sectors. I have interned at a large publishing house and designed print and digital advertisements. I have worked for a non-profit charity where I designed campaigns and worked on a website rebrand. I have had the opportunity to do some work experience at a prestigious branding studio which allowed me to be a part of an award-winning project at the New Zealand Best Awards. Currently I am working for a small start-up business managing and designing website content along with EDMs. And finally, I currently freelance and have taken on projects from a large-scale website rebrand to print collateral for different brands.Working in a diverse range of sectors has truly opened my eyes to the many avenues of design. Each project was approached differently as the needs of clients, consumers or users varied greatly from one another. Each job has taught me a valuable lesson and I am a better designer because of all of them.It would be an honour to be chosen and I thank you for your consideration.

1. Why are you interested in wgi?

I am interested in the WGI because it is an opportunity of a lifetime and a one of a kind experience. The global reach of the WGI is what piqued my interest because the opportunity to immerse and integrate into different studios across the globe would be a life changing and career defining moment. In the past I have seen opportunities for internships or jobs pass me by because I lacked the confidence in my design abilities or I did not deem myself worthy. But now I am choosing to challenge myself because that is where growth begins. I am interested in applying because I am ready to learn, grow, make mistakes, pick myself up and take on everything this internship has to offer.

2. What are you looking to gain from an experience such as WGI?

I am looking to be pushed outside of my comfort zone, to absorb each new experience and learn from it and to gain confidence in my design and creative process. This opportunity would give me the privilege to observe and work alongside world class professionals, diversify myself into different design worlds and to participate in a cultural exchange of knowledge and design practices. I want to experience any cultural differences there may be, as well as the similarities in context to New Zealand. I am interested to see whether issues in design like gender equality, the rise of technological advances and environmentalism play a role around the world and at what scale.

3. What would be your goals after completing WGI if you were selected?

If selected, my goals after completing WGI would be: 1. To have a focused intention and clear understanding as to why I do design and what I want to achieve in this field whether that be professionally, personally or both. 2. To have developed a new set of skills and a way of thinking that is of value to any future endeavours in my design career. 3. To bring a new perspective to design challenges that I encounter and an independence in my thinking that does not lead me to rely on others for approval. 4. To acknowledge that if you have been accepted into an internship programme like WGI then anything is possible and that I am the only one that is holding me back.

4. How did you hear about wgi?

I heard about the WGI programme through a friend who directed me to the WGI Instagram. After looking through the highlighted stories and the experiences of last year’s participants, I was intrigued, inspired and eager to apply.

5. Share an example of a time you were most motivated and a time you were most demotivated.

A moment when I was most motivated was at the time of developing, designing and producing my end of year graduate project at the Auckland University of Technology. It was a project I was passionate about, on a topic of great interest to me. I was motivated because it was the final hurdle before being able to graduate, a feat that is a very proud moment for me. A small backstory: A week before I entered university to begin my degree, I attended an orientation for Pacific Island students. The auditorium was full of students and one particular piece of information deeply resonated with me. A teacher instructed us to look around the auditorium. As I scanned the room staring at all the different faces he said, "over half of you won't make it to the end, only 1 in 10 will graduate." It was said as motivation to encourage us to not be a statistic and it truly lit a fire underneath me. I graduated as the only female Pacific Islander from my degree. A time I have been the most demotivated has been through my freelance work. Being in charge of your own work capacity and schedule is a liberating notion but also one with many challenges. I have had moments working from home as a freelancer where it has become isolating and uninspiring. I have come to realise human interaction plays a big role in my mental well-being and not being able to readily bounce ideas off someone can be stifling.

6. In your opinion, what creates a great culture at a company?

Open communication is key to great culture in a company. Face to face communication is something that I value even more as we turn to the digital age, where information is fed to us through text and emails. Having clear and open communication lines can lead to less misunderstanding in the company and healthy work relationships. Open communication is critical in a job like design as information is channelled through many different sectors and the success of a project relies on all these sectors working together.

7. What brands and companies do you admire and why?

As obvious as it is, Apple has changed the world as we know it. It is a company I admire for its relentlessness to pioneer innovative design and technology that takes us into the future. It champions design in its creative process and end product. Its stylish and minimal approach is world recognisable and the brand has gone from strength to strength. Fenty Beauty is a brand which I also admire for its message of inclusivity, strong morals and its impact in the cosmetics industry. Founded by Rihanna, the brands mission to create products which cater to everyone sounds simple. But for years the beauty world has been notorious for excluding and not recognising women of colour in foundations shades. Fenty beauty changed the game when they launched a foundation with 40 shades, including all skin tones. Seeing the immediate impact the brand had on the industry was inspiring and groundbreaking. It set a new standard which saw brands scramble to meet and emulate. A foundation for all shouldn’t be revolutionary yet it was. And to see someone like Rihanna use her fame, money and power to create a brand with morals and integrity is truly special. What an icon.

8. What do you do to stay sharp and improve your craft?

To stay sharp and improve my craft I approach mundane and trivial activities with a critical eye and mind. This was a key teaching I took from my university degree. The idea of looking but not seeing is a simple saying with deep meaning. When sitting on the bus sometimes I find myself counting how many ads I see? Why are they placed there? What are they trying to say? When I watch a film my favourite thing to do is analyse the subliminal use of colour to dictate the mood or camera angles to deepen the message. Once you start "seeing" things its hard to stop, but this kind of critical thinking is a key part of design and understanding its importance and role in society. Doing things like this keeps me constantly looking for inspiration which can be a valuable asset to my design.

9. What’s your favorite quote?

"Trust the timing of your life." I think in this day in age we expect instant gratification and comparisons to others are hard to avoid. It is easy to get caught up in thoughts of whether or not we are on the right path. This quote keeps me grounded in my mind and reminds me to fall in love with my own journey. It keeps me looking forwards rather than dwelling on past opportunities that may be gone. I believe everything happens for a reason and that is why I choose to trust the timing of my life.

10. If you could solve one problem in the world what would it be?

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