Week 1, Task 1: Myself

My name is Jess Machray and I am 18 years old currently studying Visual  Communication Design at Massey Wellington.

I have lived in Arrowtown, New Zealand for my whole life. Arrowtown is a small historic town 20 minutes from Queenstown which has a rich history in the Chinese Goldpanning era. Queenstown is known for its scenery and the adventure tourism industry which has boomed since the 1980’s. With now around 36,000 locals and around 2 million visitors per year, Queenstown is constantly busy with many ethnic groups keeping the town busy with festivals, cultural activities and the constant growth of activities to keep the locals busy.


(Photo above: Wye Creek, The Remarkables, Queenstown- Taken by myself)


(Map Above: Queenstown/Fiordland)

Personally, growing up in this town has made my urge to explore explode from all the endless possibilities of walking, hiking and adventuring in this area and surroundings such as Fiordland, Wanaka and Otago. This, along with capturing the moment through taking photographs and creating videos is one of my biggest passions and interests. I am a strong believer of the saying “We take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone” and this motivates me to take photos of all beautiful moments that I am surrounded by.

My parents moved to Arrowtown  20 years ago and have loved the area ever since. My father was born in Hastings but has a Scottish heritage. He is the head Greenkeeper at Arrowtown Golf Course and there is a strong passion for golf through his side of the family with his Dad and brother having been professional golfers in their younger days and his other brother designing and creating golf courses in the Middle west. My mother was Born and raised in Brighton in England and is a chef. I have a younger sister, Sofia, who is two years younger and is currently at Wakatipu High School and teaching music (Guitar & Ukelele) at Arrowtown Primary School. She has a massive passion towards music and performance. I also have a dog named Sumo who is an Austrailian Terrier.


(Photo Above: Mum, Myself, Dad & Sofia at Queenstown Airport before I moved to Wellington)

I have always had a large interest in art & design through my schooling at Wakatipu High School, where I received many awards and endorsements through my Art Design, Photography and Digital Media classes. I decided to study Visual Communication at Massey University in Wellington when I came to visit the university for the open day in August 2015. I fell in love with the options available at the university and the city its self. Other then this one visit I had never been to Wellington before, so this was a big step for me leaving my comfort zone and family in Queenstown for the concrete city of Wellington. My goals for the future are to find out what path I want to take when I finish university. I would ideally love to follow my passion for adventure and backpack through places such as Asia, South America and Africa.

However, the thoughts of becoming a graphic designer and traveling to London to do an internship for my Uncle who is a well known graphic designer there sounds very appealing to me. Himself and my Auntie (who is also a graphic designer who studied in Dunedin, New Zealand) have been the people that have made me interested in the topic of visual communication design through viewing their work that they have done for massive companies and followings through the world such as Nike, Snickers, Sons of Anarchy and Adidas.

(Photo Above: Kerry Roper Design – http://www.kerryroper.com/)


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