OUTSTANDING: Tarawera High School’s scholarship recipients Oceania Martin and Brayden Tunui. Photo supplied

A FORMER Tarawera High School student stayed at school until 5pm every day to perfect her art.

Oceania Martin has received an outstanding scholarship for design, making the long days and hard work worth the effort.

Another former student, Brayden Tunui has also been recognised for his excellence in visual art.

Both former students were awarded scholarships – considered the most prestigious academic awards in the country – by the Ministry of Education.

Brayden received a scholarship for photography. His work was also selected to be exhibited at the NZQA Top Art Exhibition.

Top Art is an annual touring exhibition featuring a selection of the NCEA level-three portfolios that achieved Excellence in Visual Art in the previous year, covering five streams, design, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture.

Brayden’s work was selected earlier this year as the winner of the Wallace Arts Trust – Secondary Schools Art Awards.

While Brayden looks to join the navy, Oceania will study at the Media Design School in Auckland.

Oceania said what she enjoyed most about design at Tarawera was that she had the freedom to produce anything.

“Tarawera’s visual art department is furnished with equipment, and software that allows students the opportunity to create any project they are engrossed in,” she said.

“Also, the layout of Tarawera’s visual art department, the creative studios and digital technology were in one open room. So, I was able to get different perspectives and ideas for projects, and it made it easier if you desired to do mixed media work.

“With this opportunity, my creativity was at a pinnacle, as the possible projects were endless.”

Oceania’s level-three design submission, the reason for the recognition, was a pitch for a possible short animation.

“The pitch is based on a story that I created, in which my mother and I are the main protagonists. This pitch is made up of character designs, concept art, environmental designs, graphic identity, storyboards, and promoting products.

“The pitch is essentially conveying and illustrating what the story I have created would look like if it was an actual animation.”

Oceania said there were many factors why she did well in the subject.

“The main factors were hard work, determination, dedication, and a good work ethic. Since level-one, I was persistent in my work. Over the course of three years, around mid-term one, I took it upon myself to stay after school every day until 5pm, or until the teachers had to kick me out.”

Her supportive teachers, friends and family were also factors why she did so well.

“The last factor that I think is crucial as to why I have accomplished so much is, passion.

“Passion for illustration pushed me to go further because it is something that I enjoy and love. Passion is what made me work hard on my skills because I wanted to be a better artist.

“I am proud of myself, to say the least, because not only have I have received outstanding scholarship, I have also received Maori academic excellence scholarships from Media Design School.

“My passion will continue to make me succeed. That is factual, and I am excited to see what else I will accomplish.”