DFR: Mia Tivey and Marco Polo

Our mentor for this project is past Cardiff Met student, Mia Tivey. Mia is an illustrator working at Marco Polo in London with a first class honours degree from Cardiff Metropolitan University in Graphic Communication. Her work is vibrant and colourful and I look forward to hopefully being able to show her some of my work and and having her on our team!

Marco Polo Learning is a digital startup who make apps and other digital content for children age 3-7. On their website, some of the things they care about include ‘the natural world’, ‘content that matters’ and ‘social responsibility’ – they all sound like pretty great values to me!

On the Marco Polo website, they have a quote from Einstein which got me thinking:

“I am neither clever nor especially gifted. I am only very, very curious.” 

Curiosity to any degree does not die with age – everyone of all ages is curious about something or everything. In order to appeal to family members of all ages in my design work, I believe I need to find a common interest, something which sparks a movement in everyone of all ages. This shared spark creates a bond between people, and hopefully, can bring them back closer together.


My First Wacom Tablet

Recently, I purchased the Wacom Intuos Draw. This is my first tablet to aid my design and so far it has been brilliant! It is quite tricky getting the hang of drawing on the tablet whilst looking at the screen and getting the two to coordinate perfectly, but I am practising everyday using the tablet for everything I do on my MacBook from browsing Facebook to Photoshop tutorials. At the start of summer, I was determined to improve my Photoshop and Illustrator skills as I often feel that the lack of these skills limit my work. In order to do this, I have been following free tutorials online and researching tips and tricks on the two pieces of software, as well as trying my best to understand all that the two are capable of and becoming a pro with features such as the Pen Tool and Anchor Points.

One of the things that I felt last year surrounding my work was that despite being in the first year of university and being just two years away from finding a ‘real job’, I did not yet feel like a designer, nor confident enough to design things for other people as I still feel I need the help and support of peers and tutors. This feeling of dependency is something I want to change so that in the coming months and years I can gain work experience at design companies and feel I actually have something to offer them.

I still have a very long way to go but by following tutorials online I feel my skills and knowledge are improving. This helps my confidence as a designer to grow and slightly reduces my nerves and doubts for upcoming projects.