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Emily Russell

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Academic Staff Member

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  • BMA (First Class Hons)

Areas of expertise

Industry experience, affiliations, and achievements

Research activity

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What do you enjoy about teaching/your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is inspiring, encouraging, and guiding our next generation of creatives. I find passing on my knowledge to students very exciting! Our design department hums away with creative students working on assignments, creating new eye-catching ways to communicate content. I enjoy being in a learning environment, helping motivate students on their learning journey to achieve their goals. 

What do you love about your area?

From the very beginning, I knew I would end up working as a creative. I love working in collaboration with our excellent team in the design department and I particularly enjoy working in this industry because no two days are the same!

For me, design is about communicating through clarity, creating that visual harmony while juggling elements. I enjoy the process of problem-solving to create an authentic outcome. 

Tell us about your experience in the industry

Through my experience teaching in the Design Department at Wintec and Chengdu University in the past, I have had the great pleasure of interacting with students and sharing their sense of accomplishments. 

In 2009, I launched a community publication in Kirikiriroa called RIFF RAFF. I became the editor and designer distributing it for 5 years, being published biannually. The publication celebrated the success of those who were achieving their innovative endeavours and helped to enable visibility for versatile arts practices. RIFF RAFF launched issues locally and internationally.

A pivotal moment in my career would be working with Alan Deere at Area Design; this was where I further developed my passion for publication design and typography. I began teaching in 2010. 

What keeps you busy outside of Media Arts?

My go-to for inspiration is to travel, to explore new places, experience new cultures and get to know others in creative practices. I have spent the past 5 years living in London and am happy to be back in my home community once again. Outside of media arts, you will find me sewing my own clothes, cooking, and renovating our new home. I also have my own illustration business that keeps me busy in my home studio on my non-teaching days. To see my work, visit

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