Design Story – Christine Tingay

Posted by iscd@admin on August 8

We caught up with iscd student Christine Tingay on her online studies with us and thoughts about merging her current career with her ambitions in surface design. We would also like to congratulate her on her most recent success of winning the umbrella design award from Style Curator .

What was your background prior to commencing your studies at iscd?

I’m a Landscape Designer and Horticulturalist and for 25 years my husband & I have been operating a boutique style business “Landart Aust Pty Ltd” specializing in all aspects of Landscape Design & Construction, garden maintenance, and horticultural advice. Also offering a custom-design service with a wide selection of unique garden art and exclusive outdoor furniture sourced both locally and internationally. For many years I have immersed myself in various art and design forms, such as textiles, mixed media, photography, painting, illustration. etc.

How did you hear about iscd and what made you want to study with us?

I wanted to gain qualifications in Surface Design, learning to apply my designs to various surfaces. This would complement my landscape design background and give me with the skills required to move into the next direction/vision I had for our design business. I did a lot of research, I felt that online study was tailored for me, as it gave me the flexibility to work and study at the same time. I have a lovely studio and office space set up at home which enables me to work efficiently and productively. iscd attracted me because they worked with leading industry companies, are recognized by Design Institute of Australia and the curriculum offered areas of interest that I wanted to gain more skills in.

How would you describe your educators at iscd and how have they helped you throughout your journey?

The best gift given to me from my educators has been their encouragement. It’s been gold to me and has given me the confidence and continued passion to pursue what I truly love doing. In my Certificate IV in Design, Alison Nicol gave me a lot of encouragement and support. In my Diploma Kristy Reive encourages me with her beautiful comments and I love how she sees my vision and understands how I come about creating concepts for specific projects. I also love the connection and interaction with “like-minded” people.

What made you want to continue your studies at iscd in the Surface Design Diploma following the completion of the Certificate IV in Design?

I always planned to continue my studies in Surface Design Diploma as this will give me the skills to apply my designs into digital format. I have already and will continue to create my own range of art installations for conceptual spaces. For many years in my Landscape Design business I have had a desire to learn how to apply my drawings and ideas to various surfaces.

How are you finding studying online?

I have had no concerns at all, I love working on my own, I find I’m very productive in this space, and it gives me air to breathe! I love how everything is accessible to me, I can walk down my stairs to my studio, refresh and gain inspiration by stepping out into my backyard and taking a stroll in the national park, lunch with my hubby, dream through the day and work in the silence of the night…. pure bliss and a wonderful space to operate in for creative freedom to flow. I have teenage children, so it also enables me to be present for them.

What did you enjoy most about the course?

Where do I start? Colour theory – I love colour. I have experimented and explored the use of colour in my own work and passions, but to gain a better understanding of colour theory has given me more confidence in making better colour choices. A colourful world has been opened to me where I find myself naming colours and able to interpret colour better, how to mix it more accurately, and how to use it more effectively in projects.

Digital design was also an area where I really wanted to sink my teeth into. I have a CAD background, and I wanted to become more skilled in Photoshop and Illustrator as it gives me the skills to create repeat patterns and transfer my sketches and ideas into digital format, enhancing, manipulating & refining art works to make them unique to me!

What has been your favourite assignment so far?

In Certificate IV in Design, I loved the drawing techniques, especially “creating tone shading techniques”. I love drawing faces, and in this activity I drew a little Hmong tribal girl from my travels in Northern Thailand. I love the intricate detail in the handiwork of the Hmong tribe textiles, and to draw her was pure delight. I love technical drawing, so this assignment really invigorated my love for drawing, since then I have been drawing my little heart out.

I also love working on the big assignments. I love the process from start to finish, entrenched in each process, and the anticipation and wonderment of where it will take me.

How would you best describe your design style?

Eclectic – I’m a collector and lover of beautiful things, discarded items are treasures to me, I mix ancient with modern, inspired by creation, modern architecture, sculpture, interesting fashion designers past & present, arts and crafts, stitch, paper, cloth, pattern on pattern, texture, metals, patina, natural dyes and paints. I cross pollinate them all… my eclectic thread.

What do you love about the world of colour and design?

I love photography, and my travels to faraway places have gifted me with a beautiful array of colourful images, from the saris of India to my backyard. I am constantly inspired by all that is around me. I photograph what captures me, stop to pick up a treasure whether it’s been discarded or given to me. I’m thankful for my horticultural background that has introduced me to botanica and an alchemy of natural dye colours that I love to incorporate into my designs.

What do you have planned next for yourself?

We have started a new business called “Intermix Design” which will be launched in October. Intermix Design is a design studio who mix together various techniques, colour and patterns to create visual art for conceptual spaces. These spaces we design, style and direct. Our works can be applied to a variety of surfaces.

I’m passionate about working with artisans within communities both far and near, using their primitive and unique techniques (using my patterns), mixing them with contemporary techniques (digital) to create unique designs on various surfaces. Sharing the story of the artisan, honoring their craftsmanship and celebrating the connections we have formed.

I’ve worked on a lot of projects, from external spaces, conferences, expos and projects to large scale fiber art installations. Future vision is for creative workshops within my community, and to continue creating art installations for conceptual spaces, maybe even an online store with my own range.

Do you have any tips/ advice for anyone contemplating continuing their studies or studying design?

Stay committed and dedicate specific time per week to do some study. I know this doesn’t always work the way we want it too, but it’s important to keep the momentum going. I feel you need to be self- motivated, love working on your own and not be afraid to explore and experiment within each project you are working on, this will enable you to discover what you really love creating. Keep learning, do further research on the topics you are studying and be patient in the process, try to get the most out of what you are learning, but most of all enjoy!


Congratulate Chris on winning the recent design competition at Style Curator here is a sneak peak at her award winning work!


Her new website will be ready in October but you can check out more from Christina on her Instagram @christinetingay

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