The creativity of a group of local students, with a focus on the environment and guarding the Earth, has resulted in a fabulous opportunity.

John Paul College has been named the Top School in Massey University's Earth Guardians Character Design competition, which was run in partnership with Weta Workshop.

This competition was all about hunting for Aotearoa's best young concept designers, where students created a character to defend the earth, using nature and the elements to inspire their designs.

The prize for this award is a visit from industry professionals from the Weta Workshop team.

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The John Paul College students who took part - Macy Pascual, Janna Rutor, Dan Borja, Alesha Hemingway, Kimberly Janla, Soo Jung Jin and Michaela Meyer - are excited about the award and the visit.

John Paul College students who took part in Massey University's Earth Guardians Character Design competition. Photo / Ben Fraser
John Paul College students who took part in Massey University's Earth Guardians Character Design competition. Photo / Ben Fraser

Each student sent in their own, separate entries for the competition, and the group says they were both excited and shocked when they found out the result.

They say they are looking forward to asking the Weta Workshop staff questions about the trade and finding out what the professionals thought of their designs.

"It's a great idea to talk about the environment. It's our future and we want to preserve it."

When asked what was great about art and design, the answer was having the freedom to create whatever you wanted - something which had not existed before.

Inspiration for their character designs came from a range of sources.

Some of the inspiration points included the phoenix and the tui, the Greek figure Anthus, Filipino mythology, steampunk, dryads and parasite plant Strangler Fig, and the giant fish Maui fished from the Pacific Ocean.

John Paul College art teacher Claire Worrall says she is very proud of the students for their achievement.

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She says during the lockdown period, Massey University had put the competition out there for students all over to take part in.

"I think it encourages them to look at creative careers and the option of studying visual art at university."

Claire says it is a fabulous opportunity for a group of art students to meet the industry professionals from Weta Workshop, and learn more about these people's creative careers.