Megan Foster loves motorsport.

The 21-year-old grew up on a deer farm south of Rotorua and used to travel to Lake Karapiro near Cambridge to watch the powerboats.

At one event, Foster decided to start photographing the boats and her journey towards a career in graphic design was under way.

"From there, I wanted to edit my photos and create posters for all of the drivers. I suppose that's where the passion grew for me," Foster said.

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"As I got older, I got more interested in design and I started looking at vehicle liveries where I came across the likes of Andrew Stewart at AWS Graphics."

Stewart is a UCOL graduate who has inspired Foster, who herself studied a UCOL bachelor of design and arts majoring in graphic design at the Whanganui Campus.

Foster created the design for this ute before landing her new job at Red Star, which is where it was printed and applied. She said it essentially got her the job. Photo / Supplied
Foster created the design for this ute before landing her new job at Red Star, which is where it was printed and applied. She said it essentially got her the job. Photo / Supplied

Foster was lured to Whanganui as her dad is from here and she enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with family while working in a small class at UCOL.

Her work featured at the Tributaries exhibition which displayed student work on campus, at the Edith Gallery, Whanganui Community Art Centre and New Zealand Glassworks.

"My fictional sub-event is called Dirtyrods. It's basically a celebration of the uncanny or uncommon classic vehicles around the country," Foster said.

"It may seem like these vehicles are just thrown together or that they look half-done, but that's the point of the aesthetic. It requires a lot of work to get them to a high standard."

Foster took inspiration from Whangamata's annual Beach Hop, which is an event that features Rat Rods which are a style of hot rod or custom car.

Her efforts were so impressive that Foster found herself landing a fulltime job with Red Star Signs in Hamilton halfway through the year.

"The transition from UCOL to Red Star Signs has been exciting. It's a huge change and you learn so much more from being in the industry," she said.

"I love to be busy and thrive off the pressure of having to get a job done on a tight deadline. Sometimes clients want things done in a week or less."

Foster wanted to be a part of Red Star Signs because she was impressed by the work Clinton Potter and Cameron Moorby were doing there.

Now she is designing for people who she never thought she would meet alongside them and plans to continue doing so for the foreseeable future.

"A major upside to this job is seeing the positive reactions from people when they see the finished design for the first time," Foster said.

"It makes the late nights worth it. I've definitely fallen into a position where I'm more than happy."