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Ania Majewska works for RGVA - a company that specialises in vehicle graphics in Maidstone, Kent.
How would you characterise your current work?
My official title is Junior Production Artworker. Day-to-day, I am responsible for calculating how much material is used for vehicle artwork. I also set up graphics ahead of printing and assist the graphic designer with creating visuals for a company specialising in vehicle graphics (car wraps/stickers).
How do you feel about maths?
At school, I was never too keen on maths. I never realised how much I’d need it in my current job! I do use it on a daily basis now.
What is it about your work that is mathematical?
Quite often I need to calculate the costs of materials needed to wrap a vehicle and to create visuals on cars and lorries. I also convert units from millimetres to metres and vice versa. This is often related to scale drawing as we have to convert to and from a 10% scale. Vehicle artwork, as you can imagine, is very big so it's nearly impossible to work on graphics with the actual scale (imagine a 13T lorry that needs all of its trailer covered with stickers!).
How do you use maths, calculation or numeracy in your work? What tools do you use to help you?
I need to switch between units so I need to be able to convert units quickly. As already mentioned, I need to be able to set visuals to certain scales and ratios. Additionally, because my work requires me to calculate costs and measurements for the vehicles I am working on, I need to keep track of cumulative costs. For example, when working on a sticker for a lorry, I need to be able to calculate the amount of material needed, considering things such as size of the vehicle and any elements that may not be included in the calculations, such as door handles. There is also a certain amount of millimetre bleed that needs to be set up. This means I need to leave some space on the artwork so the printer cuts around it, not into it.
I use specific software such as Adobe, calculators and conversion tools in addition to mental arithmetic (if you count that as a tool!).
Do you think maths is creative? If so, how?
I don’t necessarily think that maths itself is creative, but elements of maths are. They certainly are needed in creative jobs such as graphic design, to help you visualise the actual size, scale/ratio of graphics and artwork you may be working with.
Do you use or rely on any maths that you learnt in school?
Yes, some. I use unit conversion, subtraction, addition, division and multiplication. I don’t fully remember doing scale drawings but I think I might have done this in school as well.
How would you change the school curriculum, if you had the chance? Why?
I would say that the school curriculum should definitely include more maths that would be used after you leave school. Maybe more lessons on ratio and scales would be useful, especially if you do want to do graphic design or architecture later on, as it would really help students. At the time, I didn’t realise I would go into graphic design so I wish I did more on two-scale drawings or grade drawings. I also think it is important to talk about what skills you will need in certain jobs whilst at school.
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