I’m a creative, an engineer, an innovator and a businesswoman. I have a degree in engineering and started up my own engineering business, but I actually never thought I would become an engineer… it just happened. Problem solving, art and design were my passions, and I realised I could bring my art and design ideas into reality through engineering, and solve challenges with those ideas along the way.
When I was younger, I had a passion for what I called ‘art’. I loved taking things apart and collecting rubbish from around the house to build things with. As I grew up, I moved on from drawing pictures and building things with rubbish to designing furniture. I thought that to make things you had to be an artist, and didn’t realise that I was edging towards engineering. I soon found I had a passion for design, as it allowed me to use my creativity to create tangible and useful things that still look stunning. Very soon I realised I was missing the last piece of the puzzle: engineering. By understanding how things were built and how they worked, I could make my ideas come to life and, importantly, could challenge how they were made. Engineering opened the door for me to come up with crazier and more innovative ideas for the world.
Throughout school, my relationship with STEM subjects was shaky at best. One year I would have a teacher that made me love maths or physics, and the very next year I’d have the opposite experience. I still find these subjects tricky, but over the course of my studies, I realised these subjects could be learnt in a more practical and fun way. I went on to take a master’s degree in Innovation Design Engineering and no longer feels overwhelmed by STEM subjects because I know I can create magic with them.
I have managed to combine my love of art, science and engineering to create software that is now widely used for 3D design in VR. This innovation - an easy-to-use multi-platform tool for creating 3D models, scenes, and art work - allowed me to start my own business, Gravity Sketch, when I was 29 years old. My business originally started as a university project, but already has big-name customers, including Ford and Disney, and is changing how people design by imagining a new future and using engineering to make it happen.