Who are you?

Well, I’m Meg, Megan, Megano, Meggers, Meg Greg. Whatever you want. I am from a small(ish) town in Cheshire called Winsford but have been living in Huddersfield for the past couple of years at Uni. I am on my placement year here at Single Malt, and I feel honoured to be a part of such an amazing collaborative team. From being at school I have always loved art and graphics, and coming from a creative family was encouraged to pursue it. When I was younger I used to watch my Grandad working on little projects in his shed, making things out of wood from scratch. It inspired me to get hands-on when I wanted to create something. I find that often I have an idea of something in my head, that I want or need, and I will think about a way to create it myself, so I guess I’ve always been pretty thrifty too. This has also translated into clothing, my sister does textiles, and I think it’s in our genes as my Great Grandma was a dressmaker, and my Grandma was the one who taught me how to sew when I was little. Also being a bit of a tall gal, its helped me to make and alter my own clothes so that things actually fit. 

I would say I’ve always been pretty creative, when I was in primary school I had no idea what I wanted to be, I liked all the subjects at school and ended up being moved up a year. It was only when I got to high school that I knew I wanted to do something creative, I had a particular interest in special effects making for film and TV so, after my GCSEs, I decided to go and do beauty related stuff at a local college. That swallowed me up and I accidentally fell into working in a salon for about five years. I did my own projects along the side, always drawing and painting. I realised that it REALLY wasn’t for me, and I wanted to do something creative as my full-time job. So after a few years out of education, I went to art college, which was the best decision I ever made, which followed going to university to do graphic design! 

What would you say your (design) education has taught you so far?

My drawing skills definitely improved drastically at college, and I think that was down to doing a lot of life drawing. The time pressure of it all made me much quicker with my mark making, and eventually, the marks became more and more accurate. I never thought I would be able to draw people, and its something I feel I have to keep practising. College and university definitely taught me how to develop my ideas, how you go from a theory or a brief and look at it from so many different angles. Trying to come up with an angle that no one might have thought of is my favourite thing to do. I think it can often give the best and most thought-provoking results. 

Where does your expertise lie and what element of design are you most passionate about?

That is a very hard question. I suppose naturally it is the handcrafted, bespoke work that I like to produce. I like to follow an idea all the way through, from the first few sketches to the final polished outcome. I think I’ve got used to the ‘messy’ experimental stage of design, as I think its good to go big and then narrow down and refine your ideas. Whether its a painted texture that’s used on some typography or the particular way a line bends within a shape I’ve drawn, I always take inspiration from a hands-on approach. 

Was there a particular project you worked on that helped your development or that you particularly enjoyed?

There is probably two that I found the most helpful in collaborating my hands on ideas with something more professional and realistic, these were the live briefs I did at Uni. I did a penguin book project, which was redesigning the cover for the book ‘In Cold Blood’ by Truman Capote. The brief was to stay away from the covers that had already been produced and try and avoid cliche colours like red and black. I found this really challenging. As it was a true story, there was a lot of research to gather about the town where the murders happened and also the family that it happened to. I ended up creating a really cool texture with some watercolour and inks, and used that behind silhouettes of the family. The reason it was such a horrific tale was that it literally could have happened to anyone, they were just a very regular family. I therefore cut out the faces of the family and applied a mirror surface to the cover, so that it reflected back at whoever was holding the book. I think this in itself translated the fear and isolation that they must have felt. I used blue and white, to create a sparse feel to cover, which I think worked really well. 

My last project for Uni was a live brief too, which was coming up with some adverts for the dating app Bumble. I was able to come up with a series of slogans relating to growing and flourishing, with the use of botanical illustration. It also allowed me to input some of my new found animation skills. I hadn’t touched any animation software before Uni, but its something I find brings some of my illustrations to life, even if its just a simple movement. 

Where or who would you say the majority of your inspiration for design comes from?

I take a lot of inspiration from the briefs I work on themselves. I like to pull together things from the past, the present and also think about where a brand may be going in the future, how it will adapt and how it will grow. In my own work, I take inspiration from music and nature. I love 70s pattern and design, and I think that definitely shows in the personal projects I do in my spare time. 

What are your ambitions for the future?

My ambition for the next half an hour is to eat some noodles because I am a bit peckish. But thinking further than that I want to continue to learn and develop my skills, which Single Malt is already helping me with so much. I feel so settled here already, I can’t imagine leaving to go back to uni (don’t make me go). I should probably finish my degree though. Degree schmegree. 

You’ve been with us a week now, what’s been the highlight?

It’s been one big highlight. Honestly feels amazing to be designing and thinking creatively every day. 

What are you most looking forward to getting out of your placement here?

Being able to see how a design agency works, and the other considerations to think about when working directly with clients. I feel like learning from the team will help my design outcomes improve significantly. 

What are your views on the fact that only 11% of creative directors in our industry are women?

I think its really sad, but the world we will live in is changing. When I think about how far things have come from an equality point of view in the last 100 years, I definitely think that things will be much more level, certainly in my lifetime. I think its important for both men and women to support each other within creative industries, as there are still stigmas surrounding it. 

What is your personal motto?

I have a bit of a habit of saying “LIVE YOUR DREAM” quite a lot. 

What is your go to Chinese dish of choice?

King prawn chow mein, crispy beef in chilli sauce, salt and pepper chips and some special fried rice all layered on top of each other like the most disgusting/delicious/dirty lasagne you ever ate. YAAAAS.

What hobbies do you have?

Eating is a main hobby of mine. I LOVE FOOD. All kinds, big meals, little meals, snacks. All the snacks. I also like running, which kinda balances out all the snacks. I  hope. I love singing, I used to perform as a duo, we were called ‘Venus Loon’(named after a T.REX song) and I’m hoping to get back into that, I miss it. I also spend a lot of time, up-cycling clothes and furniture, doodling and painting.