Tagged meet microcosm

Get to know Grow: Introducing Designer Meggyn Pomerleau

Grow coverGrow: How to take your do it yourself project and passion to the next level and quit your job! is a practical field guide for creative people to achieve success and sustainability on their own terms. Part of Grow’s mission is to empower creative people to come up with innovative solutions to make their creative passions sustainable career options. The first step in that process is to assess where you are and define where you want to go. In the spirit of Grow I posed a series of questions to Meggyn Pomerleau, who designed the book, about her career and goals so far. The issues that Meggyn outlines in our conversation are the ones that inspired me to write Grow: How to balance your creative passion with “real life,” how to understand what you and your creative work is worth, and how to face down an uncertain future with a careful planning.

Right now I’m in the process of putting together a series of workshops around the country this summer that will help creatives like Meggyn plan for DIY success. Until midnight on April 1 (9 pm pacific time) we are running a campaign on RocketHub.com to support the workshop tour and the production of Grow. We’d love to have your support!

How do you describe yourself creatively? What do you do and make and what would you like to do and make?

– I am a graphic artist. I make, draw, manipulate, form, paint, and sketch. Professionally, I’m a graphic designer and I primarily build websites. What I really like to do is illustrate and create typefaces.

What skills do you think are your strongest?

– My communication skills have gotten me to a point where I haven’t had to seek out work, ever.  I’m also surprisingly good at drawing using my touch-pad on my laptop.  

What skills do you feel you need to develop? How will you go about this?

– I still need to work on my time management skills, as well as practicing and researching my craft. Unfortunately, because I’m still a full time cubicle drone it’s difficult to find the time to work on my technical skills. That’s my main challenge right now–to make the decision to devote myself fully to my passion, or taking small steps to allow myself to have it in the future.

How integrated is your creative work into the rest of your life?

– My life is design, despite having the office job. I dream about typography; I pay attention to advertisements and details in logos, banners, and posters; and I’m constantly brainstorming pieces in my head. If I had to break it down in numbers: 40% of my life is the non-creative office job, 25% is actually creating, and 35% is everything else.

I believe it’s completely possible to turn the 25% into 75% if I choose to, but I’m worried about failure, inconsistent work flow, and settling for work I wouldn’t be interested in.

What is something you didn’t learn in school that you wish they taught about making your life and living as a creative person?

– One thing no one discussed was how to know what you’re worth. A lot of fresh graphic design graduates settle for production work, which doesn’t do anything for you, creatively.

Additionally, I wish that I had more one-on-one guidance and the professors helped us determine what kind of designer we were, how technically skilled we were, and where we should go to look for work in order to shape our future a bit. Design can be applied to many things, and if it’s not narrowed down to a specific category, it’s overwhelming to try to decide what category you’re going to focus on and try to pursue.

What are your creative goals for the next year? For the next five years?

– This next year, my goal is to develop a consistent style in my design that draws people to my work. I haven’t painted in the longest time, and I’m going to start again, to get back to my roots of being an artist.

In the next 5 years, I’d like to work for an agency or something fast paced and high stress or work as a freelance artist full time with clients sending me consistent work.

Grow tips

Check out Meggyn’s work in Grow! https://microcosmpublishing.com/catalog/books/3905/

And support the RocketHub campaign here: http://www.rockethub.com/projects/14039-empower-diy-creative-entrepreneurs-with-grow

Meet the Interns

How’d you get here?

Mackenzie: The Northridge Earthquake, which hit just before my before my scheduled due-date, urged my mother to go to her home town to have her lil’ baby.  Therefore, I was born in St. Louis Missouri rather than Los Angeles, my real hometown, but permanently moved back to the west coast shortly after my birth. Now, many years later, I go to school in Vermont, which enabled me to intern at Microcosm.  I drove up the 5 from Los Angeles all the way to Portland with my good ol’ friend Phil.

Elizabeth: Born in Texas, raised in Tennessee, schooled in Vermont – a drive to Albany, a flight to Cleveland, a drive to Knoxville, a flight to Denver, another to Seattle, another to Portland and here I am.

Phil: I’ve been an LA boy my whole life, but now I go to school in Vermont.  Mackenzie and I drove up to Portland with full hearts and a full car.   

Favorite Female Vocalist And Why?:

Mackenzie: Aaliyah, hands down, because she is a powerful independent woman who was tragically taken from this earth in her prime. Classics like Rock the Boat are always bumpin’ in my mind when I’m having a rough day or when I left too many receipts in my pockets in the wash.  She was a sweet angel.

Elizabeth: The Crutchfield sisters. They’re raw, they’re relatable, they’re pretty.

Phil: Julie Doiron because she makes me want to fall in love and move to Canada just to stay inside with a fire and tea while the snow falls outside.  

Early 2000s guilty pleasure:

Mackenzie: Blink-182 but I refuse to have any guilt over that.  

Elizabeth: It’s 1999, but “No Scrubs” was a semi-serious tattoo consideration last year…

Phil: Linkin Park

Who would you be if you were a cartoon character?:

Mackenzie: I would be Ein from Cowboy Bebop.  He’s just absolutely adorable, and that episode about him being found by Spike and Jet is a really good one.  It made me laugh because they talk about VHS and VHS beta and how its absolutely ancient and out-dated.

Elizabeth: In fifth grade when Dave the Barbarian was popular, a girl used to call me Fang. Maybe the uninhibited version of me.

Phil:  I would love to be a little Kodama from Princess Mononoke and just frolic around the forest all day.  

Things that you enjoy:

Mackenzie:  I really like putting Abba Zabbas and sticks of Now and Later candies in my pockets and skateboarding around town for a little while so they get warm and aren’t so hard to chew.  I also really like adult swim late at night. Phil also makes a mean cup of tea n’ chia. I enjoy these greatly.

Elizabeth: Loretta Lynn, carbohydrates, gender theory.

Phil: I like licorice induced asphyxiation, I like real life skittle rain pounding against my soft naked flesh, and bellyflops off of chocolate docks into the rocky road abyss below.

– phil