I'll be honest - when Morgan Haines debuted her site a little creative I spent a LOT of time reading all the content she displayed. Why? Her fun personality totally shines through and I'm thrilled to feature her in October's bedsidesign files.
What type of design work you do?
I do a little bit of a lot of things, but I am a print designer at heart. I love paper, packaging, unique folds and diecuts. I like to say that I do good work for good people — people that are, in some way, committed to improving the lives of others. I help them focus their big ideas into workable, tangible and visual manifestations of their brand that others can get behind.
When did you “know” you wanted to be a designer?
A long, long time ago in a land far, far away, I was working as a scientist doing preclinical drug development research (don’t worry, you don’t need to understand what that is). I was at a point where I really needed some additional education in order to progress my career. But I was also burnt out and feeling uninspired to continue doing what I was doing.
It just so happened that I was also getting married at the time and having a blast doing a bunch of DIY wedding stuff. I decided that I wanted to become a stationer and specialize in custom wedding invitations, so after a bit of research, I went back to school and got a second undergraduate degree in graphic design.
What is your favorite part of the design process?
I really love getting to know clients and taking the journey with them to grow their business. Maybe it’s a little voyeuristic, but I like entering into someone else’s world and being a solid sounding board and dependable rock for them. The creative part is great, of course, but I love learning about why people are doing what they are and sharing in their passion to help them get to the next step.
Where do you find your inspiration?
It’s true what they say - that inspiration can come from anywhere. I typically start on the computer simply because that’s where I spend most of my day. Sites like Pinterest and Niiice are a bit of a rabbit hole within themselves, so I also like to get outside in the sunshine. Especially if I’m struggling creatively to come up with something, I find that removing myself from the situation and doing another activity helps create some mental space. I also find that asking for a second opinion, having another set of eyes on your work, is tremendously helpful. We get so close to it sometimes that it’s often hard to see what’s right in front of us.
Tell us about the city/town that you live in:
I live in Encinitas, which is a little beach town just north of San Diego. Admittedly, I don’t take advantage of even a fraction of what San Diego has to offer, but it’s nice knowing that it is a very diverse area. We’ve got the beach, mountains and desert all within a couple of hours, so depending on the time of year, you have a multitude of activities at your fingertips, which is nice.
I live in total suburbia but I’ve come to really enjoy it. We live above a shopping center with a grocery store, a pet store, and various miscellaneous other shops and restaurants so we can do most of our errands via walking. We also have a variety of different canyon trail systems all around neighborhood, which is great for my crazy dog.
What is your favorite pantone color?
PMS 129. I love, love, love the color yellow! I believe it’s the color of happy.
Describe your design/interior/fashion style in 5 words.
Clean, uncomplicated, eclectic, cheerful, energetic - and I think they pertain to all 3 categories.
Do you freelance? If so, do you have any tips for people starting out?
I guess how you describe what I do is to say that I am a full time freelancer. I started my own freelance business in February of this year, so I myself, am still starting out in a way. My advice would be to ask a shit ton of questions and don’t be afraid to do so. What’s the worst that can happen? Someone says no or doesn’t answer - then you are no worse off than you were before you asked!
I would also say to find someone - ONE someone - you can treat as a bit of a mentor or a sounding board. There is A LOT of information out there, much of it different, especially on the internet, which can very quickly feel like just noise. Find a person you can ask all your questions of, who is willing to answer them and take the time to help you. They’re out there, you just have to find them.
Describe your “perfect” day.
The whole idea of “perfect” is a little daunting, it seems almost unachievable. I love days where I wake up naturally, without the aid of an alarm clock, or my dog licking me in the face. Days where I don’t have strict client deadlines and can naturally let the ideas flow and have time to play around with them. Days where I am able to get in a great workout without having to blackmail myself into doing it or find the time to “squeeze” it in. I get to spend time with my husband and my family and there is lots of sunshine, laughter and love. That is my perfect day.
Did you attend school for design?
I attended the Art Institute of California San Diego. I already had a degree so I was able to finish the bachelor’s program in three years rather than 4 because I didn’t have to take any general education (gotta love that). However, going to school as an “adult” is just plain weird. You suddenly become an old person who talks about “these kids.” I won’t discount the experience altogether, but I did feel like it was lacking much of the real world experience. I imagine had I gone to art school the first time around, it would have been much different.
Who is your all-time favorite musician?
I don’t know that I have an all-time favorite, but since I am a child of the 80’s (yes, I’m that old), Madonna will always have a special place in my heart. She might be a bit of a wackadoodle, and it’s entirely possible she’s not even human, but you have to admit - she is crazy talented!