Our creatives live all over the United States. They are the heartbeat of Designity and the minds behind your best designs.
In this interview, we’re traveling to Rochester to interview one of our most colorful personalities. Meet Meghan Wengert! Designer, fine artist, figure skater, and an amazing musician.
Q: When did you decide to become a designer?
A: Ever since my freshman year in high school, I’ve been really into art and I used to wonder about how I could make art a career. I used to do a lot of traditional art.
That’s a very difficult thing to make into a career. I looked more into graphic design and discovered that I liked it just as much as I liked traditional art so that’s how that happened.
Q: What did you do to become a designer?
A: So, I’m a very naturally anxious person so I don’t like to wait around for things to happen. Ever since I got to college, I’ve been building a portfolio and applying to things. 2020 was actually my freshman year in college and, of course, everything happened then.
I did actually get a co-op with Carrier for informational design but they canceled it and pulled the rug out from under me. I ended up taking that summer to work for my dad’s company. He has a software company that does software for photographers, basically.
Q: Was that your first real design job?
A: Yes. So, my dad’s customers are labs and photographers and that type of business. I made advertisements and helped with a software release, which would allow people’s photographers to send a link directly to their clients, who were able to order photos from Softworks Systems, which is the company.
They were releasing that, so I made some animations for that and I also made informational stuff. So then I went to my sophomore year of college and I got an internship that summer with Cellec Technologies which is a lithium ion battery company.
That was so fun. Kind of weird because it was a business to government entity, which is the biggest issue because I can’t really share almost any of my work from it because it’s like, secret. It was still really fun, though!
Cellec is such a great company and the people working there were the absolute best. They’re around here so I have to go find them again. I was the only designer!
Q: What kind of work did you do for them?
A: Because I was the only designer, I had to do any and all of the design that they needed. I did one GUI design for an interface for a mapping thing. Then I did a lot (like, a lot) of informational graphics and slides. I also did their program logos, and I did these awesome challenge coins. Those were my favorite.
Q: What made them your favorite?
A: Well, it’s something that the military does, where they make these fancy illustrated coins and they’ll hand them out to people who were on a mission or something. So, I made that for Cellec, which they would hand out to scientists who were on a project.
That was a lot of fun. There were about seven, I think. I did get my coins so I have physical copies of them!
It’s even cooler because my boss was very interested in hiding stuff in the coin, so it would be a big illustration and everything would be related to the program.
Except for this one coin.
For this one program, Cellec didn’t make that program so people didn’t really like it as much as the others. It was for the government and its name made absolutely no sense to me. It’s completely random, so I decided to make the coin just as dumb and random.
The entire coin is a scene of cryptids like moth man. There’s a crab man that my boss insisted I put in, the gray aliens, and even a chupacabra.
Did I mention that they’re all playing golf?
It was so ridiculous but so fun.
Q. Why did you leave?
A: Well, I ended up moving on because it’s really hard to progress as a creative when I was the only creative there. So, it’s like, I would learn a lot more from the marketing and advertising space and agencies.
That’s why I was looking for a new position after I stayed there for a little over a year.
Q. Are you still in school right now?
A: I’m finishing up my senior year now. I’m getting a BFA in graphic design and a minor in advertising and public relations. It’s a competitive field so I’m really trying to get in there.
Q: What is your ideal position?
A: I really like agency work because I like to consider myself a jack of all trades. I like that I can work on all kinds of projects. I could be working on motion graphics one day, then illustrations the next. I can use all of the skills I learn.
RIT is really great because we have one of the best programs in the country. We also learn web design and motion design where a lot of other schools don’t offer that. That’s something that I want to make sure I’m still using so I don’t forget it.
The opportunity to learn motion graphics, web design, illustration, and all of the practices is really exciting to me. So, I definitely want to stay in an agency setting if possible.
I’m sure one day I’ll want to be a creative director, but not any time soon I don’t think. They do all of the communication with the clients and it’s stressful.
Q. What are your favorite projects to work on?
A: I don’t have a specific design favorite, but when a client doesn’t have a set thing that they know they want. Like, exact parameters if that makes sense. So, you can explore and give them a lot of different options.
Then it gives you the chance to really make something amazing and stretch your creative legs. Instead of just making something that’s purely on brand.
Q: What are your least favorite projects?
A: Sometimes, clients are really out here with their imaginations. I did have a client once that wanted animations and motion designs, and every day, I’d get a message at 2 pm being like ‘can you do this animation by the end of the day?’
Like, how fast do you think I am? I’m fast, but not that fast!
Sometimes, I feel like clients may not understand how much work goes into a design so they have unrealistic expectations of timing. I guess those are my least favorite.
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Q: What do you like to do for fun?
A: For the past few years, I’ve entered this performing arts competition at RIT. I like to sing and play guitar, so I’ve entered that the past couple of years. I really like performing because I used to be a competitive figure skater for like ten years.
RIT turned our ice rink into a library so I’ve got to find a new place where I can do figure skating.
I was a figure skating teacher to little kids at one point, and let me tell you, they say the craziest things! I had this one student who skated up to me one day, super casual and said ‘Can I tell you something?’
And I was like, ‘Sure, what’s up?’
And they looked at me with this funny expression and said, ‘My grandmother passed away.’ then they just skated away like they didn’t just drop a bomb on me, all normal.
Kids really do say the wildest things!