We’re celebrating this month by introducing you to some of the talented women who work on our team. Check out part of what makes Senior Brand Designer Morgan Keys special.
What personal passions bring you to Abstract?
I believe simpler processes = more creativity. Right now, the design process includes so many things that take you away from being creative. The list is long: hunting for files, making sure everyone is in the loop, keeping track of feedback, speccing out your work, exporting final files, etc. Finding creative flow is the most important thing you can do as a designer and the yet the hardest when you’re faced with endless admin tasks. For that very reason, I was excited to work for a product focused on getting rid of the work around the work for design teams.
What’s one childhood lesson that you still carry with you to this day?
I was always taught to treat people the way you want to be treated. Later in life I adapted that (thanks to some thoughtful words from friend Laura Brunow Miner) to reciprocity is the most predictable human reaction. If you consistently practice gratitude, kindness, and warmth, then people around you will reflect that back. The same goes for creative work; when you throw your creativity and energy behind a project, I think the people who consume it will meet your passion with equal amounts of enthusiasm.
Tell us about where you grew up and what makes it unique.
I grew up in Colorado Springs, a mid-sized city at the base of a 14,000 foot peak on Colorado’s front range. When you grow up near the mountains with outdoor-loving parents, you end up with a childhood taking llamas with you backpacking and building mini snowboard jumps on the spare lot next door. When I wasn’t running around in the woods behind our house, I was going to art classes in the back of the local art supply store. I would say in those fundamental ways, I’m pretty much still the same.
What are you most proud of in your life/career?
I came to design through an unconventional route. Rather than going to art school or getting a formal design education, I spent my early to mid 20’s getting literature and journalism degrees and working for several years in the snowboarding industry. Then, I did one year of a bootcamp-y design/development school and ran right into the professional design world. I was joining teams of people that I considered experts and was incredibly self-conscious of my lack of formal training. This imposter syndrome pushed me to learn about how I could best teach myself and who to gather in my corner to support me and help me grow. I started saying yes to everything and then immediately turning to Google to figure out how to pull it off. Now that I’m nearly 7 years into my design career, I see this diverse background and ability to teach myself as a strength and something that distinguishes me from others in my role.
What’s your favorite hype song and why?
“Tusk” by Fleetwood Mac. If you know me well, you know I’m a huge fan of the band and, like everyone else, I’m so intrigued by their art and drama. I just love the repetitive drum riff that builds into the crashing of the entire USC marching band and how all of the sudden everyone’s yelling and hooping. I saw them recently and was bummed they didn’t play it, but my favorite cover band does a pretty rocking rendition and it gets me pumped every time.
You get to have dinner with one famous person. Who do you choose and what would you ask them?
I would take Alexander Hamilton to see Hamilton and then spend dinner dissecting the show.
Illustration: Loveis Wise