Meg Lewis — Ghostly Ferns

Designer who makes fun, friendly experiences for happy companies. Through fun talks and weird workshops, she’s is on a mission to teach the world to love themselves first and the rest will follow.

What led you into design?

I have parents who always encouraged me to explore and be curious about who I am. That led to a lot of experimentation with different styles, whether it was how I dressed or what the design of my room looked like. That’s really where I fell in love with designing playful experiences. My room always had a strong theme with an emphasis on what my visitors were interacting with throughout my space. Falling in love with design as a kid was perfect in forming my playful, fun, and friendly style today.

What does a typical day look like?

My favorite thing about being a freelancer is that every day looks totally different. Some days I feel like sleeping in, watching The Golden Girls, and then casually strolling into work. Other days I wake up ready to work immediately, but then I’ll buzz off and take myself to a movie at 3pm. There’s also the occasional “executive lunch” which features a cocktail or two. I work most weekends, but that’s just because a typical workday is only a few hours of heavily-concentrated work. I love my wacky schedule!

What’s your setup?

I have a small MacBook that I use when I’m working at home or on the go. At my office, I have an iMac that I absolutely love. I do everything digitally and rarely work by hand, so I only need these two computers and I can do anything! My iPhone gets me the rest of the way.

Where do you go to get inspired?

By far, travelling by myself inspires me more than anything. Getting away from my usual environment and experiencing new things with myself is both challenging and self-motivating. When I travel alone I allow myself to do and have whatever I want. If I feel like doing something scary, I’ll do it. If I feel like paying extra for a room with robes and a fireplace, I’ll do it. The right balance of comforting and challenging myself is my perfect recipe for inspiration. When I’m internally stimulated and satisfied, it really shows in my work!

What product have you recently seen that made you think this is great design?

I’ve been a fan of Headspace for years, but in past months they’ve really focused on making everything Headspace does fun, friendly, and real. Seeing a brand recognize the importance of having their voice show through all aspects of themselves is exactly what’s important to me. Headspace makes sure to spend extra time on their social media, copywriting, and celebrating their employees and audience! Everything they do is cohesive, thoughtful, and extremely on target for what their audience needs.

What pieces of work are you most proud of?

I’m almost always most proud of the thing I just finished making. The brand for my friend, Erin Anderson, at The Goldrunner is something that I’m really proud of. It was refreshing to create an approachable brand for a service industry, energy work, that is intimidatingly foreign to most people. The Goldrunner brand is digestible and helps a scary topic feel safe.

What design challenges do you face at your company?

At Ghostly Ferns, we’re a group of freelancers who like to work together as often as possible. Because we’re all individual freelancers, we don’t get to work together as often as we’d like because we’re all so busy with our own work. We’re not an agency, even though we often pretend to be one, but we love collaborating on client projects. This business model makes our dynamic unique and just the way we like it, but we’d love to be able to collaborate even more than we already do!

What music do you listen to whilst designing?

Any advice for ambitious designers?

Do what’s right for you! Don’t follow a certain path or push yourself to do something that doesn’t feel right just because you think you should. Designers love to give advice and tell each other how they should live. I’m the anti-advice giver. Don’t listen to me and don’t listen to the others if it doesn’t feel right for your personality. Take the things that make your personality special and amplify those things to make a career that’s unique to you. If you’re a 9-5’er who loves being told what to do, go get a traditional workplace job! If you’re a self-motivated person who hates having a routine, become a freelancer! If you’re something undefinable, be curious and learn more about what makes you special. Chances are, there’s a perfect career out there that you can make for yourself!

Anything you want to promote or plug?

My space in Minnesota, Fool Proof, is a shared work/event space. But, really, we’re a group of friends who love working alongside each other. We’re looking for new deskmates and friends (existing and new) to host workshops and fun events in our space. We’re looking to bring the creative community in Minnesota together so we can support, collaborate, and help one another out! Keep your eyes on Fool Proof to find out more about what’s coming up or if you want to collaborate in any way!

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