Digital Designer, Frida, reflects on her time so far at maclean and joining completely virtually.

Rise and shine
How do you start your workday?

My goal is always to get up a couple of hours before the workday starts to get a bit of me-time. Going for a walk, a run, reading a book, baking some bread. It’s nice feeling that a week day isn’t just work 😊  there is time for other things.

Also need that cup of tea to get me going. Black, no milk, no sugar. The team are properly going to boot me out when they realise I don’t drink coffee…

What does your average day involve?

An average day ( if there is such a thing) does vary for me. It all depends on what projects we have ongoing. Some days I get to work on social posts for Salvesen Mindroom Centre and ICAS, both animation and statics posts. Other days Digital Ads for Sainsbury’s Bank. Sometimes I see a lot of plants when I work with projects for Dobbies. Since starting a year and a half ago I’ve worked on various projects, and you never know what the day might bring.

Decisions, decisions
What made you choose to become a Digital Designer?

For me, being a Digital Designer gives the opportunity to work and play around with different skills and software. From creating websites and motion graphics to playing with photography, colour, and fonts.

It probably all started when I studied Graphic and Media Design in high school and got to experience loads of different types of digital design. I then continued to Edinburgh Napier University, studying a bachelor’s degree in Digital Media and Interaction Design.  I realised that being a chameleon in the digital design world is the most fun. Being able to apply skills and knowledge across multiple platforms and not being limited to a single tool. The digital design world is continuously growing, which means I’m always learning and trying to keep up with new trends.

Screen time
What has it been like joining an agency during a pandemic?

It has most definitely been an interesting switch. I graduated from university last year and spent my last few months as a student finishing my final project at home (stupid covid). I was therefore used to working from home and had set myself up with a work area. Maybe the hardest change has actually been to limit my time to 9-5. I studied a lot and would continue on until a few hours before deadline day. I think the pandemic and being in a WFH situation makes you realise that you do have to stop and not look at the screen all day long.

Out of office
How much are you looking forward to being in an actual office?

Very much! (seeing as that is something I have missed out on). I would like to experience some of that social interaction and general chat that kind of gets missed out when you sit at home in your own living room. I think going into an office is going to be an interesting switch. It’ll almost be like I’m starting afresh and joining again. We were lucky enough to be able to get together for a lunch in our new office back in November, but before that I had only met Di in person and the rest I’d only seen through a screen. At one point I was challenged to guess how tall everyone was ( which I have to admit I got quite wrong). It’ll be really nice to get in an office space with the macleaners and get to know them a bit better.

Switching off
Do you have any hobbies or interests outside work?

When not working I like to be in the outdoors, mountains, lochs, beaches. I’m always up for an adventure. When lockdown eased, I took full advantage and travelled around Scotland looking for that perfect adventure.  I am currently working towards becoming a Mountain Leader, ticking off the 282 Munros (although quite slowly), trying to kayak my way around islands and lochs, whilst going scuba diving along the coast. I also volunteer with the Scouts and I am a leader with the Pentland Explorers. It’s a great way to be social, give young people some new skills and get both them and me out on adventures.

But don’t get me wrong, I like a nice night in front of the TV watching a good series with some home-baked treats.

Background tunes
Do you listen to music while you work?

My concentration music always tend to be soundtracks. Most on repeat is: Game of Thrones, The Crown, Gladiator and Max Mad. To be honest, most things from Hans Zimmer, Thomas Newman and Alexandre Desplat is always a hit.

Highlight reel
What has been your favourite project at maclean so far?

Ohh this is an interesting question. I think for me it’s has been the wider thing of seeing something I have worked on, out in the wild. Still feels quite surreal. I walked past a Sainsbury’s Bank ATM a few weeks ago and saw some of the animations I’ve worked on – put a smile on my face.

I also really enjoy when any motion graphic projects come my way. Working with ICAS on the CA Summit and their London Episode events has been really fun.

Any advice for someone wanting to become a Digital Designer?

If you want to become a Digital Designer I’d say one of the greatest skills is to be able to use various different software. And if not that, the ability to learn new software and techniques when required. For me as I do various things, my skillset needs to be wide. I think this comes from following trends and finding inspiration. Also don’t be scared to ask questions or admit that you don’t know something. No one knows everything, and most people I find are happy to help you learn something new.

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