G(URL) Talk with Christie Morgan
It’s hard not to be inspired by the vibrant, web-inspired aesthetics that Sydney based designer Christie Morgan has been relentlessly pumping out over the past few years. Many will know her from the monumental work she’s done building PITCH ZINE from the ground up, debuting as an online publication before taking her curational vision into the realms of print, IRL exhibitions, and a creative agency for upcoming brands. But Christie’s workaholic personality and innovative drive expand beyond the universe of PITCH; she’s also a graphic designer, DJ and a creative director. We had the pleasure of catching up with her about design trends, the boundaries (or lack thereof) between design and art, and her current sources of influence. Enjoy!
Hey Christie. Summing up what you is quite the challenge since you wear so many different hats and juggle such a range of creative projects…
It’s true, I’m a woman of many hats!
But if I had to put it into one sentence – I’m a designer, art director and curator who founded the online and print publication PITCH ZINE. I founded PITCH (for short) almost 4 years ago now and I’ve also been working as a freelance designer and curator.
Your own design work, as well as most of the work you’ve curated, is guided by a very distinctive aesthetic. What are some of the references you’d use to describe the iconic style you’ve developed?
I’m glad you think so!
I guess you could say I’m a little obsessed with aesthetics.
In terms of references, I really look around the world I live in. Sometimes I’ll see an interesting texture while I’m walking around or I’ll spot a cool typeface on a poster on my way out for the night.
Obviously a lot the artists who I source through PITCH influence me a great deal too, but I’ve really tried to develop my own sense of style over the past few years through experimentation and manipulation.
Let’s talk about the rise of what you’ve called the “designist;” the blurring of the boundaries between designers and artist, which effectively liberates design from the rigid rules associated with commercial function. How do you see this changing the paradigms for how artists and brands engage with design?
Ah yes, the good ol’ designist.
Well to me – design and art are both equally important. I don’t think we live in a world anymore where we’re confined to strictly creating one or the other. Most of the clients I’ve worked with approach me for the element to my work that it is purely and foremost off-centre.
I’ve seen a huge change in the way designers and brands engage with each other in terms of their content. Trends play a big part into how a brand is going to market itself and then it must learn to adapt accordingly. Which I think is super interesting and I assume this is a product of internet usage.
Speaking of trends, have you picked up on any other noteworthy movements in the past year- in art, design, or beyond?
I’ve definitely noticed a trend in designers pushing the boundaries more. We are no longer confined to using one software tool. The most interesting outputs I’ve found is actually using a number of programs and even my iPhone!
I think the whole pastel/gradient colour trend is definitely something I’ve accidentally categorized myself into. But it’s something I really visually enjoy so it’s fine with me!
What are your thoughts on community-building in the digital arena and IRL?
Oh it’s huge. And I mean that for both digital and IRL. I think the most successful people nail URL AND IRL. It’s about having that fine balance between really present on the Internet but assuring people you can pull through at a party or industry event or whatever.
For me – building my network online has been the easiest and most important thing to do. Social media is this whole realm that you have at your disposal so why not use it! It’s helped enhance and develop a huge audience for PITCH and personally it’s a great way to market your skills in an unconventional way.
What would your advice to young designers or emerging creative entrepreneurs be?
I swear I never know how to answer this question, but if I had to say one thing:
Hard work goes along way – you can’t just wake up and one day you’re successful.
Work hard and the results will speak for themselves.
Do you have any exciting plans or projects in the pipelines?
Of course! I’m a bit of a workaholic to be honest so I always need some extra projects to help fuel my creative soul haha.
I’ve recently curated a group audio/visual exhibition as part of Vivid Sydney and I’ve got another exhibition I’ve been asked to create some work for in NYC later this month. Plus a bunch of freelance projects – keep an eye out.
A song you can’t get out of your head:
A HEX code that makes your head turn:
A designer you can’t get enough of:
Chrissie Abbott (if you know, you know…)
A muse, real or fictional:
A book or movie you’d recommend:
This is bit nerdy, but Graphic Design for Fashion by
Jay Hess & Simone Pasztorek is beautiful and my bible.
A place that makes you dream:
A thought to live by:
I always liked this one: “Design is easy. All you do is stare
at the screen until drops of blood form on your forehead.”
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