A day in the life of a Monster.
At Purple Monster we are known for our flexible, creative and fun culture, so what is it like to work in a place where laughter is guaranteed, dogs are made very welcome and new, wild ideas are commonplace?
This week we take a look at Alana’s working day.
“I started working for Purple Monster 9 whole years ago (I can hardly believe it myself) and began my journey as Office Manager!
Very quickly the team spotted my love of drawing (and having creativity at the heart of the company) we thought ‘why don’t we use this skill to enhance the PM offer?’ and so here I sit, 9 years later, as the in-house art team 😊 Doing a job I love, for a company I’m proud to work for.
My role is varied. It can range from working face to face with clients and their teams, to shutting myself away in the studio, drawing away for hours on end until an odd monster pops their head round the door offering to make a coffee (which, given the fact I am often hurtling towards a print deadline, is most welcome!)
So, a day in my life looks a little something like this…
6am. – Alarm goes off – I am what can loosely be described as awake, and before I can talk myself out of it, I am off out in my gym gear for a morning run. Halfway round my running route, I wonder why I am not in bed still…
Run completed, and it is time to take my beloved dog, Murphy, for a walk with my husband, who is most definitely not very awake.
I battle the inevitable traffic on the way into Leamington to the office, pondering the day ahead as I am yet to look at my emails.
8.30am. – At my desk, black coffee and a bowl of some sort of vaguely healthy breakfast to keep me going. A few other Monsters arrive in dribs and drabs, bringing with them banter of some sort. Usually, Alan wants to talk sport and George and I want to talk about shoes…majority wins, so we discuss the latest leopard print heels we have seen and can definitely not afford…
9am. – I’m pretty up to date with my email, I don’t get that many emails as most of our work is conducted on calls unless I am in the midst of a big project so I get a lot of updates and content sent through, or they are from Amazon…
I am currently at the start of a project, helping an engineering firm work on their vision for the next few years and their journey to get there.
These are my favourite types of projects, as I have no idea where we will go with the visual – everything is up for debate! I also get to indulge the more engineering side of my brain, learning way too much than I really need to know about the products our client manufactures.
It all starts with the large stack of index cards I have on my desk. A product of some workshops Robin ran a few weeks ago, the first job is to sort through them, deciphering handwriting, grouping and theming…
Robin delivering the workshop before all the output comes to me for ‘arting up!’
10am. – Halfway through the stack and George arrives, and like the knight in shining armour she is, makes coffee, rolls up her sleeves and dives in to help.
It helps to have out loud discussions as to what the visual could possibly look like at this stage, and to start thinking about the next step; the initial sketch layout…
10.45am. – Impromptu break in proceedings to discuss a video that Alan has seen on Facebook. Leads on to an inevitable bit of chatter, some giggles and our favourite ‘what’s for lunch?’ discussion, only interrupted by a calendar reminder going off on one of our laptops for a conference call.
This is immediately followed by confusion over whether we the call is at 11 our time or our clients time… A common side effect of having global clients – None of us are particularly great at working out time zones!
11am. – The call was for 11am our time. So I quickly shift my thinking and energies, leaving George to heroically finish off sorting the index cards, and jump on the conference call with Al.
Furious note taking on the iPad (my absolute favourite piece of kit) and an hour passes in a flash. A great call though – a conference for one of our favourite clients in 3 months time. A fun theme and desire to have something that acts as a communication tool at the conference and beyond. I add ‘create mock up materials’ to my mental to do list.
12 noon– I call Danielle, who today is working from her home office in Herefordshire. I update her on the call, we chat next steps and proposal documents and then, of course, how is her dog, Max, and does she have plans for the weekend.
12.30pm.– George finishes the index card sorting and we chat about the findings while we make lunch. I make plans to head home at about 1.30 to crack on with getting the sketched layout started, and to rescue the Dog, who has been on his own today.
After a balanced lunch (for me) and a not so balanced one of chocolate biscuits for others (mentioning no names)
1.45pm. – A bit later than planned, but I am in the car on my way to my office at home. Working from home of an afternoon is very helpful when it comes to projects such as this.
Not only does it help me to focus my thinking, it gives me the space and time to make good headway with the first iteration of the visual. It is hard to explain the process, but it does involve a lot of translating the common themes and comments from the index cards into an image that fits with the overall piece. One method of mine if I feel I am sticking on anything is to take a 5 minute stroll around my garden (weather permitting) or talk it out loud to my dog (it’s ok, he is totally deaf).
3pm. – to coffee or not to coffee…is it a bit too late for one? I compromise and make half a cup and carry on with the sketch. It is coming together nicely, but I am not as far forward as I had hoped…No problem, I am very lucky I can choose to work from home, especially when there is a project on that I need to get to a deadline. I tap out a quick message to the team in their various locations to let them know and flag it up that I will be out of action for other work. 10 minutes of chit chat, featuring the usual witty exchanges before I bring my attention back to the task at hand.
5.30pm. – I can hear the dog tip tapping his way around the kitchen- my own private alarm clock that tells me it is the end of the day and he is ready for his dinner. A good job really, I was getting into the sketch and had no clue what the time was! I finish the image I am working on and make sure everything is saved. I can already picture how the visual may turn out and looking forward to getting sign off from the client so I can begin my favourite part of the job, creating the final art work!
8.42pm. – just having a chat with my husband and BAM!, an idea suddenly pings into my brain that unlocks that bit that I was struggling with. I make a mental note (or actual note on my ipad) and know that I’ll be on it again with renewed vigour tomorrow morning.
If you want to tap into Alana’s creative and artistic expertise or simply fancy a chat with her about her dog or shoes, then drop her a line at Alana@purplemonster.co.uk
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