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maisie benson

Hey Maisie, first of all how are you?

Hi! I’m great thank you, January is my least favourite month (not very controversial) so I’m trying my best to hibernate through it!

Give us five fun facts about yourself!

Five is tough! I struggle with one haha!

1) My favourite thing in the world is my pet rabbit Agyness! She’s a house rabbit so she spends her days sleeping under my desk like a little foot warmer,

2) I grew up in Leicester, the furthest place from the sea in England

3) Like a lot of people I got a bit obsessed with houseplants over the past few years, I love propagating them to make more mini ones although I’ve run out of room in my flat for any more now!

4) I’m part of a choir called Some Voices

5) When I was little I spent far too much of my time drawing snail fashion magazines!

For those that do not know who is Maisie? So why design?

I’m a senior designer at JKR, I also love illustrating and learning c4d in my spare time. I feel very lucky to be able to do such a creative job and spend my time with a whole bunch of incredible creative people. Design studios have such a good vibe to them and I can’t wait to get back to a buzzy studio when we can! There’s something so satisfying about making something from nothing, whether it be a little doodle or a full brand and I’m trying to push myself to use my skills to try to solve issues or to support causes I’m passionate about.

You and Claudia Aggett launched the Happy to Help initiative which helped out many young creatives tell us more about this!

Yes! We created happy to help to try and bridge the gap between industry and students when a lot of the connections had been disrupted due to covid. The idea was that anyone in the industry could add a sticker or flag to their social platforms and then students would know they’re happy to be contacted for advice or support.

The creative industry really supported you on this intiative does it make you proud that the industry is so kind and supportive?

It was incredible!! I felt really lucky to be part of such a supportive community and I really hope it helped graduates feel welcomed and like they had people they could turn to if they were finding the transition tough. It’s really not been easy the past few years and I’m amazed by the determination and passion I’ve seen from graduates, Claudia as a prime example of this!

Leading on from this you have since set up the Think Food Bank movement with Holly Kielty. Please tell us more about this!

We created Think Food Bank as we realised, from personal experience, that when we shopped we always had good intentions to buy something for the food bank but we would often forget and only remember once we’d gone through the checkout! So we decided to create some stickers to remind customers throughout their shop of food banks and to highlight some key items that food banks need. It was a really fun project to do and again, the response was amazing! I also loved working with Holly and made a new friend from the experience!

You’re speaking at the Right Aligned Events, excited?

Yes!! We’re chatting on Friday 28th January. (unfortunately this event has passed by the time of release) I’m really excited although I’m normally a bit of a prepper and like to have answers prepared so I’m hoping my mind doesn’t go completely blank on me!

You’re now working as a senior designer at Jones Knowles Ritchie, enjoying it?

Really enjoying it! It’s a big change from my previous job even though they’re both design agencies, the scale of clients has been a real eye opener and I feel like I’m learning as much as I was when I graduated again!

I want to start featuring more people on this platform so with this in mind, is there anyone in the creative industry that you would like to shoutout?

There’s so many incredible designers I’ve worked with, I’d love to see some more emerging designers given a platform, a few people that come to mind are Megan Heath, Tim Wilcox and Helena Davey at JKR, they all joined at a similar time and are amazing!! I also used to work with Elle Eveleigh and Amy Joslyn who are both doing some really cool things and I’m excited to see what they’ve been up to since I left.

For my final question, what’s next for you?

Career wise I’d love to progress to a design director at some point, I think the role would suit my mentor side! I’d also love to try and build a showreel which is ambitious as I can’t really animate!! So let’s see how that goes this year!

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