DREAMS AND SPREADS
A Personal Statement by Meg Pruitt
When I was in first grade, I fell in love with a boy named Jigsaw Jones. Jigsaw was a book character who solved mysteries for his second grade class. Because I was in love with him, I also fell in love with the idea of being a detective like him. I walked around my house with a green hat and a magnifying glass and called myself Mystery Meg, which I am reluctant to admit, but I suppose it’s pertinent.
For years when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would say either a pirate or a detective, but more often the latter. I loved the idea solving a good puzzle, of putting all these little, dissimilar pieces together to create something bigger, more comprehensive, and often beautiful.
I was also very passionate about making things as a child. I crocheted, I painted, I dabbled in videography; at one point I started making rubber band necklaces and selling them to my friends. I had these round, white glasses that didn’t have any lenses, and I would put them on whenever I was making art. I called them my “art glasses” because I guess they put me in the art-making zone or something, I’m not really sure. All I know is that I looked like a dork.
In hindsight I can see how my interests in mystery-solving and art-making were in fact related; they both stemmed from my impulse to take in information, analyze it, and create something that combined everything in a beautiful and flowy way. I suppose that’s what storytelling is.
I don’t remember how I jumped from detective to graphic designer, but when I entered college, I simply knew that I had chosen the right major, and I’ve never really questioned it. Design is everything I love. It combines beauty and problem solving, research and intuition. It’s full of contradictions, just like me. And it’s so dang cool to learn.
When I discovered editorial design and the bookmaking process, I felt like I had found my little niche of happiness in the vast world of graphic design. Laying out pages is like arranging information into tiny works of art. They’re like little puzzle pieces. Parts to a whole, greater picture. I love designing spreads; it’s a lotta lotta fun.
In my work, I value honesty, knowledge and quirkiness. When people hold the books I design or the posters I make, I want them to hear my voice. I want them to laugh with me or be intrigued by the information I am giving them. I want them to be impacted by what they are reading or seeing, or at least pay attention to it. I know that is a lot to ask, and perhaps I haven’t earned it yet, but as I continue my practice and learn more about art and design, I hope that my work can contribute to the betterment of society in some way.