Making things captivating is what Jessica Morgan of Jessica Draws Media does. She tells us how important time management is to her, and how entrepreneurship means facing fears.
What is it the company does?
Jessica Draws is the powerhouse team for businesses who want to look anything but corporate. Professional, yes, but not corporate. When you’ve got decisions to make and hundreds of emails to answer, making your marketing materials look red-hot probably isn’t something you’ve got time to handle. So we handle it for you, converting those leads with everything from branding to animated promotional videos. We know only too well that poorly presented data and sales messages result in lost leads, lost clients, lost customers, lost stakeholders and, occasionally, lost hair!
Brilliantly presented messages, on the other hand, result in one very important thing - captivation. And when you’ve achieved that, all those leads, clients, customers, stakeholders, and ambassadors are much more likely to support those messages, share them with the world, and stick around for a long, long time.
A mammoth excel spreadsheet or data table can be turned into a share-worthy animation that nails all salient points in minutes. A bland marketing brochure or sustainability report can be turned into a bold and bright one that people want to look at, touch, and actually read. A dry sales or product info statement can be turned into an infographic that not only makes a statement, but makes sense!
Describe your role in no more than 100 words
I set up Jessica Draws in 2012 and, since then, have brought to life hundreds of brand design ideas that turn the heads of the right people. As well as lead designer and illustrator, I’m also the company’s business development officer, project manager, PR and marketing officer and everything else in between.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
I completed a degree in Graphic Communication in 2009 and went straight into a role as illustrator for a large greetings company, designing Christmas wrapping paper and cards for retailers such as IKEA, Costco and Marks and Spencer. It was fantastic but, after two years of it being Christmas every single day, it was definitely time to leave! I then moved to a digital agency to expand my digital design skills. I learnt a great deal there, but it was still limiting in creativity and I felt I needed a challenge. I felt I wanted to be part of all the processes, from finding clients, nailing pitches and project managing. During these years I began to build up a freelance client base and, in 2012, I was confident I had a solid enough foundation to start my own business. It was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time, and definitely the right decision!
After nearly six years of learning new skills and overcoming challenges, I now count among my clients the Welsh Government, Confused.com, Public Health England, the University of South Wales, Cardiff University, Sainsbury’s, Arriva Trains Wales and many more.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
The ability to adapt and learn and to realise when you might not be the best person for the job. To ask for assistance and trust the experts.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
Time management. There are three of us now but, for the first four years, I was responsible for all aspects of the business. It’s difficult to manage time between networking and pitching for new work and actually working on the projects!
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
I did go through a phase of working continuously, morning, noon and through the night, but I’ve realised that it’s not healthy and not the best way to produce quality work. I do make sure I spend quality time with family in the evenings and weekends. Just getting out in the fresh air for an hour can do wonders!
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be an artist of some sort. There was never anything else that kept me interested. I didn’t bother with second choices when it came to applying for degree courses. There was only one path for me; A levels, foundation diploma in art and design, then a degree in graphic communication.
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about them?
Lateness. There’s just no excuse. When people are late it comes across that they think that their time is more valuable than yours. We make sure we are never late on a deadline, late to meetings or late replying to an email or phone call; it’s just the way we do things. Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do about everyone else.
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
I’ve had two children in the last two years, so growth has slowed somewhat. Over the next few years I hope to move to a larger studio environment and hire a business development manager to take over the networking and client relationships, giving me more time to do what I’m best at; designing and illustrating. We also plan to expand into live action promotional videos and film and TV credits with the help of an additional animator and motion designer. I also hope to still be winning awards too!
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
Say yes to everything. Especially the things that scare you. You never know where they might lead!
What do you wish someone had told you when you started out?
To stop comparing yourself and your business to everyone else and their endeavours. We all have our own skills, our own talents and we might need to take a different path to get to where we want to be.
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