Mackenzie Brookshire has been working at Altanta based agency Matchstic for the past four years, though has been in the process of a major passion project – where she has been working on turning her living space into a creative studio, which has also involved buying two risograph printers, a potter’s wheel, a old Dukane film strip projector from the 80’s and a sewing machine – the space is called goodtimesprintshop.com
When did you fall in love with design and how did you get started? I was in love with the idea of being an artist since I can remember – and college eventually led me to pursue a career as an illustrator. Once I started, I realized – wow, I’m not actually having fun. It was stressful for me at the time, drawing on command. Luckily, I was working at a publishing house where I got exposed to design and had the opportunity to start teaching myself by watching other people. I developed a taste for it and wanted to learn more. I haven’t stopped learning since, and understanding design has had a tremendous impact on my art and illustration.
Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs? I studied Illustration at SCAD in Savannah, GA. My first job came at a small publishing house a year after graduating. I went on to be an in-house designer for a non-profit. It was not glamorous, but I made the most of it. After that I was super excited to get my first chance to work at an agency. Everything was new. I was meeting talented people and working in a fast-paced environment. Two years later I was hired at Matchstic, where I’ve been for the past four years.
What does a typical working day include for you right now? I manage my time between designing for and art directing the projects I lead. Working at Matchstic, you ride the wave of working on multiple brands at a time and it’s exhilarating…there is a constant ebb and flow of activity from the embryo of an idea to preparing for its final release out into the wild.
Any passion projects you would like to share? A little over two years ago, I started working on turning my living space into a creative studio. I sleep in my closet, and split the rest between my kitchen, living room and studio. It is pretty wonderful. I’ve been collecting random things like colored sands and rocks and papers – whatever feels fun. In the fall of 2014, I drove to Tampa with a friend and hauled back two Risograph printers – eventually dubbing it Good Times Print Shop. I’ve recently added a potter’s wheel, an old Dukane film strip projector from the 80’s and a sewing machine. I have no idea where all of this will take me, and I like that a lot.
Tell us about any collaborations you have been working on. So far I’ve been doing little things like collaborating on zines with friends. There are a few things I would love to see happen through collaborations this year…involving that Dukane projector, playing with video, and hopefully some installations. At the beginning of the year, I set out to collaborate with more Atlanta artists and designers because I hadn’t done much of that. It’s amazing looking back and seeing how things fall into place when you just decide, “I want to do this”.