Media Week 30 under 30: Laura Robinson, MEC Global

What’s something every media industry person should do before they’re 30? 

A tough question. Do I suggest something that might question my own career or do I keep my answer themed around the media industry? I think in all honesty I would encourage anyone in media to dip their toe in another career or role, but that doesn’t have to mean quitting your job, packing up your London flat and heading to the country (or better still – overseas. Sydney and Dubai are so last decade)

My suggestion would be finding a hobby or passion and turning it into a side business which is exactly

what I decided to do. I began to find that my day to day work life was consuming all my time and I lost touch with what I really enjoyed all those years ago when I was at school – drawing and designing. One Sunday 2 years ago I started designing minimalist city icons based on the cities and places I had visited. Over time I created my first two graphic print collections which I exhibited and sold at London pop up stores and events from Shoreditch House to West Elm and We Built This City. I now have a local stockist in Leytonstone but the real bread and butter for my business is being commissioned to design bespoke city icon prints. Through word of mouth and Instagram, I have now designed and sold over 50 bespoke commissions – all from humble hobby beginnings. My job in media gave me the confidence and contacts to be able to kick-start something that has changed my life and this passion has become a huge part of who I am and how I keep a balanced lifestyle. But most important of all it gives me a new challenge and focus which inspires and motivates me everyday and has undoubtedly propelled me into my recent appointment of mec Wavemaker’s Creative Lead.

If You Could Only Take One Thing To A Desert Island, What Would You Choose And Why?

I didn’t want to be over smart or really over think the answer, and I also thought that there are two ways of thinking about the answer:

a)     Choose something for survival

b)     Choose something for entertainment

But after a minute or so of consideration (and after discarding things that momentarily popped into my head that require a powered device and WiFi to function – Spotify/Netflix) I thought of something that I personally would not want to be without and would genuinely help keep my sanity if I were stuck on an island. And that item is a notepad & pen.

Why? Because I’ve watched enough The Island Bear Grylls and I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here to know that boredom is the #1 killer and god I get bored easily.

With a notepad and pen there are limitless things to how I could use it whilst putting my creative brain to use. Here are just a few things I would do:

  • Write a diary – obvious, yes, but if you survive long enough to be a national and international hero, think of the book deal I would get telling my story
  • Song writing –I could write a whole album, not that anyone listens to whole albums these days but I would have enough material to be more than a one-hit wonder at least·        
  • Drawing/sketching/doodling/designing – I run my own graphic design business Laura Alice Prints so being stuck on an island with just a pen and notepad would actually be a welcome call right now. I could use the time to design my next range of homeware, use my surroundings as inspiration for new patterns and icons, and finish writing my brand guidelines and story that I have been trying to finish for the last few months!
  • Jotting down that next big brainwave of an idea – I always get random ideas thinking I am on to a winner and the most frustrating thing would be not being able to write them down (even if the next day I look back and think, god that was shit) the last idea I had was an instant digital polaroid camera that lets you choose an Instagram filter before it is dispensed (you heard it here first – IP of Laura Robinson)
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