Chekii: How do you think growing up in Doncaster influenced the Make Your Own Master's project?
Stacie: I do struggle with it sounding like a sob story, but nobody from my school went on to study a creative subject – if you were going to study art, you’d become an art teacher. Only about 10% of my school went to university; it wasn’t necessarily an obvious path. I did an art foundation at Leeds College of Art and then went on to do my degree in Graphic Design at Kingston University.
Chekii: How do you think your degree shaped the work you create today?
Stacie: It was a Graphic Design course, but it didn’t necessarily produce graphic designers. It was much more about developing experimental thought processes. I ended up leaving with a portfolio of small social experiments and lots of mini inventions.
Chekii: What were your first jobs?
Stacie: My first [job] was with a company called Candy Mechanics, which made 3-D lollipops out of people’s faces. I then went into advertising, but it really didn’t click. If you don’t slot into a commercial world, the obvious route is to do an MA, but it soon became obvious that I couldn’t afford one. My family are my biggest cheerleaders, but the financial aspect just wasn’t an option.
Chekii: When did the idea of MYOM develop?
Stacie: I was doing an internship at the time, and I remember thinking, ‘why don’t you just make your own master’s?’. I am a designer: designers solve problems, and I had hit a real problem for myself that needed a solution. I emailed design specialists I admired [Thomas Thwaites, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, Seetal Solanki…], asking them to set me a brief and within a week most of them got back to me.