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The Jacky Winter Group – 5 questions with Meredith Forrester

19th April, 2012
Jenny Butler
Thursday 19th April 2012

Today we meet The Jacky Winter Group's intern, Meredith Forrester! Scoring this highly desirable internship comes with a whole suitcase of knowledge, exciting experiences and many lessons learnt along the way. Thanks to Jeremy for another ace interview! - Jenny x

Hello Meredith Forrester!

Every leap year, when the moon is high, and the temperature just right, we shine the Jacky Winter searchlight (which resembles something like this) which indicates that our Work Experience program has begun.

Much like The Hunger Games, young men and women fight to the death in Collingwood to determine the victor, who is then privy to the seedy underbelly of Jacky Winter, including unsanctioned dog-fights, bootlegging, and being force-fed Mac OSX keyboard shortcuts. One lucky intern, a Miss Meredith Forrester has lived through this harrowing experience to tell her tale:

Jeremy Wortsman (JW): Meredith! Thank you so much for all your help, you have been amazing. Tell us a bit more about how you came to be involved with JW, and what horrible and boring things we have made you do.

Meredith Forrester (MF): I got on board last year when Charlotte hired me as a volunteer manning the Lamington Drive gallery at Chadstone, and have helped out at JW HQ whenever I’ve been summoned since. I’ve done things like pass out beers at LD openings and fold a thousand cardboard folios with Megan Hess prints for VIP Chadstone shoppers. While interning, the organisational nerd in me has been satisfied with some digital portfolio filing, and I’ve had the chance to work on some pretty exciting designing and writing jobs for upcoming promo material and this week’s Field Trip!

JW: Before you started your work experience period inside our offices, what were your expectations or perceptions of what went on behind the scenes, and how does that compare to the reality of the day-to-day activities that you have witnessed?

MF: Whoa, an office full of creativity and creativeness, working with an awesome bunch of awesome creatives! Sounds amazingly rad and dream-like. And in all honesty, it still is — because it’s so much more than that! I hadn’t realised how much goes on behind the scenes every day, like a million phone calls and emails and and cups of tea, while chasing up jobs and pitches with insanely quick turnarounds and liaising with artists and clients. And the guys here handle it all with so much love and professionalism; it’s been the most inspiring insight into a creative agency a girl could ask for.

2011 edition of Invisible Ink Anthology- Meredith was the head designer of this book

JW: Like everyone else here, you have an eclectic background with and currently studying Professional Writing and Editing. What made you pursue this path? Do you you think that creatives can improve their practice by honing this skill?

MF: I’ve always had a penchant for spotting spelling mistakes and offensive punctuation. After a few years of not being entirely satisfied with my design career, and realising I took a bit of sneaky pride in being called things like ‘Correct-a-tron 3000’, I thought perhaps it was time to add ‘and an editing qualification’ to the end of ‘that girl with the obnoxious red pen’.

Studying PWE has opened my eyes to all aspects of the publishing world, and what’s really exciting is realising how linked it is with the land of design. I was head designer of the 2011 edition of the RMIT-based Visible Ink anthology, The screen door snaps, and also learnt a mountain of useful lessons about book publishing, editing and promotion through that process. And while knowing things like when to use apostrophes can really help a designer avoid embarrassing typos being sent to print, it’s also learning things like writing concisely and in plain English that are amazing skills to apply when you’re working on a book, a brochure, or emailing a particularly nerve-frazzling hypothetical client.

Billie, wondering if he can reach Meredith's lunch!

JW: What advice and/or warnings would you give someone looking to do work experience at Jacky Winter?

MF: Keep food out of reach of Billie and Levi! Be yourself, and don’t worry about being nervous, as everyone is awesomely lovely and friendly and supportive. You will be offered more tea than you can possibly drink. Be confident in your skills, get stuck into any job, be it mailing or filing or researching or whatever, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Remember your attentive hat: you’ll soak up so much knowledge just by hanging in the office, surrounded by the JW team of superstars. Oh, and bake brownies. Every day. That’s your warning.

Some of Meredith's illustrations, see more at her tumblr here

JW: What are your plans when you finish up in a few weeks? Do you have anything special you want to plug while the spotlight is on?

MF: I’ll continue to work away at uni for the rest of the year, and intern wherever else will have me, though they’ll have some big shoes to fill! Then next year, it’s hello New York (hopefully), as I’m dreaming of exploring the possibilities in the creative and publishing worlds over there. It’s hard not to have been inspired to pick up a pencil and be creative again after being immersed in the JW world, so I’ll keep up with my illustration and perhaps later in the year will finally realise a long-held dream of putting on my own exhibition. If you’d like to, you can check out my drawings and other things that I see and find that are awesome on my tumblr.

- Jeremy

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email