My name is Morgan Philippi, you can call me Mo. I am a bit of a designer, a bit of an illustrator, a bit of an artist and one time I was almost bit by a vampire.
My father is a plumber and my mother is a nurse. I have four brothers, one of which, is my conjoined twin. Yep, he was attached to me by the arm at birth. We had twelve bathrooms in our house growing up and slept in hospital beds.
I started my career in art, painting portraits on the subway for tips. Most of the tips I received were things like “Hey that doesn’t look like me,” or “I think it should be a different color,” and “Get a job you (expletive deleted) hippie.”
Taking what I learned as an artist, I cut my teeth in advertising and worked summers for my dad. I was always trying to convince our dad to choose my identical twin, a similar, but the far superior product for the hard physical labor. Unfortunately, we each ended up with about 50% of the hard physical labor market share.
As I pursued my BFA, the thick skin I had built up early on really helped me with my professors at St. Cloud State University. They continued to give me great advice about my designs, such as “Hey that doesn’t look like me,” or “I think it should be a different color,” and “Get a job you (expletive deleted) hippie.” These tips actually did help me put together a great senior portfolio and get a great design internship in Alaska. I spent 3 months in Anchorage designing everything from “Beware of Grizzly Bear” signs to “Beware of Moose” signs. I think the tourists really understood my work, the moose and bear maulings were at an all-time low.
After my internship I returned to Minnesota to find the house I grew up in was no longer, not unlike Luke Skywalker’s return to Tatooine. After I vowed to destroy the sand people, I met Melissa – the love of my life – and we traveled around the galaxy for a while, not unlike Luke and Obi-Wan. Well more so like Han and Chewy… Jabba and Leia???
In our travels we spent a winter living the dream in Washington and working at a mountain ski resort. Melissa in the rental shop and I as a lifty. We snowboarded every day, and all winter long. I ended up designing the uniforms for the lifties and realized, I wanted to continue my career as a graphic designer. As soon as winter ended and the snow melted we headed to Duluth for 2 more months of winter.
I took a position in a print shop as the graphic designer. There were two other positions at the print shop, the printer and the customer service rep, and at times I was required to do all three.
We decided to move back to St. Cloud so one of us could get our Masters degree. Melissa lost the coin toss, so she was the one who had to go back to school and study for the next two years. Meanwhile, I worked at a few more places as a graphic designer, honing my skills waiting for a job at Gaslight Creative to become available. Melissa finished grad school, we got married in a tabernacle, and we are about to move into our first house together.
Two weeks ago, I somehow convinced Jodie and Kelly to hire me through a series of grueling interviews and tests in which I passed with an impressive 97% combined score with a +/- 3 margin of error. Since I started, everyone at Gaslight Creative has been very nice, welcoming me and complementing me on my work by saying things such as, “Hey that doesn’t look like me,” or “I think it should be a different color,” and “Get a job you (expletive deleted) hippie.”
All of which actually do help me produce a better final product for our clients.