Meet Collaborator and Expert Mama Meg Gleason of Mōglea

Meg was a senior when I was a freshman at Iowa State. While we only had (maybe) two brief interactions at school, she always left a strong impression on me with both her thoughtfulness and her creativity. (If I still remember that llama poster from 2007, it must have been darn good, am I right?).

Fast forward to 2015 when she spent a whole day giving me a tour of the gorgeous Mōglea studio in Audobon, Iowa (they’re now based in Des Moines) while I was an Adobe Creative Resident. She’s encouraged and mentored me over the years, in more ways than she can possibly even know. I think the world of her and I’m thrilled that we got to join forces with her on this dream collaboration. —Tubby Todd Art Director, Becky Simpson

We caught up with Meg to find out what she's up to now:

Q: How do encourage your kids when it comes to art/creativity?
A: Our kids are 10 and 12. We’ve always pushed them towards creative expression, but I think it’s been a really easy and organic thing since both of us are designers. A lot of that encouragement can be exposure to good design at a young age (talking about design, looking at good design together), but also creating space in their playtime to make sure they always have creative tools available. With Mōglea, we’ve been lucky to always have a lot of creative tools around (paint, paper, scraps, wood, tools) for them to just be comfortable with making things.

"A lot of creativity can happen with limitation, just a pencil and paper."

We also just encourage them to be okay with being bored and figuring things out. I think in some ways it’s not easier to do something creative. It can require more thought and challenge, so we might have to plant a seed for creativity some days. We might say, “today you should make shields and have a knight battle.” We do want them to figure out ideas of what to do and make from time to time. A lot of creativity can happen with limitation, just a pencil and paper.

The kids are used to having very limited spaces to play in (often playing under our desks or in a nearby inventory aisle), since space has always been a challenge for the business. This additional limitation in some ways has really helped them to figure things out on their own. They painted a lot when they were younger, but now their expression has much more thoughtfulness and depth. They will pair type with their pictures OR build toy shed out of wood for a specific lego design. I love seeing them grow as artists, and we look forward to seeing the amazing things they do. 

Q: Does your family have any artistic/creative rituals or traditions?
A: Mōglea is so busy, so Chad and I feel that the pace of our life always needs to be slowed down, with less hurry and more rest. I would say a creative ritual for us is just being outside, and we make sure to do this every weekend. We are refreshed with rest, fresh air and seeing new spaces together. This usually looks like a bike ride or just a snowy walk together.

Q: What boundaries set you up for success when it comes to being an artist/business owner?
A: Running and exercise is huge for us. We have so many stresses during the day. My days haven’t felt predictable in 10 years, so having a constant time to exercise, think and pray is really vital to our my success. I also come up with so many good ideas while running.

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