Ametti Muse: Meagan Cignoli
Ametti Muse: Meagan Cignoli
Welcome to our monthly Ametti Muse feature, an exciting series where we will interview female bosses in the creative, tech, science, and finance industries. These women are breaking barriers and sharing with us the good, the bad and the in-between! Meet Meagan, the woman behind Visual Country and our first muse. Keep reading to learn more about her inspirations and travel essentials.
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
They would be surprised to know that I have a huge fear of rejection. When I send work I care about to someone or when I put it out there I hold my breath and make myself very busy to try and forget that it’s out there for the world or for someone in particular to see.
What's your biggest pet-peeve?
My biggest pet peeve is lateness.
Who is your spirit animal?
Hummingbirds are my spirit animals. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one or noticed one until I moved to LA and now my yard is filled with them and I love to watch them flutter around.
Why did you start Visual Country?
It developed quite naturally - I was getting a lot of requests from brands and couldn’t handle the work load on my own. Rather than turning away clients, Amber and I started the business and hired more people to our team. It’s been six years since then and the work has evolved a lot in that time.
How do you define creative?
Creative can mean a lot of things. Most anything can be creative or have an element of creativity. My creativity comes out in my photography, my garden, absolutely my home and my work environment. Spaces and design are very important to me, so I like to surround myself by spaces that are nicely art directed.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Focus on your health. Follow your instincts. Travel just as much. Take risks. Move to California (this weather is hard to beat). Remind myself that I have the answers I need and I am enough.
The people who inspire me are…
I’m inspired by illustrator Anne Bentley. By artist JR. I’m inspired by someone I don’t know much about but Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is really brave and it’s inspiring. On a sometimes unpopular note, I’m inspired by the Kardashians because to run so many businesses, be public facing, make time for your family and friends and to care for them the way they seem to while taking care of their health and faith - it’s impressive. They also remain very creative. This is a balance that most people dream of and I admire that a lot.
What impact did studying in Cuba have on you?
Cuba taught me the beauty of disconnecting, relaxing, but also working really hard at the same time. It taught me that it’s exhausting to speak another language all day and mostly it taught me about family. People there are tight in a way I’m not used to. When you live in a regime like that and are not allowed to leave your country, and are not given real news or real rights, you form great bonds with your family, friends and neighbors. I learned a lot of amazing lessons in my time there.
You have worked with some awesome brands - after a project, how do you take feedback without compromising your brand?
Feedback is an important and unavoidable part of any client work. To be successful in advertising, you need to have thick skin and take feedback well. It involves educating each other on both sides and creating something that we think is great within the brands guidelines and voice. Some projects are more collaborative, some rely on us to really direct creative, and some we are focused more on bringing to life an agency or brands vision.
What are three essentials you ALWAYS travel with?
Gum and airplane ear-plugs for take-off and landing. My B&O PLAY headphones. A blanket like scarf for plane because they are freezing.
Do you have a pet? And if so, how do you manage traveling with them? Any tips?
I have a Pug Stevie. Stevie is almost 11, so she doesn’t travel much anymore. When she was younger she would fly all over with us. Tips are, always have snacks, and bones. Have a toy. Get a bag with wheels! Travel dog bags with wheels are the best.