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News > Alumni News > Molly Grover (Class of 2013) on finding her design niche underpinned by rest

Molly Grover (Class of 2013) on finding her design niche underpinned by rest

Ahead of her appearance at this years SHAPE I caught up with Molly Grover about her career in design and what's she has been up to since leaving Oxford Falls Grammar in 2013.
20 Feb 2020
Written by Merryn Parks
Australia
Alumni News
Molly Grover (right) on assignment in the studio
Molly Grover (right) on assignment in the studio

I caught up with Molly Grover (Class of 2013) about her career journey since leaving Oxford Falls Grammar School. As an industry professional working in design and technology, Molly will be speaking to students as part of the program and exhibition of SHAPE; the annual showcase of HSC major works from Design & Technology, Industrial Technology and Textiles & Design to be held at the Museum of Applied Arts & Science


Photo credit: Joshua Heath
 

Molly: During my HSC year in 2013 I attended a weekend short course at Ultimo TAFE to prepare me to study fashion design. After doing this, I realised that I wasn’t keen on studying fashion after all! 

Merryn: What was it about the weekend course that turned you off fashion design?

Molly: The course was excellent, and I'd encourage anyone interested in fashion design to give it a try. In the end, it just didn't feel right for me. I discovered that illustration, which isn't really my strongest suit, is a huge part of fashion design, and I could see that it was going to be a struggle for me. Since studying design and working in the industry, I've started to better understand what my strengths are. For example, conceptual design comes really naturally to me, whereas illustration takes a bit more practice.

Merryn: How did you decide what to study after leaving OFGS?

After attending a few university open days, I was drawn to the Bachelor of Design, majoring in Visual Communication at UTS. I didn’t fully understand what this degree entailed, but it looked interesting. I completed my Bachelor from 2014-2016 and then went on to complete an Honours year in 2017 graduating with First Class Honours.


Photo: Molly and her graduating Honours class.


Molly: After my final year of intense study, I was very tired, and felt the need to spend some time resting and prioritising my relationship with God. The idea of stepping away from the design world immediately after graduating was a scary one, but I took the leap and spent a year studying Leadership and Ministry at c3 College. This was amazing, and just what I needed. During that year, I came across an internship at Grumpy Sailor, a creative technology studio in Redfern. I’d visited this studio a couple of years earlier as part of a university subject, and had been following their work ever since. I was fortunate to be awarded the internship, and completed it while I was at c3 College.  Shortly after completing the internship I was offered a full-time position as a Visual and Concept Designer at Grumpy, where I’ve been for a year now.

Merryn: What strategies have you learned to keep a balance (spiritual, physical, emotional, work, family) in your life these days?

Molly: Rest is absolutely the most important strategy I've learned. Unfortunately, in the decade we're in, almost all of us can relate to feelings of deep tiredness and burnout – even teenagers! Everything just moves so unsustainably fast. Rest is a radical resistance to the 24/7 world that has become our normal, and is something I've been giving a lot of attention to over the past few years. Right now, for me, this looks like having a Sabbath: one day per week where I don't do anything productive. In deliberately stopping, I'm trusting God that He will provide for me, and that the world will keep turning without me. Learning how to rest helps you to see everything in a new light: your priorities, your use of time, your relationship to technology, and more. I'm very passionate about this topic, so much so that I designed a website about it for my Honours Project! 


Photo: A screen shot of from Molly’s Honours work on rest. Click here to view the interactive site.


Merryn: At what point in your studies did you decide you wanted to specialise in interactive design?

Molly: I wanted a career in design before I went to university. But in terms of the particular branch of design I've ended up in (experimental interactive design for cultural institutions), I didn't fully understand what that was until I started doing it! For my Honours project, I started to narrow in on conceptual, interactive design and coding. But even by the end of the degree, I still hadn't landed on the 'perfect' area of design for me (to be honest, I don't think there is only one). It hasn't been until getting out and working that I've really started to get a feel for what I do/don't like. Before working at Grumpy, I explored a handful of other experiences, including working at a branding studio, as a freelancer, and as an in-house graphic designer. To encourage those who aren't sure about what their career will look like, I'm still not sure. Some days I feel like doing something completely non-creative, like accounting! But design is working for me right now. Who knows what I'll be up to in 10 years!

Merryn: What kind of projects do you work on at Grumpy Sailor?

So far I’ve worked on a variety of projects some of which include: an interactive room for a sports museum, a logo for a tech startup, a touch screen experience for students learning about car safety, and an interactive sign for a sustainable shopping centre.

 [To check out some of Molly and her colleagues work at Grumpy Sailor Creative visit grumpysailor.com]

Merryn: What has stretched you the most in your career to date?

Taking a year off in 2018. Stopping for a year has forever changed the way I relate to my career and to ambition. It stretched me to let go of all my momentum, and to trust God to provide me with the right opportunities at the right time.

Merryn: And finally casting your mind back what is your strongest memory as an Oxford Falls Grammar student?

Molly: Feeling very much at home.

Molly has a range of creative pursuits, including designing jewelry. To see the latest of her work visit mollygrover.com.
SHAPE 2019 opens at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences on 29 February 2020 and closes on 3 May 2020.

 


Photo: Molly and some friendly OFGS faces (Mrs De Guio and Mrs Doak) at her presentation on March 4, 2020

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