Genue Inc.
September 29, 2017

Genuinely You: Maggie Wraight


Massachusetts raised Maggie Wraight is a college senior studying history and art/art history, while also a co-captain of the varsity field hockey team at St. Lawrence University. In addition to managing the demanding schedule of a college athlete, Maggie still makes time to create incredible works of art–including custom collages of people’s homes, among others. Read on to hear Maggie’s life dream (hint: it involves family & food), how she creates even when she’s not inspired, and about her awesome summer internship at Boston’s Olives & Grace.



Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? 

My name is Maggie Wraight, I grew up in a very loving, creative, and tight-knit home in Southborough, MA. I am currently a senior at St. Lawrence University where I play field hockey and double major in History and Art/Art History. I love being active through sports and exercise and my interests involve anything that allows me to be creative, especially cooking, baking, and crafting. In the future, I hope to have a profession that allows me to do so, perhaps through some sort of design or lifestyle role. In a perfect world, I would get to spend my days creating in the kitchen with my mom and sister – maybe one day opening up our own food store/café.



How did you get started with your art?

I’ve had a passion for art throughout my entire childhood, but it wasn’t until I got to high school that I began thinking about it in a more serious way. Before that point, I had only thought of art as a hobby, partly because I had only ever worked with very basic and available materials. When I began taking high school art classes I really began learning more about different techniques and styles and had the benefit of exploring many different media under great teachers. From this time came my love for both collaging and painting – two things that I have since been able to develop and evolve as side art projects.



Collaging! That’s awesome! How did you get started with this kind of project?

This hobby began in high school when we were assigned to make a collage of something that was close to our heart, so I chose to do my house. I gave it to my mom who loved it and hung it up, and from there it was kind of a ripple effect. Friends and family started seeing ours and asking for personal commissions, which I’ve now probably done about 20 of. My favorite part is seeing the reaction of the person when it’s finally done, especially because it’s often times given as a gift so they’re completely surprised (if I get tears it’s a real victory!) The process is quite long but I absolutely love doing it and I love familiarizing myself with the details of each unique house. I work from photographs and construct the collages completely out of scraps that I find in magazines, using scissors and a mini paper cutter. I try to make the collages look as realistic and accurate as possible. It usually takes me about a month to complete a collage (depend on how much time I’m able to give to it per day). A great deal of the time is spent flipping through old magazines and finding the exact right colors or textures that I need. You wouldn’t believe the stacks of magazines that our friends and family save for me.



Do you have any daily routines or rhythms?

My days tend to play out differently day-to-day but I always try to start my mornings by taking the time to make a yummy breakfast and slowly wake up. I hate the feeling of being rushed, so if I know that I need to be out early in the morning then I’ll adjust my wake up accordingly to allow for that downtime. My days almost always include some kind of physical activity, usually going to the gym, and some type of creative activity, whether I intend to or not. This second is often harder because of my busy college schedule, but I’m usually able to work in at least one studio course into my schedule per semester. This is my favorite couple of hours, a few times a week, where I can forget everything else, unwind and zone out for a bit.



Where do you draw inspiration from? And how does that fit into your creative process?

I would like to say that I’m constantly drawing inspiration from my surroundings but for me, that’s really not the case. I tend to be truly inspired by things less frequently, but when I see something I am instantly drawn to it/can’t stop thinking about it. This generally comes in the form of photographs, quotes, fashion, or vintage images. I also love bold, fun patterns. I pull from many different things for a single piece, often adding and adjusting. I am particularly fascinated with mixing different patterns, styles, media, and techniques as you can see in some of my pieces.



What’s your favorite thing about making art and creating?

My favorite thing about making art and creating is that there are no expectations. It’s excitingly open-ended and there’s so much room to change your mind or switch directions, which is very important for an indecisive person like me! I love the element of surprise that comes, both from yourself and others, when you can enjoy what you’ve created. The art that you create can elicit any feeling or emotion that you want it to, which I find to be extremely exciting.



We heard you’re an intern at the Boston shop, Olives & Grace. How awesome! What was your internship like?

This summer I was fortunate enough to have an amazing internship at Olives and Grace, working closely with Sofi, the owner and main visionary. My primary role this summer has been to collaborate with Sofi on different projects for the shop to use both currently, and in the future. This ranges from creating labels, cards, working on layouts, and lending my artistic opinion whenever it could be of assistance. The biggest project that we just completed was the label for a candle that Olives & Grace is creating in collaboration with Prosperity Candle, which creates these small-batch soy wax candles that are hand poured by women artisans. The company benefits female refugees, so it’s a really unique and special partnership that gives back.



What was the process of creating the candle label like?

I more enjoy working with my hands and creating on paper, then taking a picture or converting it to a digital format (often with the help of a kind friend), as was the case with the candle label.  I actually don’t have any experience with graphic design – it’s something that I’d love to learn more about! Personally, I just find much more freedom in hand drawing – I’m extremely meticulous and particular when it comes to my work so I’m constantly erasing, changing and tweaking, which I feel more comfortable doing by hand.



Do you have an overall design or maker philosophy?

I’d have to borrow from Elizabeth Gilbert and say: “Create the things you wish existed.”



Genue celebrates designers, makers, and creatives that are unabashedly themselves. What does it mean to be “genuinely you”?

For me, being “genuinely you” means being unforgiving about what you’re creating. Making a piece that shows your style in a way that you’re proud of, despite how others may feel about it.


Thanks so much, Maggie! We can’t wait to see what else you create!

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