Interview with Michaela Megger
For today’s post I got to do an Interview with Michaela Megger, a passionate multi creative from Finland. I randomly found her on Instagram a few months back and fell in love with her hand made ceramic pieces.
Since then I also found out that’s not the only inspiring thing about her. She also works to help small brands create a clear, honest & beautiful brand messaging. In this interview we got to chat about all of it, so let’s get right to its shall we?
Tell us about Yourself & Your Journey
I’m a ceramic addict, designer, & a brand strategist. I’ve always been a very visual person, but I’m also highly strategic and very logically wired so this is a great fit for me. I currently live in Helsinki with my husband and daughter.
“I’m a person of the North”.
I absolutely love the cold weather here. I’ve always been drawn to harsh oceans and wind. The raw nature of the north is really attractive to me. I would also like to say I’m all about slow and simple living, but since we are currently living in the capital of Finland it’s not quite our reality yet.
I love to do things with my hands, to see results from what my hands can create. Creatively I’ve been doing so many different things throughout the years. I’ve done calligraphy, floral designs. I used to have an event design business where we did our own flowers. We explored what it would look like to be more sustainable in our approach to floral designs.
Eventually we sold this business and I’m now mainly working as a brand strategist and designer. I run my own company helping people create their visual branding in an honest, deep authentic way that reflects their own personal values.
Tell us about Your Journey with Ceramics
My journey with ceramics started with my friend asking me to join her in a pottery class. When the class was all booked, we started going to an open studio instead where you just pay to use the studio. I got hooked right away. Some of the first pieces I made were some vases for my friend’s wedding business, and then it just continued from there. For most of my life I’ve taught myself anything I want to learn and it was the same with ceramics. Learning things by myself has always been something I love. I do have a background studying business and tourism management but all the creative things I know have been either friend- or self-taught.
The culture here in Finland is oftentimes that people like to do things by the rules, but I often find the rules too limiting. To me, ceramics was an outlet. Something I do on the side. I intentionally don’t want it to become work so I would have to think about making money from it. This is something I have done with other projects and creative endeavors before, and after a while, the craft kind of lost it’s magic. I don’t want to lose the magic with ceramics.
“I do it for myself, not for money and not according to any rules”
How did you find Your specific Expression in your ceramics?
It’s just an expression that is very much an extension of me. It feels very close to nature with it’s raw and organic shapes. But it’s also very minimalistic with lots of white and lighter colors. Sometimes I find that a lot of the rawer pieces I’ve seen around tend to be a bit darker and moodier and kind of rough. I’ve always loved when the expression of the rawness is a little bit on the lighter side.
Tell us about Your Journey with Design & Brand Strategies
I got started thinking about brand messaging in our previous business. We were running a wedding and events business and eventually ended up splitting up the business into two different brands and worked on getting a clear message for both of them. As we relaunched it I did all of the branding myself, just out of my own intuitive strategies.
When I saw the success of that it got me thinking that this could be something I could do more of. As for my personality – my top 5 strengths according to cliftons strengthsfinder are strategy, ideation and activator, relating to others and input/learning. So, somehow branding is a strangely perfect fit for me.
How did Your Interest for Design Start?
I think its always been there for me. Art was always my favorite subject in school. But I never wanted to study it because it was too “artsy”/ I went to an entrance exam at art university and quickly found out it was not for me. It was not my vibe, not my crew. It would have been all about me and my own self expression, and I really don’t care about that much at all. For me, things need to have a function. I can’t just make art for art’s sake. There needs to be a purpose to what I create.
Where do You get Your Inspiration from?
I get inspiration from a lot of things. For my ceramics it’s mainly from nature and different raw materials, from the clay itself and the glazes I use. And I’m inspired by the function of what I’m making. Where am I gonna place it and use it? I want it both to be coordinated and not. I love imperfections in the pieces I create. I also get a lot of inspiration from people and their purpose. When it comes to brand design it’s always the person behind the brand and what they are inspired by that is my focus.
What are some Important things in Your Creative Process?
When it comes to my ceramics the main thing is that I need to be in the right mood. I work with both hand-building and on the wheel and when I work on the wheel it’s almost like meditation. I can’t work if I’m stressed for example. But once you’ve done something enough it’s almost like your muscle memory kicks in and it calms down your body. So, these days when I sit down behind the wheel, even if I’ve had a stressful day, I automatically relax.
I’m also very inspired by time, space, music and light. Today, I do all of my ceramics at home, and I have my wheel in the living room. So some days when the evening light hits the spot where I’m sitting and I’m listening to some good music I really get into a creative mode.
When it comes to branding I spend a lot of time getting to know the person behind the brand. Our initial call usually goes really deep and tears are pretty common too. I try to get down to the root of what drives a person to do what they do. To find their WHY. This is the most important thing. Once we’ve figured out the why we build everything else around it.
Your Favorite Brands, & Why?
I love buying from smaller brands and businesses and people who genuinely are so passionate about what they do and you can feel that passion in whatever they are making.
One of those brands is Jannik Abel. She’s a woodworking artist living in the norwegian woods. I love her storytelling and the feeling of her work.
Another one is Florian Gadsby. He’s a ceramic artist that is obsessed with perfecting each and every one of his designs. He works on it as long as he needs to to perfect it. Once he’s done that, he doesnt mass-produce, he makes a certain amount and with every shop-update, all of it sells out within moments. He shares long stories exactly of how he’s working with the clay and the glaze and every other little step of the process, and you can just feel his passion for what he does.
Lastly, Object Story is another brand I like. The person behind the brand is a great curator of different objects that she sells out of her shed. You can tell she really loves the makers she is buying from.
As a brand designer and strategist I am all about honesty, transparency and ethics. I get really turned off when it feels like someone is just using some shallow marketing strategies to sell something. But I’m really drawn to people and brands with sustainable values and strong ethics. It doesn’t have to be a big cause, but just that feeling of honesty and purpose makes a difference in what brands I like.
Your 3 Favorite Instagram accounts & Why?
@hildemork78 : This is my absolute favorite. Her feed is all about the countryside life, the sea, the nature and her life there. It has a cottagy scandinavian style and a lot of really slow living which I love.
@thewildatlanticway : I absolutely Love the irish west coast. It’s our dream to move there one day, and every photo I look at on this feed just makes me long for that even more. It’s like looking at home.
@abimarvel : Abi is such an inspiring powerhouse woman. She lives in London where she runs three different businesses. Her style is impeccable, and I love how she can be fabulous even if she gets lunch stains on her gorgeous outfit.
How would You describe Your Style?
I’m a bit messy, definitely not perfectly curated. I have a lot of ceramics everywhere and I would say I’m very scandinavian. I love nature and plants and all natural things. I don’t like plastic or synthetics. I’m both a minimalist in one way, but I’m also very sentimental about things so sometimes I have a hard time letting go of things I attach a lot of value to. And I can attach a lot of value to many different things – like beautiful stones I’ve found in different places. I’m kind of “Helsinki”, but also kind of not. I love a mix of wood, stone, and natural materials.
Fun Fact about You?
This one is always hard. Maybe that I have my pottery wheel in the living room. It gets really messy. I think we still have some clay splashes on the TV from my last ceramic session.
If you were an Interior Decor item or a piece of Furniture, what would You be & Why?
I would definitely be a table. A sturdy, rugged wooden one that’s a bit weird and wonky. But it has purpose and you can use it for so many different things. That’s kind of like me.
What are you Dreaming of for the Future?
This one is easy. My family and I are dreaming of moving to Ireland one day. Somewhere on the west coast by the ocean. We want to live in a more sustainable way with less things. We really don’t need that much. We want to grow our own garden and flowers there. And I want a pottery shed.
Last Question, Where can people Find You?
They can find my ceramics on my Instagram Account Kind Ceramics.
For a mix of a little bit of everything my personal Instagram account is Michaela Megger.
That’s all for today! We hope you enjoyed this inspiring interview with Michaela Megger as much as we did making it.
Until Next time,
(Goodbye in Swedish)
// Josefine from Scandinavian Style House