In Conversation with Egyptian Creative Marsy Creates Things

We journeyed through a vortex of visual delights with the founder and mastermind behind everyone’s favorite boutique creative agency @marsycreatesthings to talk all things funky, fresh and out of the box. Mariam Makram-Ebeid aka the eponymous Marsy has whipped up an irreverent mix of quirky and playful graphics that have found a home across a diversity of mediums from logos and album art for some of the biggest names in the biz to stickers, merchandise and even her very own smash-hit game. The Cairo-based woman of all hats cannot be defined by just one title but opts to call herself a creative because “it’s a wide enough term and a big enough box that allows me to do whatever random thing I feel like doing and just label under that ‘creative’ umbrella” she says to #TheHabibiEdit.

From selling “the ridiculous things we come up with, namely Mesh Ader Social Club merchandise” at @themarsyshop to secretly manifesting a call from Pixar to pursue her voiceover dreams, Marsy is a creative force to be reckoned with and she has only scratched the surface of her full potential.

Give us a little background on Marsy – Who is the face behind the graphics?

I tend to call myself a creative because it’s a wide enough term and a big enough box that allows me to do whatever random thing I feel like doing and just label under that ‘creative’ umbrella. More specifically though, I run a little creative boutique agency (@marsycreatesthings). We collaborate with brands on merchandise, do artwork for artists & musicians, branding as well as scripts & copywriting for ads.

Then there’s @themarsyshop, which is where we sell all the ridiculous things we come up with, namely Mesh Ader Social Club merchandise as well as Smashed, the Jenga-like game we released last summer. And on a personal level, I also do some VoiceOver work for brands & ads, which I really love to do. Bonus: I’m currently the voice of the Zooba hotline.

.How did you get started?

I’ve been in the creative industry for about eight years now. I started out at an advertising agency in Amsterdam which then turned into a permanent job at a global agency here in Cairo for a few years, right before I decided to fly solo.

How does your educational and cultural background influence your work?

I’ve been so blessed to be surrounded by so many incredible creatives throughout the years, and exposed to such exceedingly good work, which is what I feel really shaped me as a creative. The bar is super high and I’m always just trying to reach for it.

Do you have a background in graphic design?

I actually have zero previous background in design. YouTube tutorials and incessantly pestering my designer friends to help me figure Photoshop & Illustrator is how I really learnt. The course I took at University of the Arts in London was less focused on technical skill and way more focused on how to think (and how to stop thinking), coming up with a solid idea and how to pitch it. When I start working in the real world, I was actually a copywriter, but that never really felt like enough for me so eventually, I just kinda jumped in the deep end of design.

How did you come to refine your work to reflect your current style?

I don’t know if I’ve refined my work per se but I do feel I’m starting to really ease into a quirky, sarcastic, weird kind of aesthetic, and it’s all very much experimentation on experimentation, and trial on error on error on error on error. I just kind of mess around and eventually stop when I love how it’s looking.

.What do you hope to deliver to people through your designs?

I just really really have fun creating things that I hope people have as much fun consuming.

What’s your inspiration? Who do you look up to creatively?

If we’re talking Egyptian talent, I love and super-look up to @yousabry, @varatenseva, @hammoud_3000, @omarmobarek of Unty, @maenein of Maram, @dexternavy, and of course, the great Ali Ali @alitwotimes. And that’s really just scratching the surface. On a global level, I love the way Tyler the Creator creates and curates his world. He just does what he thinks is cool. He once rented out a bunch of cinemas across the states and just had them play some of his favorite movies. He called his brand Golf for no reason other than the fact that he likes the way the letters look together. That’s my kind of creative.

Where do you see your direction going? How has your style evolved?

I just want to keep making and creating fun things & content for people to enjoy. The dream would be a podcast. I would also love to get into directing music videos. More album artwork. Definitely want to keep doing voiceovers – secretly manifesting a call from Pixar one day.

What’s the creative process behind creating the perfect design?

Ugh I wish it were that easy. The process for every project is different and you really never know where it’ll end up. I will say though part of my creative process is to go all out in the brainstorm phase, and then refine from there. But always start big and work your way down. And hope for the best.

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