Thoughts on a MHP Internship

Reflecting on my time interning at Meridian Hill Pictures always brings a knowing smile to my face. My name is Emily Moses and I am a senior at Frostburg State University majoring in Graphic Design while minoring in Small Business/Entrepreneurship.  Last summer I worked as a Graphic Design intern at Meridian Hill Pictures, creating promotional graphics, original illustrations, and package designs to advertise MHP’s PictureHouse events, film screenings at the Hillyer Art Space, and outdoor film screenings in parks across DC.

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As an emerging artist and graphic designer, this internship was exactly the opportunity I needed to get experience, test out my existing creative instincts, and see how I could apply them all to real world scenarios. What really sold me about MHP and made me want to work for the studio is how meaningful MHP’s work is and how much of a positive effect it has on the people involved in the filmmaking process — from those behind the camera to those participating in the film itself. I was smitten with the work I would be doing right from my first assignment, when they sent me home with the documentary, The Vigil, telling the story of a Washington D.C. based Pakistani dancer on a mission to carry on the practice and performance of traditional Hindu dance, something that had been outlawed in Pakistan for quite awhile. I watched the film at least five times in a row, moved by it more every time. I couldn’t wait to get back in the studio and start designing the promotional flyer.

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I identify very deeply with the mission at MHP and how community oriented the business is. Working at the studio put me right in the middle of a dynamic team, and very creative environment. I was overflowing with creative ideas and energy all summer long. I have found that for me as an artist, the type of environment where I work has a significant effect on the quality of work I produce. In the environment at the studio, while I had the necessary support, direction, and guidance that I needed, I also felt like I had the creative freedom to be whatever I wanted to be and design whatever I wanted to see come to life. That feeling and that freedom is an extremely rare find for an internship or a job. I have suffered through many internships where all that I was allowed to do was organize the closet or type the labels for the bins the graphics were being stored in.

I love that MHP is located in Columbia Heights, right in the middle of an active neighborhood, and in close proximity to Adams Morgan. While the commute from Anne Arundel County could be a bit long (and once landed me on CNN for taking a video of passengers walking along the metro tracks during an intense heat wave!) Columbia Heights is a perfect fit for the studio and only made the experience more fun. I love the team-oriented environment in the studio. I loved the other interns and especially logging footage — getting to see firsthand the magic of all that Ellie, Lance and Brandon do. I loved the studio as a whole.

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After working at MHP, I can see the growth that I’ve made as a designer, and an artist, having learned from the positive example set in the studio. After getting to test out some of my better techniques and tactics at the studio, I have continued to develop my style as a designer/illustrator/photographer and was able to bring all of my experience to my current job at school and boost my portfolio. Currently I work on a Social Marketing Team, marketing events and causes on our campus to students. I just completed my first gallery opening and my Senior Thesis Exhibition. I am also testing the waters combining my love of art and community service in coordinating, promoting and hosting a local art showing and sale within the Frostburg community. All proceeds and money made on the artwork sold will be donated to the Allegheny County Animal Shelter. I plan on moving to DC upon my graduation in May.

No matter where life takes me, I will always look back on my time at Meridian Hill Pictures, grateful for my experiences and connections that I made.

Check out Emily’s online portfolio here: http://www.behance.net/goemilymo 

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