El McDonald.

Studio Manager / Project Director

As our highly organised and super efficient Studio Manager and Project Director, El oversees the production of all projects, creative services and in-house resources, ensuring we’re operating in tip-top shape, getting work done on time and to budget. 

Often sporting a colourful collection of threads, plus her signature pair of frames, El loves working closely with Coast Account Managers/Design Leads to take briefs and keep all staff well-informed about the status of work in progress.

Aside from being an expert communicator, El is pretty much our ‘project oracle’; a critical member of the Coast creative team, always able to discuss the status of any job – big or small. And just like a sudoku master, El is one step ahead of the game ensuring a plan is always in place to deliver creative solutions, in the most strategic and efficient way possible; always with a smile on her dial and a song in her heart.

 

Get to know me.

1. What is your favourite thing about working at Coast?

Firstly. My colleagues. Seriously they are the best. Everyone is so awesome at what they do and it’s a pleasure to work alongside them and see everyone in action. 

Secondly. Our Clients. There’s no projects without our clients! Clients make every day unique and interesting! Working on other people’s brands and websites means get to dip our toes into so many different industries from coffee, to CNC milling, from City Council work to small business.

2. How are you creative or innovative in your role at Coast?

So much of my creativity or innovation is behind the scenes. I’m always striving to make our projects run more and more efficiently, to have the best processes to ensure that communication channels are clear, projects run smoothly. So when I can implement a change that means our team can do something even better, so something becomes easier for our clients, I feel on top of the world.

3. Describe the vibe at Coast and why you chose to work there

The vibe here in the studio is awesome. Coming together to creatively solve problems on behalf of our clients means that we work hard, think laterally and have a ‘can-do’ attitude in everything. And when challenges are big and sometimes things are really hard? Well someone will always send a well-timed meme on our team google chat that has me laughing in no time. I don’t feel like I ever suffer from “Mondayitis” I look forward to the energy and dedication (and the coffee!) every week

4. What unique flavour you bring to the team?

Strawberry.

5. If you were a character from a famous film or book, who would you be and why?

If I could choose to go into any book, I’d be Thursday Next from Jasper Fforde’s series. Thursday Next is a literary crime fighting detective who goes inside books within a parallel, futuristic, time travelling world. It’s a pretty crazy read!  I’d love to be her character because it completely appeals to the nerdy, book loving side of me and also the adventurers side of me. The adventures whilst sometimes dark, are also humorous and always unexpected. Fine fun all round! I’d step into Thursday Next’s shoes any day.

6. What is your fav piece of clothing?

I have heaps of absolute faves, at the moment my top 3 are a pair of beaded earrings that look like chocolate freckles, my Gorman Palm Farm dress and a grey Roots t-shirt that used to belong to my hubby that I’ve now claimed as my own

7. What is your vice when faced with a challenge?

Coffee. Is there even anything else? 

Ha – but also… when I was a younger, wide eyed and fresh out of university my first major job was working in a fancy pants corporate office in Sydney. I received some awesome advice from a colleague who had been in the game for longer than I had been alive… she said that in stressful situations to think of a swan. Glide calm and collected on the surface and paddle like crazy under the water. So I guess this is how I face challenges – tackle the solution and work hard but maintain a calm and positive vibe for my teammates and for our clients. No challenges were ever solved by freaking out, but by persistence and resilience. So pass me the coffee, and I’ll get to work! 

8. What would your proud Mum say about you?

Mum would be proud that I’m doing something that I both enjoy and that I can bring my skills and talents to contribute to.

9. Choose 3 words that best describe you

Positive, task orientated, gregarious