“Talent is a pursued interest. In other words, anything you are willing to practice, you can do.” Words stated by Bob Ross and put into practice by Creative Director at MedSource Labs (MSL), Anna Peterson.
Peterson manages a small but mighty marketing team comprised of all women and together they tell the story of MSL. She leads by example and her creative design adds an element of fun to the otherwise serious industry of medical devices. “MSL is not afraid to take chances on great design,” stated Peterson, “in fact, Todd Fagley CEO and founder of MSL, encourages me to flex my creative muscles.”
Although her team comprised of all women is merely coincidence, she feels that there are pros to this dynamic. “Women are nurturing and focused on the team’s success. This disposition lends itself to collaboration and adds an additional layer of support.” Said Peterson.
Peterson believes strongly in the power of mentorship and the power of women supporting women. Her greatest mentor, Heather Trosdahl, took Peterson under her wing and taught her about great design and applied composition. At the time, the two women worked creating spaces for restaurants across the United States. They had to work within the confines of physical objects, and unlike the digital world that allows you to resize something to make it fit, they had to find a way to make it work as is.
This has turned into Peterson’s creative process. She insists that design is a big game or puzzle, and approaches each project as such, moving the pieces around until they snap into place. She said there is a feeling she gets when something is done. Her eyes can relax, and she is visually at peace.
Peterson’s boss at the time was also a great leader and challenged her by saying, “Don’t quit because it’s good enough. Take it all the way.”
Time and time again she pushed herself to grow her design abilities. When her department was eliminated, she found herself needing to forge a new path and was considering going back to school with a focus in either interior design or graphic design. The decision was made for her when MSL reached out to Peterson after seeing her resume on a job board and offered her the position of Designer to head up their marketing department.
Having graduated Minnesota State University, Moorhead just a year before the art discipline of graphic design blew up, she was a digital immigrant, but she was up to the task of seeking out knowledge. Like so many of us, Peterson found the internet to be a great resource for learning and a place where knowledge was available to all people. She had art principles set to memory, but is otherwise self-taught, and took inspiration from nature to create in a digital space.
Although nature is her greatest inspiration, she admires the works of Ray Eames, Florence Knoll, and Grete Jalk. Each of these women played an important role in the mid-century arts movement and created under the premise that everybody deserves great design.
You can see how she has incorporated mid-century art theory when you visit the MSL headquarters in Chanhassen, MN. The workspaces are minimalist with walls of glass. The furniture is a collection of unique shapes and offers pops of bright color. Paired with natural light and thriving plants, this office provides employees a place to create and collaborate.
Peterson continues to evolve as a designer and artist. Her commitment to mentorship ensures that her legacy style will paint the world with a broad stroke through the heart and hands of others.
Anna Peterson currently resides in Gresham, Oregon with her partner Jamie and her dog Brinx.
Banner image: A Study of Winter Light, Digital Media, Anna Peterson