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Meet the Team: Autum McDougald-Ashby

Updated: Sep 6, 2021

At Fuse, we thrive on teamwork and collaboration. It’s because of our Fuse Team and their strengths that we are able reach as many artists as we do. Part of our talented team is Autum, one of our Social Media Coordinators. Don’t be fooled - despite her name, Autum’s favourite season is Spring! Keep reading to find out more about Fuse’s resident green thumb and book worm!

Tell us about yourself!

I graduated high school in 2019 and I just wrapped on my second year of college! I’m currently in a four year, Bachelor of Design degree at Conestoga!

Do you have a specific discipline in the arts? If so, what is it and tell us a bit about your journey?

I specialize in Graphic Design, which is a pretty broad area in itself. I’m still working out which areas I’d like to focus on, but I would consider myself multidisciplinary in the subject. I’ve always found myself interested in art and colours, since I was a kid I’ve used it as an outlet to express my creativity. I really adore illustration, there’s so many styles you can venture down. I’d say learning about art and design throughout high-school and into post-secondary can almost seem linear, but in reality there is no right way of creating, and I’m teaching myself how to accept that within my own work by embracing the little imperfections. :)

Talk about your role and what you do at Fuse.

I’m part of our lovely Marketing Crew. My position and title at Fuse is a Social Media Coordinator. What that entails is creating content to post on our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts. Specifically, I focus my time on brainstorming our visual communication (example: imagery and graphics) and then after that’s approved, our talented Ciera Bisch executes the designs. From there, I write our captions and post them out into the world!

What was it about Fuse that made you want to be a part of it?

Firstly, the team is filled with magnificent, friendly, and funny individuals, as well, the organization as a whole and what it stands for is something I think our communities need, especially during times like a global pandemic. Personally, I’m very people- oriented, and I like having that sense of connection to others. In addition, obtaining such strong support and encouragement to wield my skills and have free range to try new things is an opportunity I couldn’t pass.

Tell us a little bit about your Fuse arts journey! How did you end up at Fuse?

I actually haven't been here that long; however, it’s been a blast! I joined in February of this year, but I was familiar with the organization prior to joining. Through my college program, I had the chance to design marketing collateral for Fuse in the past. So when Dylan, our Executive Director, reached out that they needed another Social Media Coordinator, I was beyond stoked!

What has been your favourite memory/experience with Fuse?

I’m an indecisive person in general, so choosing one highlight is very difficult! One moment that sticks out to me is when I met the entire team for the first time, it was really eye-opening just how many individuals have a hand in running our organization. Another moment would have to be watching the first year BDes students pitch their marketing collateral for our upcoming operas! It was so fun to meet them all, as COVID-19 has pushed our program to online learning; therefore, I haven’t been able too. Additionally, it was also exciting to give feedback and really be inspired in return from their illustrative styles and confidence.

What are three words to describe Fuse?

Welcoming (everyone I’ve had the pleasure to meet and collaborate with have been extremely inviting), opportunistic (department heads always encourage volunteers to bring any ideas we brainstorm to the table), and creative (Fuse is a mosaic of innovative and artistic individuals who I’ve learned a great deal from over my time here).

What do you hope to bring to the community through your work with Fuse?

My hope is to reach other artists and non-for-profit organizations. A quotation from Donald Winnicott that has stuck with me is, “artists are people driven by the tension between the desire to communicate and the desire to hide”. As someone who struggles to put my own art into the world, I want to inspire others to just try new things and encourage people to get outside their comfort zone! Rome wasn’t built in a day, but through your ambition and determination you can start somewhere.

What are some ways you think the inter-arts positively affects our community?

If you think about it, we’re like one big constellation. We continuously learn from each other and pick up on new skills and habits. As well, we all have this common ground (an appreciation for the arts) that connects us to one another. It allows us to make new relationships and unites our communities when hope is needed.

Our Fuse Team is the powerhouse behind the work we do to empower artists and our community as a whole. It’s because of our team members, like Autum, that Fuse is able to make the impact we do! Interested in joining the Fuse Team? Click here to find out more!


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