Rethink Team Spotlight: Morgane Keesling

Concept Designer

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Morgane joined Rethink earlier this year, and has already left an indelible mark on the projects she’s touched as a Concept Designer. While relatively new to the themed entertainment business, her journey is well underway, having already worked with Universal Creative, Disney Publishing, Disney Consumer Products, and Garner Holt Productions. Becoming part of the Rethink team, Morgane says she’s found her “dream job” and her place within the industry, of which she is an avid fan.

“Surprisingly, my love of themed entertainment or interests do not evolve from frequent childhood visits to Disneyland,” explains Morgane. “My childhood was bereft of the knowledge that Disneyland was a real, tangible place. I firmly believed that the ‘Disneyland’ television series Walt Disney hosted was nothing more than Hollywood sets and magic; I saw what he proposed on his show and thought, if only he had actually built this place – it would be incredible! That all changed when I was 13, on a family trip to Anaheim. And it was overwhelming. I remember being amazed by the architecture, and being lost in these new worlds, excited to ride whatever attraction each land held as its pearl. I was inspired to learn more, to set my course, and to really work hard at becoming a designer just like those who had created such an incredible place – and places like it around the world.”

As a Concept Designer, Morgane blends creative direction, storytelling, and her own exciting style into artwork – whether it be loose pencil sketches, or extremely detailed renderings – that gives each team a visual waypoint to work toward, ensuring that everyone understands what the given experience is supposed to look like, following the transition from concept to reality. This is a critical part of the creative process, since it’s so easy for an idea to get lost in transition. Beautifully-visualized concepts are part of the glue that holds every project together – a role that carries a lot of responsibility that isn’t lost on Morgane.

“I feel honored by the opportunity to bring an idea into a room for others to collaborate on,” says Morgane. “Building something with a group of people is a most rewarding experience, because everyone’s strengths have the potential to come together, creating something exceptional. Being a Concept Designer is rewarding because I need to conduct thorough research on whatever it is I am designing; as someone who loves to learn, this facet of the job is one of my favorites.”

Now that she is a professional in the industry, Morgane is setting her sights on becoming even more involved with her peers than she already is. In 2016, she applied for – and won – the TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) Summit scholarship, and at the beginning of this year, Morgane volunteered as House Manager for the TEA Summit and Thea Awards at the Disneyland Hotel. An active member of the Themed Entertainment Association, Morgane hopes to represent the NextGen Initiative – interested students and recent graduates seeking a career in the industry – and has applied to serve as the NextGen Representative on the Western Division TEA Board of Directors.

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“I applied to be the NextGen Representative on the Western Division TEA Board because I think my story reflects what this program is for,” explains Morgane. “My success is largely attributed to the TEA, and I am excited be a part in helping newcomers in the industry realize their dreams, too. 

“As a NextGen board member, I’d aim to help organize and promote NextGen-centric events that encourage intermingling and team building between up-and-coming young professionals in this industry; some of my closest friends now are fellow NextGen members, but it took us nearly a year to break out of our shells and start talking.”

It’s easy to see that Morgane is a busy go-getter, and she’s not slowing down on any front! We’re excited to have her as part of the Rethink team of creatives and appreciate her efforts within the TEA and our industry as a whole.