Quinn Wilson
Share:
BS in Entrepreneurial Studies
Creative Director, Good Company
Los Angeles, California, USA

Quinn Wilson is Lizzo’s Creative Director, responsible for hits like her iconic VMA performance; the music videos for Juice, Truth Hurts, and Boys; and the “Because I Love You Too Tour” that immediately sold out two nights in Minneapolis. Learn more about her path from makeup artist to thriving creative director in her MCAD feature story.  

Headshot by Jasper Rischen

Why did you choose the bachelor of science program?

I was going to be a fine arts major. I was going to be a painter. I used to oil paint. And then no one talked to me, besides in critiques. So I just switched degrees. Because I needed to have friends, I was socially deprived at the time. 

I went to the ES program and I’m so happy that I did. I was able to go back and forth from doing the core requirements for the BS, and some type and graphic design classes, and just have the best of both worlds. Which is basically what I’m doing now. It’s art and business. I have to get on calls with MTV with 20 people on them. I have to know how to talk. 

What did you take away from your experience at MCAD?

Honestly I learned so much from the ES program. I learned how to take this creative work into a professional setting. And I think when I first started off with Lizzo, with her being on a label, I learned how to do all of that from MCAD. And I think having the balance of the creative world and the more business side of this world was really, really helpful.

I definitely had such a great time there, when I look back at it. I wish I had the perspective that I do now, because if I did I would have been using the f*** out of that media center. For free. I would have been a much more technical person I think, if I would have been able to utilize all the incredible resources that MCAD has. It really is a good school. 

I loved Jan [Jancourt]. I loved Kindra Murphy. I learned so much from these professors. Shout out Kindra Murphy, because she still watches my [Instagram] stories and I love that about her. I’m just a fangirl of hers. When I was in her classes all I wanted to do was impress her. 

And Jerry Allan, he was the head of the ES program. He’s a Yoda. He’s legendary.

I spent a lot of my life [at MCAD], and a lot of important moments and lessons came from that school. It was a really important experience for me. 

What inspires you/your work?

Gay culture, for sure. And Black culture for sure. Because I am a gay, Black woman so I guess I should turn to what I know.

Specific people who come to mind? Well, a Black woman, Lizzo. A gay woman, King Princess, she’s pretty inspiring as a queer person. Immense talent. I think that those are more contemporary references. 

Every single piece that I make has some sort of Prince reference, of course. Some sort of Madonna reference, and some sort of Diana Ross reference. I just reference the same people over and over again honestly. Maybe sprinkle Lenny Kravitz in there. And that literally is my mood board. 

What advice do you have for current MCAD students?

I would tell them they need to use every resource they have at MCAD. Do not sleep on the media center. That is such a fire resource. Are you kidding me? All of that gear for free? That’s crazy. I don’t give a f*** if they’re graphic designers and they’ll never pick up a camera again. At least once, go to the media center and use any and all of the things they have to offer. 

Do things outside of your degree. I think ultimately when you get out of college no one’s going to say “well I only studied this degree so I can only do this.” You want to be well rounded. In order to do that...you’re there, do everything. There are people there to teach you these things, why not do them?