Visual Designer and Carpenter at Express Interiors
There is a common narrative in this modern day and age that to survive in this very competitive world, you need to be a person of multiple trades ie having multiple skills as each skill can surely be a source of income. In this career spotlight, We feature Menya Micheal, A Graduate of Bachelor of Industrial Fine Art from Makerere University and Director at Express Interiors who is a man of many trades. This is what we asked
Am a kind of person who likes hands-on things, in creative design in which what I do, I am a photographer, graphics designer and an interior designer what people call a carpenter.
In line with photography, I do shoot events, functions, gatherings, personal photoshoots, product photography, property photography and many others. In line with a graphics designer, I do create artworks for companies, individuals in terms of posters, trademark logos, brochures, flyers, business cards, pull up stands, teardrop stands,
I also go as far as signposts which involve designing to making and installing the signposts. In interior designing which is what I do best nowadays though have never gone to any school to study it, i go along in making of various types of furniture like sofa sets, tables, center tables, beds, file cabinets, Pallete furniture what is considered as recycling , offer advice on the design of the place, suggest what one can do in their spaces, and many more.
So while at University, my brother bought me a camera and it helped me hon my photography skills. I used to do printing work for people while at University.
After University my friends were working, while we were hustling on our own to building a company, no money, sometimes no lunch because our customers couldn't sustain us. We started many but as per now, people kept on going away to find work and we ended up remaining only two people.
Micheal Menya and His Partner Ibrahim Wamimbi working on a furniture project
We started out with literally nothing except on old rugged laptop and a desktop. We had no money from parents but whichever work we did, we used to save some money. Then with time, we managed to start buying equipment for the workshop one at a time.
Menya enjoying the comfort of one of his products
Other Products made by Express Interiors
First of all, there is nothing interesting as doing what you like other than being forced to do what you totally don't like. You don't do work under pressure, you put your all positive energy because the current project gets you the next client, so if you don't give it you're all, no next client.
Another thing is, I do work done by a few individuals so most times people admire what I do and that gives me the motivation. The challenge is the materials I use, machinery which I haven't acquired all.
Of course all careers have challenges and this one is no exception. Some designs are hard to pull off given our machines and so we need to upgrade our machines which cost lots of money. Being a start-up, our clients are young people who also are starting up with life hence they can't pay much. Given that we are in the Wandegeya market, space is limited for us to do this work but we plan on moving to a much spacious place
You need to think outside the box. You need to be research-oriented so that you create something different. You need to be passionate. You need to like good things that no other person has. These skills motivate you to work and achieve whatever you want.
My shaping started in high school(Bishop Cypriano Kihangire Senior Secondary School) because from time go, I have been good in Fine Art, In my A level, I did HEG/Art which automatically enabled me finally do Art at University on government sponsorship.
While at university I didn't see myself doing anything am doing right now. I was looking at being employed after university.
In my carpentry work, Mathematics is king because it involves a lot of figures and calculations. One other thing is the creative thinking that was impacted on us while I was at University.
My YouTube channel showing comedy clips has been a source of pride for me as a Creative Designer. I do shoot videos, edit, and post. It is one of my hard jobs but has enabled me to explore and employ my skills
I see my furniture showroom having furniture pieces that you can't find in any other showroom. in the foreseeable future, the less creative people in the field will be thrown away. Pallet furniture is also a trending
One, you need to be passionate about this kind of stuff. And also you need to be creative