Q&A: Tracey Hemingway-Wright, studio manager, Hibiscus

Jo Francis
Monday, March 23, 2015

Since getting a job as a paste-up artist/typesetter 25 years ago, Tracey and print have been inseparable. Moving to specialist commercial printing firm Hibiscus as a Mac operator, she now manages the studio, overseeing the make-up of tightly regulated labels for chemicals and hazardous materials. She’s married and enjoys learning to play the piano with her seven-year-old son.

What is your nickname? 

I get called many things at Hibiscus, none of them printable

Why did you get into printing?  

Like many in the print industry, I did a degree in fine art then realised that I needed a proper job. I had no idea what one was, but I applied for the position of paste-up artist at my local paper simply because it had the word ‘artist’ in the ad

What is your dream bit of kit?  

I work on it every day: the latest 27in Apple iMac 

What is your favourite film?  

Miloš Forman’s Amadeus. Cinema at its best with a soundtrack of some of the most sublime music ever written

What is your favourite TV show? 

Game of Thrones (although I much prefer the books) and Breaking Bad

Who or what do you hate the most? 

Cruelty, hunting and the BBC

Who do you admire most in the industry? 

Anyone still brave enough to print things that others find offensive

What is your favourite phrase or saying?   

Would you like a cup of tea? (especially when my husband says it)

What is your favourite album?  

At the moment it’s Hotel California by The Eagles

What is your favourite book?  

I love Robin Hobb, Joe Abercrombie, Brent Weeks, Mark Lawrence, etc. I also read a lot of popular science books - The Selfish Gene is great. My favourites, to read for pleasure, are the best chicklit ever written: Villette, The Professor and Jane Eyre

What is your greatest luxury in life? 

New socks, fresh bed sheets and Thornton’s Rum Truffles (preferably all at once)

Who or what makes you laugh?  

Workaholics (the TV programme), This is Spinal Tap and anything with Alan Partridge

What piece of kit would you like to see invented?  

A simulated reality facility (like the Holodeck from Star Trek). Though, this may be quite a ‘corrupting’ piece of kit?  Where would you start?  Or, indeed, finish?

Which celebrity would you like to get out of here? Why?

All of them; they’re a waste of oxygen

Most embarrassing moment?  

Farting, really loudly, during my pilates class last week (you asked)

What’s your worst fashion disaster?   

At my interview for Jacob Kramer College, I wore a very short, bright green dress with an array of black velvet buttons down the front that were the size of dinner plates. I also wore black suede pixie boots. Classy, but it was the 80s!

Life is…?  

Short. To quote one of our silly stickers: Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it’s about learning to dance in the rain

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