The first step is always the hardest, right? I hope so, because that was really bloody hard.
Two and a half years ago, I took a nervous drive down to Leamington Spa to interview for a Design Apprentice role at Imaginate Creative. The Warehouse was half empty, the gallery non existent, and the stairwell was seriously lacking in flamingos.
Just look how far we’ve come!
My time at Imaginate has been nothing short of magical - watching the company grow, witnessing the Warehouse come to life, and being surrounded by a bunch of wonderful creatives who have taught and inspired me every single day. I feel so incredibly lucky to have found this place, and even more lucky that the team saw something in this miserable git and made me part of the family.
During my time here I’ve achieved things I never even dreamt possible when I started as an apprentice. When I joined I didn’t know anything about leading, kerning, typefaces, brand guidelines and anything in between; by the end of my time here I was the lead designer on the Henley Women’s Regatta website build.
The projects we've had the chance to work on have just been incredible, some highlights include: Inter Milan, Robinsons Wimbledon, HSBC Golf Open, The Enemy ‘Its Automatic' Album and music video, Henley Women’s Regatta, Bespoke Brewing, building Oxford Street in 3D… I could go on!
Yesterday was my last day working for Imaginate, and it was emotional from start to finish. I have so much to thank them for - they were my first step into this fast-paced and exciting industry, and have taught me everything I know to date about Design. They are the reason I discovered this passion for creating - this job was the first time I ever really cared about anything, and I like to think I was pretty good at it too!
We were a formidable team, who liked to see ‘impossible’ as a target to smash. We worked hard and we always did it laughing. I really will miss seeing all the Imagineer’s faces every day.
Currently, I’m sat in my living room feeling slightly lost, knowing that I’m not going back to the Warehouse for a while; I think the idea is going to take a bit of time to settle in my head. For now though, London is calling so I better get packing. I'll leave it on this wonderful quote that Jo Derviller, the Creative Director and Owner of Imaginate, (not to mention a totally inspirational and wonderful person) sent me this morning:
“Surround yourself with the dreamers and doers, the rebels of the status quo, the troublemakers of the ordinary, the wonder-seekers, freedom-makers, jail-breakers, the unreasonable earth-quakers and dust-shakers, the ones who believe the impossible exists only to be attempted, the crazies and creative warriors, the ones who ask why-not instead of why, the I-can’t-believe-I-fucking-did-it sort of people… And learn to dance and howl and re-create your life along with them.
You may be crazy but, Dear Wolf, you’re not alone."
- Andréa Balt
I will never forget my Leamington roots, and I’m proud to say I was an Imagineer.