With freelance design work and a graphic design degree under his belt, Kayjay joined saintnicks back in May via Bristol Creative Industries and Babbasa. From day one, he’s made serious waves. Working across the studio, Kayjay has used the opportunity to develop his creative strategy, content planning and analytical competencies, as well as bolstering his existing design skills across client and agency projects. We caught up on his last day to hear about what made him tick in his time here.
What drew you to saintnicks?
I was first attracted to saintnicks because of their diversity of clients. I was excited to have the opportunity to work with a large variety of different clients from different industries. Additionally, I was intrigued to find out more about the culture of working in a smaller agency in the creative industry.
Can you describe your first impression of the agency’s environment and culture?
My first impression of the agency was “it’s very modern and stylish”. I particularly liked the number of plants and was pleased to have my own large desk and equipment in the office. You could tell that there had been thought put into the designing of the office as there was adequate space to move and great amenities positioned around.
The agency’s culture went above my expectations. I found everyone to be very friendly and welcoming when I arrived. It was all genuine and consistent throughout my time in the agency. I enjoyed all the socials we did together and the great conversations I had with everyone. There was an outstanding balance of socialising and completing work. The culture at saintnicks fostered continual collaboration and creativity.
Your fresh outlook has brought real value to the agency. Which project do you feel has benefited the most from your innovation, and why?
Whilst I have worked on numerous projects at the agency and with different clients, I believe my internal saintnicks social media project benefited the most from my innovation. My experience running my own graphic design brand, King Visuals, helped to make the process more efficient and allow for quicker decision-making. I enjoyed having ownership of the project and full creative control. I found the support from my mentor and buddy really helpful to guide me in the right direction and keep me motivated.
Collaboration is central to successful work. Tell us about your favourite team project that worked on during your time here.
My favourite collaboration project was the LIV X eCRM programme. I had the opportunity to improve the way content is recorded from the different teams as well as create the design for two of the teams. During the project, I worked with colleagues from Client Services, Content, and Strategy. It was great to work on a project that went through various teams, as I had the exposure to develop my communication and timekeeping skills. One of my tasks during the project involved watching and reading the content supplied by the different teams and summarising the content into headlines for the newsletter. I found this experience challenging at first, but after a meeting the Content and Strategy team I felt more empowered and educated to complete the task.
Creative minds often draw inspiration from a variety of sources. What outside influences have impacted your work at saintnicks?
In my free time, I regularly do digital art. I take a huge amount of inspiration from Pinterest and design accounts on Instagram. I’m particularly inspired by other designers’ approaches to the composition of a design and their understanding and ability to experiment with design rules.
Over the summer I volunteered as a leader on a youth camp. At the camp, I supported children and young people in various activities from arts and crafts to wildlife hunts and nature trails. Exposure to the countryside and working with young people inspired me to be more reflective and confident in my decision making. It is okay to have a break from a piece of work and reflect on what is going well and could be improved; this could be the design process or the design itself. During my time at the agency, I attended a ‘Creative Link-up’ event organised by The Cause. That event inspired me to think more strategically during project work and to look for creative references outside the normal pool you would typically use.
Every creative journey has its ups and downs. Can you share a challenging moment during your internship and how you overcame it?
At the start of my internship with saintnicks I found it challenging to continually focus for long periods of time. I soon realised that it was not to do with my workload or the client I was working on, but with my work environment. I discovered that although I enjoyed being around people, socialising, and collaborating, I sometimes needed to be alone away from people to get work done. In order to overcome this challenge I decided to hot desk around the agency, occasionally working on the sofas or in the breakout booths. The agency was amazing at accommodating this need and trusted me to work in the different environments.
As you move onto your next industry experience, what impact has saintnicks had on your personal and professional growth?
Personally, I have found that I have grown more as a person during my time at saintnicks. I have been allowed to work on solo projects, from home and on group projects. All these opportunities have made me feel more confident in my ability as a designer and strategist. The continual support from my mentor, buddy, and colleagues at the agency made me feel valued as part of the team.
Professionally, I have had numerous opportunities at saintnicks that have impacted my growth. From attending client project reviews and factory tours to agency socials and catch-up meetings, my time at saintnicks has strengthened my skills in the creative industry. Working alongside the strategy team on a brand audit, supported the development of my strategic thinking skills and research skills. During that project, I had to learn more about an industry (Law) that I was unfamiliar with. Furthermore, I was able to develop my professional communication skills by communicating with clients in meetings and presenting internally to my colleagues.
One piece of advice that you would give to another young professional looking to move into creative marketing?
Network and communicate. Although it may be scary in the moment I would advise other young professionals to always talk to the people in a room and to not shy away. You never know the valuable take-away you can get from talking to someone or the value you could add to a room, just by being yourself and speaking. I have found from past experiences and from my time at saintnicks that the ability to network is a powerful tool to propel you further in life personally and professionally. There have been a number of conversations I have had at the agency that have inspired and motivated me to want more for myself and to believe in myself. I have enjoyed hearing about colleagues’ journeys in the industry and experiencing their vulnerability in my presence.
If you’re half as invested as we are, link in with Kayjay here to stay up to date with cutting edge design and content trends. Otherwise, if you’re an ambitious creative looking to make the next leap, drop us a line here to see how we can take you further.