Here at Imagineerium we aim to highlight that the creative and event industry can offer a viable career path for everyone. The team are passionate about emphasising that a role within the creative sector can provide a bright future, and that it is an option for those who have the innate ability to utilise their unique imagination and put their concepts into motion. Having all battled ourselves with the rigidity of the status quo in today's society, the complexities of negotiating with previous generations, and the lack of support for the arts, we feel that it is essential that we start a conversation and begin to make a change.
With this in mind, Imagineerium strives to offer opportunities for people to get creatively involved, however which way they can and have purposefully seeked out funding so that we can offer financial support, allowing those entering the industry to begin to explore their creative impulses. One of the great schemes we are involved in is the internship programme through the University of West England, providing students or new graduates a chance to gain experience, learn skills and grow their network as they navigate from studying into working life in the industry.
We had a chat with our previous intern, Kirstyn, who is now on the team full-time as the Design & Production Assistant here at Imagineerium. Here is what she had to say about her time as an intern with us…
How long was your internship at Imagineerium and how did you hear about it?
My internship was a 12 week long program that started in July 2022, which I found through my Universities (UWE) Careers page.
What does Imagineerium do and what is your role?
Imagineerium is a creative design and production company who focus on designing immersive experiences. Some of the interior and exterior spaces they have designed include; brand activations, festivals areas and stages, experiential interiors, and immersive theatrical entities. My role was Design and Production Assistant intern, with my main tasks being to assist everyone with their roles in design, production, admin and media, whilst focusing on cultivating ideas and designs for our projects.
What have you been up to so far?
I began by learning more about the 3D building, CAD (computer aided design), and rendering softwares Imagineerium use to produce their designs. I had learnt SketchUp at University, but worked with Natasha, one of the Co-Founders, Creative and Managing Director, to develop my skills to a professional standard. On my first day, I accompanied Natasha on a site visit for a potential design project for an immersive experience, which was very insightful when it came to what was required in the initial stages of a on-site creative process. I then joined the team for the Beacon build at Boomtown Festival in Winchester, where I spent a week camping at the festival site as Production Assistant, helping with the management of the project, ensuring that the build ran smoothly.
Construction drawing of The Beacon @ Boomtown 2022
Designed by Imagineerium
How was your first experience of a festival build at Boomtown?
Being a part of Imagineerium’s ‘The Beacon’ project at Boomtown 2022 was really eye-opening for me. I was able to see all of the background work that goes into building a festival, as well as all of the production and organisation that is required in order to finish the project.
What did you get up to onsite? What was a daily schedule like?
As the production assistant for the Beacon my roles included; ordering necessary materials, filing outgoing expenses, collecting and transporting the crew, deliveries and materials to the right places, collecting the crew's meals, and helping over all with the build, assisting the scenics and being ground crew for the climbers. Meals were at the same time everyday which helped put us into a routine and we would arrive at the site at 8:30am to start work. At this point of the year, it was boiling so I would have to do water runs for everyone and got to whizz around in a buggy that was provided for us onsite.
Overall, the days were long and physically challenging, but I enjoyed the routine, the variety of tasks and witnessing the Beacon come to life. This was also the first time I had ever been camping for more than a weekend which was definitely an adjustment for me…at least they had hot showers!
The Beacon @ Boomtown 2022
Designed by Imagineerium
What skills did you learn from this experience?
My time management and problem solving skills were pushed on this job because everything was working towards a deadline. If something was urgent it had to be done quickly or if there was an issue the resolution had to be created speedily. I learnt a lot about the building process and the equipment used to complete a job at this scale and gained many insightful tips that will help me with future projects.
When not on site, what does a day in the office look like for you at Imagineerium?
When in the office I tend to start around 9:30 am and I initially check in with the rest of the team to see what projects are on and what needs doing. I have been able to help design concept ideas for potential projects, by creating mood boards and drawing designs in SketchUp and have most recently been a part of the design team for a series of window displays in London. For this project, I developed the initial ideas to make a more cost efficient design and have been helping organise the logistics for the production and installation of the display. I have also been busy helping to organise the production and installation for a number of alcohol brand activations for the Little Cocktail Village in Covent Garden, an event run by London Cocktail Week, which has been a lot of fun.
Designed by Kirstyn Bell at Imagineerium
What has been your favourite bit so far?
Working on the Boomtown build was great and it was nice to get onto the site and see the design come to life. I loved being hands-on and practical at the build by helping the scenics texture and paint different components of The Beacon. I also really enjoy the design and development aspects that go into finalising a design.
What have you learned so far and what skills will you be able to take away?
During my time at Imagineerium I have had the opportunity to refine my software knowledge and skills in programmes such as Sketchup, Photoshop and Illustrator. I have learned new CAD and rendering softwares such as Twinmotion, whilst also getting up to speed on other programmes that include Google Suite, Asana, Slack, Clockify and much more. All of these are crucial in the operations of a design studio and put me in a great stead towards my career development.
Would you recommend this internship to others and if so, why?
I would highly recommend this internship to anyone looking to gain experience within the design, festival, immersive / experiential industry. Being surrounded by such knowledgeable and kind people has really helped me with my transition into working life, making me finally be able to see a career path and trajectory that is feasible and enjoyable within a creative setting. I have learned so much about myself, the professional work environment, the importance of self-led and team oriented work practices, time management, communication, design softwares and the significance of keeping up to date with the trends, but staying true to myself, my work and my imagination.
An experience that has led me to begin my professional journey, I am so grateful for the opportunity and would definitely suggest anyone interested in an internship to keep their eyes peeled on any platforms that advertise them. When I applied, I lacked confidence in myself and abilities, but I am now excited for what the future holds.
Imagineerium’s Hall of Interns - A note from Natasha, Imagineerium’s Managing & Creative Director
To date we have taken on four interns since Imagineerium started. All have developed their skills, learned a lot about the workings of the immersive / experiential industry, and most importantly gained confidence in their creative abilities.
Alex joined us originally for a 6 month design assistant internship that turned into 1 year before he made the move to London.
Amy started out on the design internship programme with us but realised computer aided design wasn’t for her, however, upon seeing her enthusiasm and talent for being a scenic artist / dresser we got her involved in as much of the production of our projects as possible. This helped her put a portfolio together and introduced her to experienced and talented scenics who she has gone on to work for and with as her career prospers.
Felix joined us as production assistant for our Glastonbury stages last summer and he is now completing his final year at University of Bristol.
Kirstyn was originally taken on for a 12 week internship, which turned into a full-time position and she has now been with us for 6 months. As Kirstyns potential shines through every single day we really hope she stays with us for years to come.