EPN: Tell us about your current role at Imagine.
PK: Well, it’s crazier than ever, but it’s also more fun. In the beginning, it was just me, doing every part of the business. Through the years, I’ve been able to build a team that makes some really mind-blowing work. So, I find myself nowadays in a mix of taking care of my team, and getting the Imagine name out there.
EPN: What was it like in the early days?
PK: Quiet. It really was just me, in a second bedroom of the apartment that my wife and I lived in. While today, I focus on our growth two or three months out, back then, I wasn’t quite sure what the next day would bring. It was an uncertain time, but with the support of my wife and some clients that believed in me, I was able to get through.
EPN: Who influenced you in your career?
PK: That’s a tough one. I think that every encounter you have in life gives some new perspective, and it’s the cumulative influence of all those experiences that gets you to where you end up. That said, there are some that had more of an impact than others. I’d have to say that the people that really got me through in the beginning and had a larger impact on my career today would have to be my family and my team. It sounds pretty generic, but it’s true.
EPN: Out of all the portfolios you’ve received, has there been anything really outrageous and made you think, “get that person in here”?
PK: One that comes to mind, I think, is the most recent. We got an email in from someone applying for a junior designer position, and for the position, the portfolio was pretty solid. But since we get applicants in all the time, I usually just skim over them, looking for something that stands out.
In this case, it was a video attachment that she made for the position, a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine” on a ukelele. I have to say that’s what got her the interview. It’s usually something like that, something unexpected, that shows me that they gave some thought to this company and we’re not one of a dozen companies they sent the same stuff to.
EPN: What’s been your favorite campaign since you started the company?
PK: Wow, another tough one. I guess that’s like trying to name your favorite kid. I would say that it’s almost impossible to pick a favorite, since they’re so different. I have a unique fondness for each one of them. So, I guess I’ll have to skirt around this one and say that the answer for now would have to be a tie between all of the ones I’m working on now. 🙂
EPN: What tips would you give someone looking to get into marketing?
PK: I think the best piece of advice would be to say that, “If you don’t love it, you should go find something else”. This industry is not for the weak of heart, and a lot of people go into it thinking that we just sit around drawing pictures all day. There’s so much more to it that that, with reviews, deadlines, team and client critiques, and so on.
And I think that leads to another tip. Critiques of our work happen all the time, from both inside and outside of the office. It’s important to realize that as a creative, your work is a commodity as soon as you make it. You have to distance yourself from it and abandon any subjectivity, or else you’ll be crying in the bathroom your whole career.