Event Recap: Create + Innovate

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Last Thursday we hosted our 6th Double Tap the Keg event in our upstairs and new downstairs office spaces. The theme of the night was Create + Innovate, and we were blown away by our inspiring panel of creative minds. Sitting on the panel we had style therapist and fitness influencer, Lillian Charles; portrait and fashion photographer, Donte Maurice; head of innovation and development at Public School, Rich Santiago; and brand storyteller, Julie Marateck. Together, these four talented individuals left the audience feeling inspired and refreshed moving into the holiday weekend.

The panelists were asked a series of questions directed toward their specific backgrounds and personal experiences.

Rich Santiago gave some beautiful advice when asked how to deal with creative anxiety. His go-to tactics are to learn to multitask well and make sure he’s following inspiring people to keep his ideas fresh. He also mentioned that when working closely with clients he has found that one of the most important things is to allow the client to collaborate and be a part of the creative process as much as possible.

Julie Marateck spoke on the importance of storytelling from the partner’s perspective. She brought up a great point that audiences are smarter these days and are interested in buying experiences, so the goal is to make your brand attainable to the average person. Julie also loves to travel, and discussed how putting herself outside of her comfort zone and experiencing failure is all part of the creative process. Inevitably, on any journey outside of your comfort zone, at some point, things won't go as planned, and traveling prepares Julie for those moments of failure. 

Lillian Charles has a large Instagram following, and gave the audience some insight on how she balances the digital content overload that we experience on social media today. She tries to be very cognizant of how much time she spends scrolling and makes sure her social media browsing stays intentional, not habitual. Lillian also gave some lighthearted, but meaningful advice about how to get over obstacles. She said that she and her sister will exchange the phrase “don’t let the turkeys get you down” when they are going through a particularly difficult challenge. While the exchange is an inside joke between the two of them, the take-home message can still apply to anyone: don’t let anything get you down on your road to success, whatever that looks like.

Donte Maurice, the professional photographer on the panel, talked about how he incorporates storytelling into his photography by having a conversation and creating a relationship with the model he’s shooting. Similar to Julie, Donte also discussed failure and how he builds his confidence when he isn’t feeling particularly creative. Donte uses the old adage, ‘rome wasn’t built in a day’ to remind himself that creativity is truly a process and sometimes it won’t happen today. His go-to approach is to sleep on it and he knows he’ll wake up with fresh ideas after resting his mind.

While the panelists’ answers were extremely diverse given their different backgrounds and experience levels, one take away message remained the same throughout the panel: surround yourself with creative people who push you to be better than you are right now. In one way or another, each panelist expressed the importance of mentors, and we couldn’t agree more! At Imagine Media, we encourage mentorship opportunities for both our ambassadors and our full-time teammates.

If you didn’t make this event in our Double Tap the Keg series, don’t worry! We’ll be hosting many more future networking events in our downstairs office space. Keep up with us on social media and look out for the announcement about Double Tap the Keg #7! Comment below with any ideas for upcoming themes or discussion topics!

Story By: Sophie Duncan