After 30 years in New Zealand, and three years working here, we are heading back as a family to the UK for new challenges and adventures.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with some very talented, driven and inspiring people both co-workers and clients – and I wish everyone the very best. It really has been a blast.
Its going to be an exciting year for Smartwork Creative, and I’ll be watching … from a distance 🙂
My last day in the studio will be Friday 5 February.
The only thing constant in life is change
With Dexter moving back to the UK, I’m reminded that the only constant in life is change. But that’s only one of the many changes that have happened here in Auckland in the past year.
First was our successful rebranding, which has lead to wonderful opportunities – the biggest of which is helping Te Kura (The Correspondence School) create their new digital learning portal. We are currently working on NCEA1 material, which is due for release at the beginning of this school year.
Aimee Zulueta is our new project manager for this. Aimee has come from tutoring at AUT after completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Art and Design – Digital Design. Her skills are so appreciated as she is keeping things running to schedule and very smoothly. I’m sure there will be more to tell about this project as the year goes on.
Elena Dudina has also joined us to work on the Te Kura project and is responsible for making the HMTL sing. She recently claimed that she loves a challenge, and the steep learning curve has certainly helped to expand her skills! We all feel extremely lucky to have her on board and are all benefiting hugely from her knowledge.
Lauren Sutherland is a good friend of Maria Engelken (our lovely departed Maria, whom some may remember). She worked with us on a temporary footing for much of the last year; but now, Dexter’s departure has created an opportunity for her to join us full time. She’ll be supporting both our design and digital teams and looking after all the little bits and pieces our clients need to keep things running smoothly.
Alistair Cook has been with us for two years now and is taking up another opportunity in the wake of Dexter going. We have promoted him to Studio Director, a really important role in that it’s the ‘glue’ that binds everything together. While designing and digital strategy still fill a substantial part of Alistair’s day, he will also take on the responsibility of ensuring the smooth running of the studio and making sure everyone’s needs are met.
Dana Brown is such an important part of our team. We all appreciate her wonderful insight into making sure a design hits the mark. She is so good at this, we want her to share her skills with others – so she is now head of our design department, taking on the title of Design Lead.
Anne Luo is working closely with Dana and helping out with the Te Kura project as needed. While she is still part-time, she remains a very valued member of our team.
This just leaves the decision on where we will finally be based, as we need a place to permanently call our home. We are currently in negotiations over a lease in the city centre, and hope to be settled by early April. Fingers crossed!
We are also looking for a new Accounts Director to continue the work that Nazier so capably started. We have someone in mind and hope soon to be able to make an announcement.
This amounts to such a lot of change that Kim has decided to move to Auckland and be based here for the next four months. Actually, we all think the real reason is that she doesn’t want to miss out on all the fun. It’s great to be moving forward and we are all excited about what the future holds.