Created is a completely new kind of academy. We had a chance to catch up with Dom Davenport, their CEO, to find out what makes their students ideal candidates for employers after completing one of their courses. Unlike other learning platforms, Created don’t just dump a load of lessons on the participants and leave it with them. Real-world briefs, true experts and other secret ingredients make Created, simply, better. Let's find out more:
Ever wondered where the name "Created" comes from?
➔ Hi Dom, good to have you! What made you focus on educating creatives, rather than on your own career in 3D art and art direction?
From my own experience of entering the industry I could see that there was a significant skills gap between the needs of industry and people looking to enter it. With the experience I’d gained and a passion for doing things better I set off on the journey that became Escape Studios (my first business) and we began to fix the problem.
➔ What did you feel was lacking in the digital design / motion design education market?
The skills that are needed to thrive in any creative field have shifted from where I started. The need for a more rounded industry appropriate set of skills ranging from technical and creative to communication and leadership alongside the need for creatives to develop the right mindset was the problem I wanted to tackle.
➔ What makes Created different from other design education platforms?
At the heart of what we do is our core premise of developing an industry-ready skillset. This was developed in response to extensive research we did into the changing needs of the creative sector. We don’t just teach technical or creative skills, we focus also on communication, collaboration, commercial awareness and leadership. We look to develop the whole person rather than just one of their aspects.
➔ What was the process of building the company like? Have there been any learning curves along the way?
The biggest part of every business is the people, if you don’t get this right then nothing else will work. We have an amazing team who are passionate and committed to what we are doing and I’m grateful to work with them all. I think the shift to remote-first working, with all of it’s benefits, also comes with a new set of challenges: connecting and getting to know each other. This has been an interesting learning experience during lockdown as we’ve had several new people join the team.
➔ What opportunities does online education create for students? Do you believe it has the same advantages as traditional face-to-face education?
Online education, if it is designed properly, is a far superior experience to traditional face-to-face education. It offers flexibility for students to learn how they want and when they want. They can fit it around any other commitments they have. It’s also easier to review lessons, refer back to something and to offer the right content at the right time in the learning experience. I do think face-to-face has its place and is a powerful way of interacting and being creative, but going to a lecture or sitting in a classroom is no longer necessary.
➔ How do you cope with new emerging design trends in your courses? How do these influence the courses?
We work with our industry partners and board to emulate the current trends in industry. The briefs we set provide scope for students to experiment and gain valuable experience, in a way that emulates the influences and pressures of the commercial creative world.
➔ What is the philosophy at Created and what’s the company culture like? Can you give us a sneak peak behind the scenes?
Our philosophy is to put the student at the centre of our thinking in everything we do. We look to enhance every student's practical, personal and professional skills to prepare them for whatever stage of the industry or career they’re in. The culture of the business embraces the power of the collective, everyone playing to their strengths. We’re an eclectic group, who relish the challenge of being a maverick voice in creative education. We want to mix things up!
➔ We see your company's tone of voice is quite user-friendly, could you tell us a bit more about it? Was this something you wanted to achieve from day one or did it evolve with your brand?
Our tone of voice has been an evolution as we got to know our customers. We embrace being straight talking, being human, challenging the status quo and knowing what the industry and our students need to thrive.
➔ How has Created adapted to these ‘weird times’ we are living in? What has changed?
We went fully remote which brought a lot of advantages for work-life balance, but also a few challenges. We’ve done our very best to keep everyone engaged and inspired through lots of different off-piste activities. We’ve also emphasised the need to connect with people and have a laugh: it’s a great cure for nearly every ill.
➔ What’s next for Created? Any new ideas or projects in the pipeline?
We’re rolling out a portfolio of courses across creative and design disciplines, we’re also exploring other products and services we can offer the creative community. We’re also super excited about international students from over 40 countries joining our community. We feel like the world is embracing the need for a new way of doing things across borders and with people at the centre of the solution. Viva la evolution!