Staff Reporters
May 30, 2024

Creative Minds: Imogen Wetzell Ramsey on quitting architecture and finding love in advertising

The “excitable, emotional and energetic” creative dreams of a Sicilian town, a vino voyage and hopes her bucket list is not just a pipedream.

Creative Minds: Imogen Wetzell Ramsey on quitting architecture and finding love in advertising
In Creative Minds, we ask APAC creatives a long list of questions, from serious to silly, and ask them to pick 11 to answer. (Why 11? Just because.) Want to be featured?

Name: Imogen Wetzell Ramsey

Origin: Sydney, Australia

Places lived/worked: Mexico City, New York City, Sydney, Samoa

Pronouns: She/her

CV:

  • Art director, BMF Australia, Sydney, 2022 - present
  • Art director, TBWA Sydney, 2021- 2022
  • External engagement, School of Architecture, Design and Planning, Sydney, 2020 - 2021
  • Architecture associate, Kenny & Khan, NYC 2018 - 2020
  • Architectural assistant, CplusC Architectural Workshop, Sydney 2016 - 2018

1. How did you end up being a creative?

I was working as an architect in New York and becoming increasingly frustrated at the immense amount of admin and documentation involved in what I’d dreamed up as a creative job. In retrospect, this was just the reality of being a junior architect, but I was impatient with the process. 

I met some friends of friends—the way you do when you are an NYC transplant–who worked as creatives and was blown away that that was a job. It seemed unbelievable in the most literal sense. Shortly after, I moved back home to Sydney to complete Award School. 

2. What's your favourite piece of work in your portfolio?

Without being a complete cop-out, my favourite piece of work is still to come. Luckily, I mean this in the imminent ‘I swear it’s actually getting made’ way. But, looking at my current book, I’m super proud of our work for Batyr in raising awareness of mental health and the work Batyr does surrounding it.

Batyr, a transformative organisation, initiates the mental health dialogue by sharing authentic narratives with young people. This approach empowers them to support one another and their communities, fostering mentally healthy and fulfilling lives.  

This topic isn’t new, and various campaigns have attempted to address it over the years, but the issue tends to be that as soon as young people hear ‘mental health’, they switch off. So we felt the best way to cut through this messaging was to give the issue a voice that had already done half the work of captivating their attention.

Which led us to ‘Inner Voices’. A campaign that raised awareness of mental ill-health in young Australians by showing them that even the most unsuspecting people, at the most unsuspecting times, can be faced with mental health issues.   

Through a collaborative effort with brands that our audience deeply connects with, we transformed their retail ads into messages about mental health and the support Batyr can provide. This partnership was a testament to the collective commitment towards mental health awareness. 

3. What's your favourite piece of work created by someone else?

I love everything about this ad, except maybe the fact that it's an ad. The craft draws me in, keeps me engaged throughout the whole spot, and makes me feel something. 

4. What or who are your key creative influences?

Music videos have a great combination of craft, brevity, and emotion that I love. 

5. What kind of student were you?

An erratic one. I wasn't great at consistency so would often pull all-nighters which (surprise, surprise) didn't always give the best outcome. 

6. What's on your bucket list?

To move to Sicily and open a small wine bar. I'm deluded enough to think that this is a bucket list item and not just a pipe dream. 

7. Who’s on your dream dinner guest list (alive or dead)?

Erlend Oye. Dax Shepard. Ira Glass. Gabor Mate. Ella Fitzgerald. 

8. Do you work best under pressure, or when things are calm?

The sweet spot for me is the first 72 hours of chaos. I go into task mode and can pump out work. After that it goes downhill. 

9. Tell us about the worst job you ever had.

I was working at an architecture firm in NYC designing public schools. One of the projects I had was converting a Costco equivalent sized supermarket into a school, but the nature of the shape of the building meant that 70% of the classrooms weren't on the perimeter, and therefore had no windows.  

That was depressing, but then I had to integrate "safe zones" into the tile pattern on the floor so that the kids would know where they could be seen from the classroom door if there was ever an active shooter scenario.  
 
That was the start of the end of my time in NYC. 

10. What advice would you give to 10-year-old you, if you could?

Nothing is permanent, the good and the bad. The best thing you can do for yourself is tough out the bad times and learn what you can, and really relish the good times. 

11. How would your co-workers describe you?

Excitable. Emotional. Energetic. 

Source:
Campaign Asia

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