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My Time at Shape History|Written by Tom Walpole

TomThere’s something quite poetic about being asked to kick start the Shape History blog in what is, unbelievably, my last week at Shape History. The only metaphor I can reach for is the satisfaction in faithfully restoring an old car for someone else to drive – although hopefully this blog conveys a fluency that would not follow if I ever attempted such automobile tinkering.

I wanted to take you on a whistle-stop through what has happened at Shape History over the last few months and, fittingly, look towards the future of the company after I step off the train. Please excuse any apparent nostalgia and entertain any indulgence, I am only human.

So I started in October 2015, joining Alex and Mike as the Campaigns coordinator, helping the pair organise and run the campaigns we were working on at the time. It’s fair in retrospect to say that hiring me, with my already scheduled leave date that we have now arrived at, was what can only be described as a punt. I’m incredibly thankful to both of them for taking that chance on me.

Since then, I’ve morphed into the Creative Producer role, leading creative discussions and actions in the team. More excitingly, the company has grown to take on some incredible campaigns with a plethora of causes such as Macmillan Cancer Care, the World Hepatitis Alliance, the International Labour Organisation and UN Free and Equal. The team has grown as well. Euan, Lauren and Henry have all added their own skill, work ethic and passion for talking dog videos to the team and I have no doubt that the next crop, whoever they will be, will continue to add to this brilliant collection of driven people.

What next for Shape History? Well we’re finally establishing a permanent presence in New York, and hopefully that will grow alongside expansion in the London team. The projects keep coming in, and what I’d love to see is the establishment of long-term relationships between Shape History and good causes. Finally, if you’re a creative of any capacity and you’ve stumbled upon this, I’d implore you to reach out with whatever idea or passion you have, I’d love for us to build stronger ties with the army of creatives who want to do good that I know exist out in the wider world.

This whole industry is plagued by language that can be politely categorised as flowery waffle. Of course I am as guilty as anyone else – it’s just what we do, what we write, to bring ideas, pitches and promises to life. Yet I strongly believe that this blog should be a space for direct conversation, a chance to speak to whoever you are directly as an equal, to give you the insight into how we tick. So in a rare moment of candour I want to say that this job has been tough at times, busy often, hectic sometimes and yet rewarding in more than equal measure. So thank you to all the clients I’ve worked with over the last few months whose passion for change keeps us going. Thanks to the creatives who have dug me out of holes and astounded me with their ability, and thanks above all to the team for keeping me sane throughout.

Written by Tom Walpole, Shape History’s ex-Creative Lead