Lauren Coles and Ximena Arnold graduated from BA (Hons) Creative Advertising in 2017. They met at University and after graduating have worked together as a creative team. They are now both Junior Creatives at Refinery Marketing and Communications in Manchester.

We caught up with Lauren and Ximena to find out a little more about their experience of studying Creative Advertising at Leeds Arts University and how this has helped to shape their careers.

Advertising appealed to us both as it required both writing and visual skills, following a construct through the form of a brief, as well as channelling the creative process and allowing for conceptual thinking.


The course taught us all the different aspects of Creative Advertising in order to become rounded creatives. Discovering how to conduct thorough research, create a solid strategy and generate ideas by making connections. For us, it was a great opportunity to understand what advertising really is, and how to approach a problem from different angles.

Image: Lauren Coles and Ximena Arnold, 2017

Due to the course being specialised, it meant for a smaller course group that really benefitted our learning experience. The size itself meant that we were able to comfortably share ideas, speak freely and collaborate with our peers. During our time on the course, the tutors endeavoured to be a positive influence. Having a strong rapport meant they knew us on a more personal level– the stages we were at, and how was best to improve.

The course helped us develop as both individual creatives and as a team. We were able to work freely on projects that aided understanding of our own capabilities, and also giving the option to work as a team that helped us form the partnership that we have now.

Industry Life

Having created a portfolio from our body of work helped kick start our creative career. Shortly after finishing the Creative Advertising course, we managed to secure a series of placements in Leeds and Manchester – eventually finding our place in Manchester. The course made us resilient and proactive, through building connections within our creative network.

Image: Lauren Coles and Ximena Arnold

Today we find ourselves using the creative thinking techniques and reverting back to the methods that allowed us to find a creative solution of a challenging brief. Fundamentally we are both creatives. But we do sometimes find ourselves fitting into the Art Director/Copywriter roles, whereby Ximena works as a Copywriter and I tend to do more Art Direction. However, in any project, we have found it important to be able to have a rounded creative approach. We continue to involve ourselves in competitions, which enable us to continue to think laterally, challenge our creative perceptions and ultimately improve our skills.