From avocado trees to maple leaves — our growth story.
by Joanna Ambrosio, Art Director and Co-founder at Gámomo Creative Lab
Few people know this, but Gámomo has been around since February 2007. A group of us had started a print and digital magazine project called Mátika. It was a successful project, yet many of our potential sponsors kept saying to us “Well, we can’t invest in an ad for your magazine, but we love your work and would like you to design our website”. So we went for it.
Our First Studio Space
We opened our first studio space — a room we rented at the back of a hair salon with a backyard and a huge avocado tree. We had little business experience, and since we didn’t have a budget for a car (or gas), our marketing manager would take the bus to meet potential clients. The original office furniture was donated by our parents, including several plastic chairs that would shock us every time we touched our keyboards. We didn’t have a rigid schedule, so we would often work past midnight, playing loud music, eating junk food. Those were the early Gámomo days.
We started as a full-service design studio, meaning we took on almost any design-related project. Eventually, some of us moved on to other agencies, other cities, and other countries to pursue different career paths. We would still come together to collaborate with each other, sharing our experience and learnings from wherever we were.
We experienced many office moves, many positive challenges, many projects. And then there was a pause. This time when we went our separate ways in pursue of something different, something that could teach us what we were missing. We closed our office, and said our goodbyes.
We didn’t let go completely, and in 2012, we made the decision to open the doors again but this time, Kenji brought Gámomo to Vancouver, BC. He always had projects related to the entertainment industry, and decided to continue to create work now focused in the motion graphics area. Still collaborating with a couple of the old team members, Gámomo was waking up again, and in late 2014 Jo left her full-time job as Hootsuite’s art director to bring her experience and talent into the business. And so Gámomo V.308 was born.
Gámomo (/’gæ-mou-mou/) comes from the Chamorro language of Guam, and translates to “the one who loves a battle.” We love this concept as we consider ourselves ‘warriors’ driven by a fire within. If there’s something that we all bring, and have brought, to our work it’s commitment. We are fully committed to our clients, to our team and to ourselves. So we believe this “fire within” is what makes us who we are as a team, and what has kept us linked to Gámomo.
So here’s to more years of Gámomo stories, more talented artists we can collaborate with, more awesome clients that make us grow as an organization and as creatives, and to more friends that help us stay focused and grounded.
To all, muchas gracias.